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Rocky Road to Dublin (from Wilson Douglas)

Genre: Old Time  Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time  Key: G  Tuning: Standard Open G (gDGBD)  Difficulty: Intermediate
Posted by ChuckJo, updated: 8/24/2013
Download: TABLEDIT | MP3: [Play] [Download] | TABLEDIT | MP3: [Play] [Download] | TABLEDIT | MP3: [Play] [Download] | PDF | MP3: [Play] [Download] | PDF | MP3: [Play] [Download] | PDF | MP3: [Play] [Download] - Download from

Notes: This version of Rocky Road to Dublin comes from Fiddler Wilson Douglas of Clay County West Virginia. Wilson was born in 1922 on a farm in rural Clay County in an area known as Rush Fork. Sometime in the early 1980’s, Kate Brett and I decided to visit some older players in West Virginia. We were looking for Wilson, and happened to stumble upon David Morris, who arranged a meeting. I did not know Wilson well, but he had a fierce feeling and a deep passion for old-time music that was moving and inspiring. Wilson Died at age 76 in 1999. Wilson recorded “Rocky Road to Dublin” on “The Right Hand Fork of Rush’s Creek”, Rounder Records 0047, recorded and produced by Guthrie T. Meade and Mark Wilson, 1975 , re-released on CD in 2005. Wilson plays this tune in the key of G on the recording. When I worked it out on the fiddle, it seemed to fit best with the fiddle tuned “GDgd”. The album notes say this: ‘The title has been used for at least one jig and a polka, presumably referring to the Irish city. Wilson says, “that tune was composed about Dublin, Virginia. That was the only trail at that time through Virginia and they named the town Dublin”’. Wilson’s recording actually starts on what I would call a fragment of the “B” part, and then goes to the “C” part, before going to the “A” part. (The tune ends on the “C” part). I have recorded the tune with the “A” part first, the “B” part second, and the “C” part third. The “A” and “C” parts repeat, but the “B” part is only played once. Towards the end of the recording, Wilson plays a variation on the “A” part. The first time I play through the tune, I play it straight, but the second time through, I play the “A” variation. For variety, I created some up-the-neck variations for the third time through before returning to the theme the last time around. Note that an “R” in the tab indicates a roll (Galax Lick), and “()” in the tab means the note is to be played quietly or may be skipped entirely, at the discretion of the banjoist. Allen Sisson recorded an entirely different melody titled “Rocky Road to Dublin”. Another version comes from Clyde Davenport.

1 comment

TN Redleg Says:
Thursday, August 30, 2018 @8:56:33 PM
How can I get a TAB Sheet music for Rocky Road to Dublin??

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