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 Playing Advice: Clawhammer and Old-Time Styles
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: TOTW (OT) 2/13/15: Fall On My Knees


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/299272

stigandr5 - Posted - 02/13/2015:  10:14:07


Happy Friday the 13th/Valentine's Eve!



The tune I chose for this week is "Fall On My Knees," most famously known from a recording made by Tommy Jarrell (fiddle) and Fred Cockerham (banjo). This song, while apparently quite old, was not well known outside the region of North Carolina where it seems to have originated. In recent years, thanks to popular covers and a general renewal in old-time music, the song gets played quite regularly.



The Fiddler's Companion, that oh-so helpful manual on these types of songs, has this to say about "Fall On My Knees":



FALL ON MY KNEES. Old‑Time, Breakdown and Song. USA, a local Galax, Va./Mt. Airy, N.C. tune. D Major. ADae tuning. AA. Ray Alden (1981) states that around the Round Peak, N.C., area this is known as Fred Cockerham's tune; Tommy Jarrell said "He knew a hundred verses."  Cockerham's wife, Eva, told Alden that he would "sometimes sit in his big green armchair and play this song for hours." Mt. Airy, North Carolina, fiddler Tommy Jarrell remembered the tune "going around" the Round Peak area (where he was raised) around 1915, although, as Richard Nevins points out, it had been known in neighboring Grayson County, Va., for a generation before that, testifying perhaps to the isolation of the mountainous region at the time. Mike Yates (2002) also states it “is quite a common tune in the Hillsville, Galaz, Mt. Airy area.” His source, Calvin Cole (recorded in 1979) of Hillsville, Carroll County, Virginia, called it “Lonesome Road” from the first line of the second verse below.



***



Well I fall on my knees and I pray to the Lord,



That you will stay by me little girl,



That you will stay by me.



***



Look up, look down, that long lonesome road,



Hang down your pretty head and cry little girl,



Hang down your head and cry.



***



Well my suitcase is packed and I'm never comin' back,



Goodbye little woman I'm gone, I'm gone,



Goodbye little woman I'm gone.



***



I wish to the Lord that I'd never been born,



Or died when I was young little girl,



Or died when I was young.



***



Then I'd never have kissed your red ruby lips,



Or heard your lying tongue little girl,



Or died when I was young.



***



You told me one, you told me two,



You told me ten thousand lies little girl,



You told me ten thousand lies.



***



You've told me more lies than there's stars in the skies,



You'll never get to heaven when you die little girl,



You'll never get to heaven when you die.



***



Another verse has been collected, going:



***



Fall on my knees, and beg you, ‘Please



Little girl, can I stay with you?’  (x2)



***



Source for notated version: Tommy Jarrell (Mt. Airy, N.C.) [Kuntz]. Kuntz (Ragged but Right), 1987; pg. 239‑240. Chubby Dragon CD1008, Brad Leftwich, Bruce Molsky et al – “Mountairy.usa” (2001). County 741, Tommy Jarrell & Fred Cockerham. County CD-2719, Camp Creek Boys. Flying Fish 334, The Red Clay Ramblers‑ "It Ain't Right" (1986). Heritage XXXIII, Ace Weems and His Fat Meat Boys ‑ "Visits" (1981). Musical Traditions MTCD321-2, Calvin Cole (et al) – “Far on the Mountain, Vols. 1&2” (2002). Yodel-Ay-Hee 005, The Wildcats - "On Our Knees" (1992).



X:1



T:Fall on my Knees



M:2/4



L:1/8



B:Kuntz – Ragged but Right



K:D



[D/A/](A/B/)(B/||d>)B d/B/d/A/|B(B B/)B/d|[A>f>]e f/[A/e/]d/A/|B(B B/)B/d|



{d/}[d>f>]e [df]d|B>A B/A/B|d d2 d|B>A B>d|[d>f>]e [d/f/]e/f|A/BA/ B/A/B/(B/|



d) d2 d|d2||



 



My first introduction to this tune was via Old Crow Medicine Show: youtube.com/watch?v=eP-3ZYFll1I​. It inspired me to record this version on electric canjo: youtube.com/watch?v=TEybpiphZh0.



 



As the Fiddler's Companion mentions above, this song has many dozens of verses. I've also found it quite easy to write new ones to add to the cannon. If luck allows, I will post a more current version of "Fall On My Knees" mid-week next week.



 



In the meantime, I look forward to your contributions. Enjoy!



 



-N.A.


banjukebox - Posted - 02/13/2015:  11:46:44


Great post and neat tune. Rayna does a nice version on her album: "Starch and Iron"..... BUT, in keeping with the electric nature of this post, here's another version she does on Youtube.





youtube.com/watch?v=uVeRRA1FwlM


John Gribble - Posted - 02/13/2015:  17:18:39


I like that one a lot, too. Maybe my favorite version  is Jody Stecher and Kate Brislin's on "Stay Awhile."  She's really soulful.



Given how often the three-line form with repeats appears, I'm surprised how little discussion there is of blues influences in old-time music. 


gailg64 - Posted - 02/14/2015:  11:47:27


Good choice! Linking a youtube of the source version (Tommy Jarrell & Fred Cockerham).


 


quote:


Originally posted by stigandr5

Happy Friday the 13th/Valentine's Eve!




The tune I chose for this week is "Fall On My Knees," most famously known from a recording made by Tommy Jarrell (fiddle) and Fred Cockerham (banjo). This song, while apparently quite old, was not well known outside the region of North Carolina where it seems to have originated. In recent years, thanks to popular covers and a general renewal in old-time music, the song gets played quite regularly.




The Fiddler's Companion, that oh-so helpful manual on these types of songs, has this to say about "Fall On My Knees":




FALL ON MY KNEES. Old‑Time, Breakdown and Song. USA, a local Galax, Va./Mt. Airy, N.C. tune. D Major. ADae tuning. AA. Ray Alden (1981) states that around the Round Peak, N.C., area this is known as Fred Cockerham's tune; Tommy Jarrell said "He knew a hundred verses."  Cockerham's wife, Eva, told Alden that he would "sometimes sit in his big green armchair and play this song for hours." Mt. Airy, North Carolina, fiddler Tommy Jarrell remembered the tune "going around" the Round Peak area (where he was raised) around 1915, although, as Richard Nevins points out, it had been known in neighboring Grayson County, Va., for a generation before that, testifying perhaps to the isolation of the mountainous region at the time. Mike Yates (2002) also states it “is quite a common tune in the Hillsville, Galaz, Mt. Airy area.” His source, Calvin Cole (recorded in 1979) of Hillsville, Carroll County, Virginia, called it “Lonesome Road” from the first line of the second verse below.




***




Well I fall on my knees and I pray to the Lord,




That you will stay by me little girl,




That you will stay by me.




***




Look up, look down, that long lonesome road,




Hang down your pretty head and cry little girl,




Hang down your head and cry.




***




Well my suitcase is packed and I'm never comin' back,




Goodbye little woman I'm gone, I'm gone,




Goodbye little woman I'm gone.




***




I wish to the Lord that I'd never been born,




Or died when I was young little girl,




Or died when I was young.




***




Then I'd never have kissed your red ruby lips,




Or heard your lying tongue little girl,




Or died when I was young.




***




You told me one, you told me two,




You told me ten thousand lies little girl,




You told me ten thousand lies.




***




You've told me more lies than there's stars in the skies,




You'll never get to heaven when you die little girl,




You'll never get to heaven when you die.




***




Another verse has been collected, going:




***




Fall on my knees, and beg you, ‘Please




Little girl, can I stay with you?’  (x2)




***




Source for notated version: Tommy Jarrell (Mt. Airy, N.C.) [Kuntz]. Kuntz (Ragged but Right), 1987; pg. 239‑240. Chubby Dragon CD1008, Brad Leftwich, Bruce Molsky et al – “Mountairy.usa” (2001). County 741, Tommy Jarrell & Fred Cockerham. County CD-2719, Camp Creek Boys. Flying Fish 334, The Red Clay Ramblers‑ "It Ain't Right" (1986). Heritage XXXIII, Ace Weems and His Fat Meat Boys ‑ "Visits" (1981). Musical Traditions MTCD321-2, Calvin Cole (et al) – “Far on the Mountain, Vols. 1&2” (2002). Yodel-Ay-Hee 005, The Wildcats - "On Our Knees" (1992).




X:1




T:Fall on my Knees




M:2/4




L:1/8




B:Kuntz – Ragged but Right




K:D




[D/A/](A/B/)(B/||d>)B d/B/d/A/|B(B B/)B/d|[A>f>]e f/[A/e/]d/A/|B(B B/)B/d|




{d/}[d>f>]e [df]d|B>A B/A/B|d d2 d|B>A B>d|[d>f>]e [d/f/]e/f|A/BA/ B/A/B/(B/|




d) d2 d|d2||




 




My first introduction to this tune was via Old Crow Medicine Show: youtube.com/watch?v=eP-3ZYFll1I​. It inspired me to record this version on electric canjo: youtube.com/watch?v=TEybpiphZh0.




 




As the Fiddler's Companion mentions above, this song has many dozens of verses. I've also found it quite easy to write new ones to add to the cannon. If luck allows, I will post a more current version of "Fall On My Knees" mid-week next week.




 




In the meantime, I look forward to your contributions. Enjoy!




 




-N.A.







 




VIDEO: Tommy Jarrel & Fred Cockerham - Fall On My Knees
(click to view)

   

JanetB - Posted - 02/14/2015:  11:56:36


This song fits you well, Nathan.  Thanks for finding us one that is familiar, yet for me never attempted.  I listened to Tommy and Fred (Gail linked it above) and have Brad Leftwich's Round Peak Style Clawhammer Banjo book which included tab and lyrics.  You can hear that Round Peak sound, with its blue note slide and the notey rhythm. The above comment by John about the blues structure is interesting, too, as this isn't the common AABB format. 




Fall on My Knees

   

Hilarie Burhans - Posted - 02/14/2015:  12:29:47


I put a recording of this on Youtube a few weeks ago, as I had a student asking for things that were simple to sing and play at the same time.  Fall On My Knees immediately jumped to mind.  So this video is me playing and singing, then switching banjos and teaching the simple pattern I use for the tune: youtube.com/watch?v=Ju2Ax4ILYc4


Joe Newberry - Posted - 02/14/2015:  14:07:57


Here is a clip of Rafe Stefanini, Chester Macmillan, Rick Davidson, Al Firth and myself playing it at Mt. Airy Fiddlers Convention a few years ago.



youtube.com/watch?v=qlKQz2wzQ_g



 


Joe Newberry - Posted - 02/14/2015:  14:10:06


Here is a clip of Rafe Stefanini, Chester Macmillan, Rick Davidson, Al Firth and myself playing it at Mt. Airy Fiddlers Convention a few years ago.



youtube.com/watch?v=qlKQz2wzQ_g



 


sgdesertrat1 - Posted - 02/19/2015:  09:38:38


In the original recording, does anyone know if who's singing. I'm assuming it's Tommy, but I thought I'd ask.

Joe Newberry - Posted - 02/21/2015:  08:57:47


Daniel, that is indeed Tommy singing.  There is another great version done by the Camp Creek Boys that has Fred Cockerham singing.  It's awfully good, too.



 


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