Ghosts Of The Night

I was looking through some folk tunes the other day for some ideas for a chord progression that I might use for a new song. I was feeling a little stale with my usual combinations and thought this might be a great way to springboard an upbeat song rather than my usual doom-laden minor chord accomplishments. I came across ‘The Hesleyside’, a tune I hadn’t heard before, which had an interesting chord progression in it’s A part:

GG GG CG AmD
GG GG CG DG

The Am to D change in the 4th bar and the D to G change in the 8th bar had me hooked and I played around with the chords for a week or so without thinking too much about words or melody. I sat down a couple of days ago and words started to bubble up for me for these changes and a melody and a nice little structure too:

Ghosts Of The Night

G G G G
C G Am D
G G G G
C G D G

As I was out walking the
Moors late one night
I spied a black stallion in
The bright moon light

And there beside him stood a
Grey dapp-led mare
And then I decided to ride them
To Ban-bury fair

But I’m no fine lady with
Rings on my toes
For that wild stallion fair
Blood-ied my nose

So just the mare for
My ride ho-me
But she kicked up her heels and
Left me all a-lone

Instrumental Break

I wandered those moors until
Ear-ly day light
Saw no more of those two
Ghosts of the night

C G Am D
Ghosts of the night

C G D G
Ghosts of the night

PDF copy of the chords & lyrics here: Ghosts Of The Night

Pony Songs – Bo

Bo is a rescue pony, rescued from a pharmaceutical test laboratory, and was the inspiration for this song. Unfortunately he was a bit camera shy for the video and so has Crumble here standing in for him.

V = Am C Dsus2 Am
C = Am Am Am C

Dreaming of a blue sky
Inside gets me down

Blinded by the neon lights
I can barely see the ground

Here you come again
Lead me by the hand

Take me now, I’m waiting
For the promised land

Where you gonna run to?
Where you gonna run to?
Where you gonna run to?
Where they can’t find you

Where you gonna run to?
Where you gonna run to?
Where you gonna run to?
Where they can’t find you

Dreaming of the blue skies
And those golden plains

I know I’m never going to leave this place
Come stay with me a while

Where you gonna run to?
Where you gonna run to?
Where you gonna run to?
Where they can’t find you

Where you gonna run to?
Where you gonna run to?
Where you gonna run to?
Where they can’t find you

Where you gonna run to?
Where they can’t find you

Pony Songs – Bo

‘Bo’ is a new song written this week, although the chorus was written a few weeks ago and had been lacking any decent verses to go around it. Even so, I’m not sure these verses go with this chorus either.

For a bit of fun I’ve run this through GarageBand to add a drum and percussion track on these two versions:

Strummed version:

Finger picked version:

Millie

‘Millie’ is a composite of a story. D had been volunteering at a pony rescue and was telling me about a pony named Millie. This particular pony was nearly blind and would have to hold her head sideways to take a look at you. It felt quite a frustration for her but she was now living peacefully in the sanctuary. Other ponies had other stories, like from the time the farming subsidies rules changed and having ponies on a farm became a cost not a profit. The sanctuaries were working overtime driving across Wales and filling horse boxes with ponies to save them from the slaughter. These words, these stories melded together with an assignment from the Song Writers course I was studying on FutureLearn which involved writing about ‘our town’.

 

 

http://facebook.com/ElverraPonyRescue/

 

Boil ‘em Cabbage Down Lyrics

These are the verses we sing for Boil ‘em Cabbage Down, most are genuine official verses but some we just like to make up ourselves so don’t be surprised if no-one else knows what you’re on about if you sing one of our verses at a hoe-down or jam.

The tune in C goes:

CC FF CC GG
CC FF CG CC

And for the 5 string banjo tuned in Open G, the melody notes are all on the first string except for the last bar where they are on the second string of the C chord:

C(1)C(1) F(1)F(1) C(1)C(1) G(1)G(1)
C(1)C(1) F(1)F(1) C(1)G(1) C(2)C(2)

You can also have some fun mixing it up alternating 1 and 4:

C(4)C(4) F(1)F(1) C(4)C(4) G(1)G(1)
C(4)C(4) F(1)F(1) C(4)G(1) C(2)C(2)

Or use a 1 and 2 progression:

C(1)C(2) F(1)F(2) C(1)C(2) G(1)G(2)
C(1)C(2) F(1)F(2) C(1)G(1) C(2)C(2)

I had a play with this sequence in Week 20 of my Learning To Play Frailing Banjo videos – take a look here [link].

The Lyrics

Went up on a mountain, to give my a horn a blow
Thought I heard my true love say, yonder comes my beau

Boil ‘em cabbage down, down
Bake them oatcakes brown, brown
The only song that I can sing
Is boil them cabbage down

Heard my dog the other night, thought he’d tree’d a ‘coon
Saw them walking paw to paw, later by the light of the moon

Someone stole my old ‘coon dog, I wish they’d bring him back
He’d chase them hogs right over the fence and the little ones through a crack

Possum’s in a ‘simmon tree, racoon’s on the ground
Racoon says ‘you son of a gun, won’t you throw some ‘simmons down’

Racoon’s got a bushy tail, possum’s tail is bare
Rabbit’s got no tail at all, just an itty bitty bunch o’hair

Racoon and Possum, walking ‘cross the prairie
Racoon says to Possum ‘would you like to marry?’

Racoon’s died of the whooping cough, Possum’s died of the colic
Along comes a frog with a fiddle on his back enquiring the way to the frolic

The water in the river was mighty cold, we thought that we might drown
Along came a fisherman and pulled us out, back on to dry ground

Met a possum in the road, blind as he could be
Jumped the fence and whipped my dog and bristled up at me

Once I had an old grey mule, his name was Simon Slick
He’d roll his eyes and back his ears and how that mule could kick

How that mule would kick, he kicked with his dying breath
He shoved his hind feet down his throat and kicked himself to death

We also have a few ‘work in progress’ verses based on ‘Grandpa Willie’:

Grandpa Willie won’t wear no pants, Todd don’t know what to do
It wouldn’t be all that bad ‘cept Pammy won’t wear hers too

Todd and Pammy go dancin’, out on a Friday night
Grandpa Willie won’t take his meds, it’s gonna be a fight

Grandpa Willie says things were different, back in his old day
Bobby thinks he made it all up, it might just be that way

https://youtu.be/Rcuzi_mjS-E


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