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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: TOTW 2/16/13: Ask That Pretty Girl To Be My Wife


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/256249

J-Walk - Posted - 02/15/2013:  07:15:22



This week's selection is "Ask That Pretty Girl To Be My Wife. " It's a catchy (and crooked) fiddle tune that's seems to be fairly obscure -- but it doesn't deserve to be.



Source recordings



The original source is said to be Kentucky fiddler/banjo player Clyde Davenport, and he recorded it at least three times:




  • Clyde Davenport Vol. 2 (Field Recorders Collective FRC104, 1994)


  • At Fiddle Tunes (Port Townsend, WA), in 1996. listen here.


  • On a DVD (Shades of Clyde, 2011). I bought this 90-minute DVD as part of my research for this TOTW. I wasn't expecting much in terms of quality, but I was pleasantly surprised. Most of it is just Clyde sitting on the couch playing fiddle tunes. There are also a few tracks of him playing with others. Highly recommended, and well worth 15 bucks!



Here's a rip from the DVD:





Clyde was born in 1921, and he's still scratchin' and pickin'. Search YouTube and you'll find lots of stuff.



Other recordings



I found only four other recordings of this tune:




  • Played by Joseph DeCosimo, Mary Jane Epps, Ben Nelson & Pan Riggs on the 2012 New Young Fogies Vol 1 CD. This was my first exposure to the tune, and they play an excellent rendition, with two fiddles. It's easily my favorite track on a CD filled with great tracks, and is the one that stood out immediately.


  • Played by the Canote Brothers on their 2005 Sugarbaby CD You can listen to the entire track here. Actually, this was my first exposure to the tune -- I heard it but I never really noticed it.


  • Seattle Stringband class (9/26/2011). Here's a recording, and some simple banjo tab.


  • Played by McDougall on a 2012 CD called A Few Towns More. It's a solo banjo piece.



I found no YouTube videos.



Details



Everyone plays it in G. It's a two-part tune (with a short B part) played AABB. The chords are:



Part A
G/// C/// G/// D///
G/// C/// G/// D/G/


Part B
G/// D/// G/// C/// D/G/


Note the extra measure in the B part. And also note that descending major scale in the B part. So simple, yet it fits perfectly. Can you think of any other tune that has a complete descending scale? Other than, "Joy To The World"?



"Ask That Pretty Girl To Me My Wife" is not included in the Milliner/Koken collection, and I scoured the internet and I found absolutely nothing about this tune. The Fiddler's Companion lists a tune with this name, but it's not the same one. So this is another example of two completely different tunes that have the same name.



Does anyone play this in their jams? I'm hoping someone can provide some background. Or, maybe it's known by a different name?  In any case, take some to learn it and spread it around. It's a good one.



My attempt



This tune really needs a fiddle, IMHO, but here's my attempt at a solo banjo rendition. Please give it a try and post your take on it.




Ask That Pretty Girl To Be My Wife

   

janolov - Posted - 02/15/2013:  07:45:12



It is a nice tune! At stringband.mossyroof.com/ there is both a tab and learn by ear lesson.


blockader - Posted - 02/15/2013:  08:03:42



i also liked that one on the young fogies record. its not my favorite on there, but close. your rendition is great and i might just have to get that Clyde Davenport DVD!



-justin


jamesd - Posted - 02/15/2013:  09:18:42



Good selection and a nice sounding tune..  I like your playing and this gives me another tune to work with.  Thanks J-walk.


SCclawman - Posted - 02/15/2013:  09:29:10



At first, I wanted to learn this one based solely on the name. After listening to the tune, it's just as good as the name. I also like your playing, and I'm planning to learn this one.



Thanks for doing the research on this one and sharing it with us! Really neat tune


ramjo - Posted - 02/15/2013:  15:34:25



quote:


Originally posted by J-Walk

My attempt


This tune really needs a fiddle, IMHO, but here's my attempt at a solo banjo rendition..






Hate to disagree with you J-Walk, but I think this works wonderfully as a solo banjo tune. I'm not sure that would have dawned on me had you not posted your rendition. Great playing, great recording (tell us the details), and thanks for the idea!


J-Walk - Posted - 02/15/2013:  15:39:56



Details?



Actually I tried a new recording method for this: I stuck my Zoom H2 recorder between the dowel stick and the head. I put the wind screen on the recorder so it wasn't actually touching the head. It took a few trials to get the levels correct, but I like the result and it pretty much eliminates all other sounds. I was actually playing along with the "New Old Fogies" track, but the recorder didn't pick up any of it. 


atleson - Posted - 02/15/2013:  15:53:30



J-Walk,  lovely playing, and that recorder technique is superfine.  I'll have to try it.  Anyway, i continue to be amazed at how fast you figure out these tunes.  Takes me a lot longer.



 



jim


J-Walk - Posted - 02/15/2013:  16:14:35



Thanks, Jim. I think my ability to learn tunes quickly is a result of how I learned to play banjo. My focus has always been on quantity rather than quality. I can usually pick up a tune by the 2nd time through -- unless it's a complicated one. Fortunately, most OT tunes are not complicated. That's probably why I'm attracted to this genre. But I'm also a really sloppy player. I make tons of mistakes, and I've also learned to cover them up a bit. I expect my sloppiness will decrease over time.



My "practice" sessions consist of playing along with a series of tunes in the same key, using Amazing Slow Downer. I rarely try to master a tune. Rather, I just try to figure out the chord progression and play along. After a while, the patterns become familiar, and I can often anticipate where a tune is going, even if I've never heard it before. And, of course, a tiny bit of music theory helps.



My approach, of course, is based on listening and being able to play what I hear and what I expect to hear. It's  the old "playing by ear vs tab" thing.  Lots of BHO threads on that topic. But it all boils down to the fact that people vary in how they learn.


aeroweenie - Posted - 02/15/2013:  18:22:27



Good tune J-Walk.  I like your rendition, nicely done!


Mirek Patek - Posted - 02/16/2013:  00:18:53



quote:


Originally posted by J-Walk


It's a two-part tune (with a short B part) played AABB. The chords are:

Part A
G/// C/// G/// D///
G/// C/// G/// D/G/


Part B
G/// D/// G/// C/// D/G/


Note the extra measure in the B part. And also note that descending major scale in the B part.






Very nice tune. Actually, there should be written two more beats at the end of B part



Part B
G/// D/// G/// C/// D/ G///


So there is extra measure and half (in addition to four measures).


LyleK - Posted - 02/16/2013:  06:01:28



From traditionalmusic.co.uk:



Asked that pretty girl to be my wife,



She wouldn't do it to save my life;



Asked that pretty girl to be my wife,



She run at me with a carving knife.


maryzcox - Posted - 02/16/2013:  06:46:44



J-Walk--what a fun tune to pick for the week of Valentine's Day. heart So very romantic in an old time way. big



And would you believe, that our daughter's boyfriend, Will, actually did this very thing on Valentine's Day? 



We are all on Cloud Nine around here because he did indeed "Ask That Pretty Girl To Be My Wife. "




   

Marc Nerenberg - Posted - 02/16/2013:  07:34:22



quote:


Originally posted by maryzcox




J-Walk--what a fun tune to pick for the week of Valentine's Day. heart So very romantic in an old time way. big



And would you believe, that our daughter's boyfriend, Will, actually did this very thing on Valentine's Day? 



We are all on Cloud Nine around here because he did indeed "Ask That Pretty Girl To Be My Wife. "






I guess she didn't run at him with a carving knife. wink


J-Walk - Posted - 02/16/2013:  09:08:41



I'd like you all to think that I'm a hopeless romantic, and saved this tune up just for a Valentine's Day TOTW. But it was just a coincidence, and I didn't even make the connection until Mary Z mentioned it.


maryzcox - Posted - 02/16/2013:  09:46:42


We are actually playing "Fly around my Pretty Little Miss " around here -- we are so pleased ! She is 31 years old & has been dating him for 4 years ! We were about to give up on him :) But he came through ! Evidently on both knees, with an impressive ring & even called his Mom to ask for his Dad's wedding ring. :)

And J - Walk -- we all know you are probably a closet romantic --how could you play the banjo and not be ?

:)Mzc

SCclawman - Posted - 02/16/2013:  10:16:41



J-Walk,



Here's my version. I had a heck of a time with that crooked part and I'm still not convinced that I got it right each time through. This is a lovely song and a ton of fun to play. Thanks for introducing it to us.



I based my version off of a combination of John's mp3, the video of Clyde Davenport, and the tab that was posted above.




Ask That Pretty Little Girl To Be My Wife

   

MileStretch - Posted - 02/16/2013:  13:11:13



I've been playing a year this week, so I still have a long way to go. As much as I loathe it, my playing is sloppy. However, I couldn't resist contributing my take on this fine tune I'd never heard of. Clyde, J-Walk, SCclawman: thanks for the inspiration.



The crooked part gave me fits. Let me know if I'm close to getting it.




Ask That Pretty Girl to Be My Wife

   

JanetB - Posted - 02/16/2013:  16:07:37



This is a lovely tune and I'm grateful to have watched Clyde Davenporte on the video.  I played up high on a Gold Tone mini-banjo. 




Ask That Pretty Girl To Be My Wife

   

aeroweenie - Posted - 02/16/2013:  17:35:46



Nice job by everyone so far.  Here is my take on the tune.  It seems a simple tune but I found it difficult to emulate what the fiddle was doing (I learned it from the Canote Brothers version posted above).  I agree with what Janet said, it is a fun tune to play.  Definitely a keeper, I'll have it cleaned up in a week or two.




Ask That Pretty Girl to be My Wife

   

J-Walk - Posted - 02/16/2013:  18:16:45



I am really enjoying all of these recordings of a tune that hasn't been recorded much. Everyone has his/her own way of interpreting the tune.



I wish there was a way that Clyde could hear these.  


SCclawman - Posted - 02/18/2013:  07:41:25



Janet, Aere, Mile - I enjoyed hearing your takes on it! loved them all. look forward to hopefully hearing some more over the course of this week!


banjoike - Posted - 02/18/2013:  18:15:42


Very nice J-Walk!!!!!

OldTimeGal - Posted - 02/19/2013:  07:16:23


So sweet:-)

leastbest - Posted - 02/19/2013:  09:35:50


J-Walk,

Very very nice. You made me grab my banjo and get to work. Lovely. Thanks.

leastbest - Posted - 02/19/2013:  11:49:32



quote:


Originally posted by LyleK




From traditionalmusic.co.uk:



Asked that pretty girl to be my wife,



She wouldn't do it to save my life;



Asked that pretty girl to be my wife,



She run at me with a carving knife.






Are these the lyrics?   Does anyone sing it?


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