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Oh Death (CB) (TOTW)

Posted by JanetB, written by Lloyd Chandler


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- Play count: 236

Size: 1,198kb, uploaded 10/24/2016 12:08:56 PM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

For the old-time Tune of the Week, 10-22-16. Dock Boggs and Ralph Stanley are the two seminal examples of this song. Dock Boggs played it picking style and gave us the common verses we hear and Ralph Stanley's best version was a capapella heard in Oh Brothers, Where Art Thou. I've attempted Oh Death in clawhammer style here on cello banjo, tuned in sawmill, thinking Dock Boggs' words as I play. Its lyrics are an icy portrait of death that could help lead a personal to repentance, as it did the original writer, Lloyd Chandler, a Free Will Baptist minister in the 1920's, after he dreamed it. Check out this week's TOTW for more info.

4 comments on “Oh Death (CB) (TOTW)”

rickhayes Says:
Monday, October 24, 2016 @7:42:21 PM

I like that on the CB.

JanetB Says:
Tuesday, October 25, 2016 @8:38:42 AM

Thanks, Rick. The CB came out in Dock Boggs' key so I could play along with his singing.

Chadbanjo Says:
Tuesday, October 25, 2016 @12:00:58 PM

yep, sounds great on a cello banjo. never heard it done clawhammer before, good stuff janet

JanetB Says:
Tuesday, October 25, 2016 @3:03:46 PM

Thanks, Chad. The song needs singing, too, but I can listen to all those good ones here on BHO. The article about the song's author (linked in the TOTW to Uni. of Indiana folklore site) is super interesting. Lloyd Chandler preached in many states beginning in the 20's after receiving this song as a vision or dream when almost dead from a drunken episode where his buddy actually died. Lloyd got people to repent using the fear and pain factor of his lyrics.

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