Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Here's a fun old crooked tune I learned off of a Bruce Molsky recording.

Ceolas.org has some more information about this tune. "A legend attached to the tune gives that it was written by a condemned man, one Callahan, just before he was executed by hanging; this is, of course, a centuries old tale primarily attached to the Scottish outlaw Macpherson (see "Macpherson's Farewell"), hanged in Banff in the year 1700. D. W. Wilgus, in his article "The Hanged Fiddler Legend in Anglo-American Tradition," extensively explores the "Callahan" legend, first collected in 1909 by Katherine Jackson French near Louden, Kentucky, from two boys who "played and sang 'Callahan's Confession.'" A report by E.C. Perrow in the Journal of American Folklore (25) in 1912 gave that "Some years ago an outlaw named Callahan was executed in Kentucky. Just before his execution he sat on his coffin and played and sang a ballad of his own composing, and, when he had finished, broke his musical instrument over his knee." (For more info, follow this link.)

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