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Oct 22, 2019 - 9:51:35 AM



550 posts since 10/6/2017

Another fun little thread (that I hope won't become a shouting match again...).

Earlier today, I was listening to the new Just Around The Bend compilation, recently released by Smithsonian Folkways.

I don't know why, but Matt Kinmans version of Cold, Icy Mountain just completely tore me apart.

I'm wondering which banjo tunes have moved you guys to tears?


Oct 22, 2019 - 10:36:27 AM

12280 posts since 10/30/2008

Banjo tunes??? Not many are teary (for me at least).

Tim O'Brien wrote and recorded a lyric lament back in the 1980s/90s that I had on a cassette tape, that does make me sniffle. But it's no banjo tune.

Oct 22, 2019 - 10:48:24 AM



8024 posts since 10/5/2006

Sure, there is a quality in some music that includes banjo that I find very moving. Not specifically because the tune moves me to tears, often it is more the conveyed sense of something in the context of that music which our mainstream culture no longer values and instead undermines.

Simplicity and reliance.

Edited by - m06 on 10/22/2019 10:51:51

Oct 22, 2019 - 11:00:35 AM
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53 posts since 3/10/2006

Oct 22, 2019 - 11:30:35 AM



44254 posts since 10/5/2013
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Gina Clowes’ (Furtado) “Phoebe’s Lullaby” got me a bit choked up when I first heard it.
And a great tear jerker with Herb Pedersen on banjo is Ronstadt’s version of “Faithless Love”.
.....but there’s no crying in bluegrass....

Oct 22, 2019 - 12:02:23 PM

1304 posts since 10/5/2006

Faded Love........Last booked job for the band.
Tears flowed when we did this......
Sheridan wrecked his Jeep the night before....
Caleb lost his girlfriend....
I had busted up with my girlfriend....
and it was a cold rainy day in an outdoor venue......pure misery. crying

Oct 22, 2019 - 12:02:40 PM

121 posts since 3/16/2008

It's funny that my mind went immediately to bluegrass with this question, when it's clear that your question just asked about banjo songs.

Dock Boggs's "Drunkard's Lone Child" speaks to this territory for me. A wonderfully dark, sad song. Karen Dalton's "Same Old Man" is right there, too. Both songs have a lot of duende, to lean on the poet Lorca just a bit.

Oct 22, 2019 - 12:25:46 PM
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1953 posts since 1/21/2003

I wouldn't say it brings me to tears, but Don Stover's Things in Life can give me a little choked up feeling.

Oct 22, 2019 - 12:51:48 PM

3224 posts since 7/12/2006

late in the day by hot rize, little girl by doyle lawson , little angel by rhonda vincent

Oct 23, 2019 - 6:32:13 AM

2714 posts since 5/29/2011

One Loaf of Bread by Dave Evans. Not exactly a banjo tune but sung by a banjo player.

Oct 23, 2019 - 6:51:34 AM
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2017 posts since 12/16/2007

"Tear Down the Fences" by Ola Belle Reed

Oct 23, 2019 - 7:02:40 AM
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543 posts since 4/12/2004

Kentucky Waltz by Paul Brewster is my latest favorite.  The performances by everyone involved are stunning.

Oct 23, 2019 - 8:55:02 AM



877 posts since 3/3/2007

Bruce Molsky's Between the Wars. So true still today!

Oct 23, 2019 - 8:58:53 AM
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6614 posts since 2/14/2006
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Dueling Banjos always makes me cry.

Oct 23, 2019 - 12:13:32 PM



906 posts since 2/17/2006

"Both Sides Now", also known as "Clouds",  although that isn't really a banjo tune. I might try to make it into one though.

Also "Send in the Clowns". Also not a banjo tune.

Finally, "Is That All There Is?" sung by Peggy Lee. That one used to rip me to pieces when I was a teenager.

I guess I'm just not all that tore-up by banjo tunes.

Oct 23, 2019 - 9:27:36 PM
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Players Union Member



537 posts since 8/30/2012

Where Does an Old Time River Man Go? - John Hartford

Oct 24, 2019 - 4:45:01 AM

Texasbanjo (Moderator)


23394 posts since 8/3/2003

There's 2 songs that will bring tears to my eyes every time I hear/pick/sing them. Teardrops Falling in the Snow and Taps.

There are others that will choke me up. Those are songs that were special to Dave and me and we used to pick and sing together.

Oct 24, 2019 - 6:02:46 AM

5184 posts since 12/20/2005

Earl played guitar when Flatt and Scruggs played Jimmy Brown the Newspaper Boy.
There was a brief time, decades ago, I lived out of my car for a short time.
I never went yelling Morning Star, but I kinda felt like Jimmy Brown.

Oct 24, 2019 - 12:37:02 PM
Players Union Member



479 posts since 2/7/2005

Originally posted by vthokie7227

4:14-6:03. Perfection.

I think this is the greatest banjo break ever recorded.  Where in the world did J. D. come up with the variation at 5:31???

I am deeply moved by Always on My Mind sung by Willie Nelson.

Oct 25, 2019 - 9:34:31 AM

2714 posts since 5/29/2011

Where did J D come up with his break? It sounds like something Sonny Osborne would do.

Oct 27, 2019 - 6:10:51 AM

4326 posts since 12/24/2003

Though it's not bluegrass, this song has a strong message. It takes me back to when my youngest son left for Afghanistan in 2010.


Oct 27, 2019 - 10:04:44 AM
Players Union Member



11944 posts since 8/30/2006

"Two Little Boys" Mr. Adcock and the Country Gentlemen

Oct 27, 2019 - 12:31:12 PM
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106 posts since 8/25/2009

Every Halloween they replay "Bringing Mary Home" on the radio (another The Country Gentlemen tune). This year I remembered it when I heard a little bit of a country knock-off that I liked a lot less. In fact I dialed away from it immediately. But, IMO you can't beat The Country Gentlemen!

Oct 28, 2019 - 11:38:58 AM

1923 posts since 10/9/2004

Just stumbled onto this here in my hotel room.

Christmas is just around the corner.

Oct 28, 2019 - 3:31:30 PM

2152 posts since 7/20/2004

Not a banjo tune, but this one always gets me...

Oct 28, 2019 - 4:03:46 PM

319 posts since 2/6/2018

Just ask Uncle just can't play a sad song on a banjo:

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