This one is part of what is known today as the “Hook and Line” family of tunes which actually descend from an old minstrel song by the name of “Old Dad” (Dan Emmet, 1844). Specifically a banjo piece, it was once very popular among pickers in the Southern Mountains and I have a whole slew of recordings of folks playing it under its various titles. Ralph Stanley has been quoted as saying that “Shout Lulu” was one of the first tunes he learned as a boy from his mother. A Google search will get you plenty of good lyrics and links to recorded versions.
The attached tabs are pretty rudimentary. Again, note that I play this out of eCGCD tuning. One of the great things about tunes like this is the room for improv and variation. Strike out with the basic arrangement and look for spots to add dynamics, skip notes, add notes, etc. Enjoy!
I sure like your delightful choice this week, Sean, and your two styles of playing. I first heard Ralph Stanley do this (in concert) and then the Rockinghams (with John Herrmann) and next Rufus Crisp. I like that Ralph says it was the first song his mother ever taught him on banjo and he still tries to play it just like her. It has many Galax licks and only uses the 2nd fret and open strings.
Very interesting, as I read and listened to more about Rufus Crisp it turns out that he was actually the person who taught Pete Seeger how to frail! See Pete's book How to Play the 5-String Banjo on page 10. He also taught Pete a pull-off lick which he notes on page 30. You can hear the notey pull-offs in Rufus' recording. I'm not sure, though, what he means by "double shuffle," mentioned on the recording at 41 seconds. This is supposed to be a right hand technique according to liner notes on Rufus Crisp.
I've combined Ralph Stanley's version and Rufus Crisp, taking your advice to heart, Sean, about enjoying the song.
Interestingly, Rufus Crisp's wife was named Lulu and he was known for playfully improvising on verses about people around him. Here are some of the lyrics he sang, as posted in the liner notes of a Rufus Crisp Folkways album.
Shout Little Lulie, shout, shout, what in the world are you shouting about?
Shout a nickel, shout a dime, shout a nickel every time
Shout Little Lulie, what do you say? Gonna be on the old headache
Take a nickel, take a dime, take a nickel every time
Shout Little Lulie, shout, shout, what in the world are you shouting aboout?
Take my Holston River trip, catch my true love by the lip
BTW, thanks for the kind words about my recording, Richard and Elliot. It was exciting to figure out what Ralph Stanley was doing.
I was thinking about the clouded origins of this "Lulu" so many people have sung about over the years and called to mind "Bang Away Lulu" from Roy Acuff and the Crazy Tennesseeans. Turns out the lyrics may reveal just some of what, exactly, Lulu is "shouting about"