Bill Monroe Songs

  1. Nighttrain
    It has been a while since anybody has had anything to say here, so I thought that I might ask what is your favorite Bill Monroe song.

    1. To Play

    2. To listen to

    3. To here others play (maybe in a slightly different style)

    Mine I guess would have to be:

    1. Frog on a lily Pad

    2. Rawhide

    Both by WSM
  2. Mike Bunting
    To-day? Farewell to Long Hollow and Walls of Time. Probably something else tomorrow!
  3. Steve Cantrell
    Steve Cantrell
    I think to play would be a tie between Bluegrass Breakdown and Rawhide, both of which are a little overplayed I suppose but just too much fun. To listen to and hear others play are Evening Prayer and Tanyards, both of which I can play but just can't get nailed down right.
  4. evanreilly
    When I think of a 'song', it has words. Tunes do not.
    Having clarified this , I'll put up a few of my favorite Monroe tunes:

    Tombstone Junction:

    Brown County Breakdown:

    Southern Flavor:
  5. willdawg
    Hey Evan, you sound like Jody Stecher (he made the distinction between "Tunes" and "Songs" no less than 3 times in my hearing at the recently-passed Monroe Mando Camp He siad if you want to be safe, just call them "numbers")

    My current faves:
    * The Golden West (LOVE the way Skip Gorman renders this on his 'Monroesque' CD)
    * Tanyards (can you tell I've been listening to Grounded - Centered - Focussed lately? :P)
    * The solo on "On and On" - love that 50's Monroe!
  6. Mandolin Mick
    My favorite is My Last Days on Earth which is what really got me into the mandolin. I mostly like the instrumentals like Goin' Up Caney, Jenny Lynn, Evening Prayer Blues, etc.
  7. Mike Bromley
    Mike Bromley
    I'm wit' ya, Evan. Three of my faves too. As for songs, "Goodbye Old Pal" and "Sweet Blue-eyed Darlin'" come to mind....
  8. evanreilly
    "Goodbye Old Pal' was a number Bill performed a lot in the early days. He was not the author, but he 'owned' the song. In my humble fashion, I also perform it!
  9. Mike Bromley
    Mike Bromley
    Yer more of a humbleoid than me.....I haven't the voice to do any of that amazing yodel. I do sing the lead on SBED, because it lands right in the middle of my range.
  10. Skip Kelley
    Skip Kelley
    Right now I am polishing up Southern Flavor. We are going into the studio this spring and I need to have this one down.
    I love listening to Monroe sing "I hear a voice calling". I love that one!
  11. edance
    There are soooo many of Bill's ( numbers ) that really come with it. Wayfaring
    Stranger is among my favorite.

    Big Ed
  12. mandolirius
    "Goodbye Old Pal" is one of my faves. It always reminds me of "Let Me Rest At The End Of My Journey", the line that goes "old paint is tired, his feet are all sore, we'll ride the range no more".

    "Whitehouse Blues" is another one that always stands out. Monroe's playing on that one is as good as it gets.
  13. Tony Perkins
    Tony Perkins
    Wayfaring Stranger is my favorite to play, especially for church.
    He does an awesome solo performance of it here:
  14. Duff
    fave to play at the moment is Wheel Hoss
  15. justkaron
    Just a rank newbie so can't list songs I play.

    Someone said 'today' these songs were favorites....there are just too many great ones to narrow it down.

    3 all time favs as he plays them are...(not sure which of the songs he sings are written by him).
    Midnight on the Stormy Deep
    Kentucky Waltz
    Footprints in the Snow

  16. swampstomper
    @justkaron: Midnight on the Stormy Deep is a old-timer, probably from England, transmuted by the folk process. KY Waltz is credited to Monroe but the harmonic structure, theme etc. strongly suggest Clyde Moody (the country waltz king) who is credited on Shenandoah Waltz among many many others. Footprints is a composed song from the 1880's, again heavily reworked by Monroe and Flatt. A really cool book on the origin of many bluegrass standards is by Wayne Erbsen: here.
  17. norm351
    I like anything Mr. Monroe did, but as far as favorite, would have to be "Rawhide", when I started to learn mandolin, as a young man of 10 years old(So many,many,many years ago)...LOL..that was the one I set out to learn, and I still love the song, after 50 years...LOL..I even got it as a ring tone on my cell phone, but all his music is great.
  18. Blombie
    I Have Mel bay's Monroe instrumentals by Todd Collins.
    I'm fairly new at mandolin been playing about a year.
    Any thoughts on what would be an easier tune to try to start with.
    Does the book go from simpler to more complex, so just start in the beginning.

  19. Mike Bunting
    No Monroe tune is easy! Make sure you get the recordings of these tunes, there is so much more than what is on the printed page.
  20. swampstomper
    Agree with Mike B, even if the fingerings are easier on some tunes than others, there is a lot of subtlety in the dynamics, slides, use of the pick, damping etc. Maybe start with a slower piece -- try Lonesome Moonlight Waltz. For a faster piece, BG Stomp is really easy to find the notes -- not so easy to get it "right". Also, listen closely because Collins does not always have the most accurate transcription.
  21. kymandolin29
    great thread...
    fav to play...right now its tallahassee
    to listen to...ebenezer scrooge OR land of lincoln
    to hear others play.... when compton plays honky tonk swing or wht horse brkdwn
  22. swampstomper
    Oh yeah, Tallahassee!! The best version I've heard is on the Kenny Baker/Bobby Hicks County LP "Darkness on the Delta" (available via Amazon). Mando on that cut is Larry Sledge. Other cuts on that great, great album feature Buck White.
  23. dusty miller
    dusty miller
    This thread has been quiet for awhile but I am new to this group so I thought I would add my favorites. As crazy as it sounds I never heard Ebenezer Scrooge untill a week or two ago so I would have to say that is my favorite right now. Thats not on the box set I have and I thought most of his songs/tunes were on thier but I guess not.Great tune. I also have always had a thing for Blue Moon of Kentucky. Of course you can't go wrong putting his cds in and hitting random. I can't say I play many of his songs yet, just Nine Pound Hammer and Salt Creek. I've started on whiskey before breakfast and other things but a lot of his are on the to do list..............Kris
  24. Mike Bunting
    I've learned Land of Lincoln, My Father's Footsteps, Pilgrim's Knob and Northern White Cloud in the last year or so. And I've spent time trying to do fiddle tune a little more like he would play them.
    Swampstomper, that is a great recording (Darkness...)
  25. dusty miller
    dusty miller
    Wow Mike there is a couple more songs I haven't heard. I thought I had a good collection of his songs but I guess I 'll have to seek out some more of his music.My wife laughs at me already because I have so many of his songs on my I-pod. A good song book to learn from might have to be something I buy soon.Been working out of Kaufmans Mando solos every picker should know for quite sometime, time for something new I think.What's next on your Monroe list to learn? I think I'll give that Ebenezer Scrooge a wirl soon, after i get Billy in the Low Ground going a little better...........Kris
  26. swampstomper
    Mike, "Darkness on the Delta" is a really fine project. I mentioned the project to Bobby Hicks at a festival in the early 80's (pre-Ricky) and he told me that he was not so happy with the project, it's more a Kenny Baker style and KB arrangements. So, he re-did "Faded Love" to his standard (more western-swing style) on the "Texas Crapshooter" project (which he was selling).

    Dusty, there are box sets from Bear Family covering the different "ages" of Monroe. And given your handle, shouldn't you start with Dusty Miller (make sure to find the 3-part version)?
  27. dusty miller
    dusty miller
    Thanks swampstomper, I'll look that up today! I really should tackle Dusty Miller, kind of goofy its my user name and I've never given it a try. I do have a couple great versions, one Bill Monroe and a Sam Bush/David Grisman. Never knew Old Ebenezer so it was a WOW song when I first heard people doing it on the forum. So much to learn......Kris
  28. Tommcgtx
    My favorite Bill Monroe songs right now are:
    1. Blue Yodel No. 4
    2. Nobody Loves Me
    3. New Mule Skinner Blues
    4.In the Pines
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