Thursday, November 15, 2007

Song of the Week: Shady Grove

The only reason I hadn't made "Shady Grove" a Song of the Week before was because I thought I had already written about the song two years ago. My uncle taught this song to me in the key of E minor from the indespensible Rise Up Singing book.

"Who is Shady Grove?" people wonder. "Is it a place or is she a person?" The answer is, "Yes." Some versions of this traditional Appalachian tune refer to Harlan, which is in the state of Kentucky. Lucia knows that when I sing "Shady Grove" with my particular verses, I'm singing to her.

I've transposed the song to the key of A minor and added two chords. If you are a beginning guitarist, play the A minor and G chords. Once you're comfortable with the chord changes, you can add the other chords. The chords for the chorus are the same as for all the verses.

Basic version:
[Am] Shady Grove, [G] my little love,
[Am] Shady [G] Grove I [Am] know
[Am] Shady Grove, [G] my little love,
I’m [Am] bound for the [G] Shady [Am] Grove.

"Advanced" version:
[Am] Shady Grove, [G] my little love,
[Am] Shady [G] Grove I [Am] know
[C] Shady Grove, [G] my little love,
I’m [Em] bound for the [G] Shady [Am] Grove.

The verses:

Peaches in the summertime, apples in the fall
If I can’t have my Shady Grove, I’ll have no one at all.

Chorus: Shady Grove, my little love, Shady Grove I know,
Shady Grove, my little love, I'm bound for the Shady Grove.

Cheeks as red as a blooming rose, eyes of the deepest brown
She is the darling of my heart, prettiest girl in town.


The first time I saw Shady Grove, she was standing at the door,
Shoes and stockings in her hand, little bare feet on the floor.


I wish I had a glass of wine and bread and meat for two;
I'd set it all on a golden plate and give it all to you.


If I had no horse at all I'd be found a-crawlin'
Up and down this mountain road, a-looking for my darling--


Here's the verse I tweaked just for Lucia:

Dance around, my sunflower girl, dance around my daisy,
Dance all night, you never sleep, almost drive me crazy!

Sound files:
Laura Boosinger (track #6)
Jerry Garcia and David Grisman


Lady K said...

I know you will understand why I'm crying right now. God BLESS you, storylady.

Vivian Mahoney said...

I had to listen to Jerry Garcia's fun!

Saints and Spinners said...

Lady K: I do. Big hugs!

HWM: It's funny-- I'm not a Grateful Dead fan at all (I don't dislike them, I'm just not captivated by their music), but I really like the other stuff Garcia has done. Okay, I'll admit it, I like "Truckin'." Can't think of anything else, though.

Lone Star Ma said...

I do love Shady Grove. Had a crush on a mandolin player who used to perform it in college.