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Old Joe Clark is a folk song, a mountain ballad that was "sung during World War I and later by soldiers from eastern Kentucky."[1] An early version was printed in 1918, as sung in Virginia at that time.[1] Joe Clark was born in 1839,[1][2] a mountaineer who was murdered in 1885.[1] There are about 90 stanzas in various versions of the song.[1] The tune is in mixolydian mode.[3]


\new ChordNames {
   \set chordChanges = ##t
   a4 a4 |%1
   a4 a4 |%2
   a4 a4 |%3
   e4 e4 |%4

   a4 a4 |%5
   a4 a4 |%6
   a4 e4 |%7
   a4 a4 |%8

   a4 a4 |%9
   a4 a4 |%10
   a4 a4 |%11
   g4 g4 |%12
   a4 a4 |%13
   a4 a4 |%14
   a4 g4 |%15
   a4 a4 |%16
\new Staff \relative c''{
\time 2/4
\key a \mixolydian
\repeat volta 2 { %start repeat
   e8 fis8 g8 fis8   |%1
   e8 d cis e16 e    |%2
   e8 fis g fis      |%3
   e4 e4             |%4
   e8 fis8 g fis     |%5
   e8 d8 cis4        |%6
   a8 a16 a b a gis8 |%7
   a4 a              |%8
  } %end repeat


  \repeat volta 2 { %start repeat
   a4 a              |%9
   e'8 d cis4        |%10
   a4 a              |%11
   b4 b              |%12
   a4 a              |%13
   e'8 d cis4        |%14
   a8 cis b g        |%15
   a4 a              |%16



The song has been recorded by many artists, including:

Modern Adaptations[edit]

The melody was adapted by Mojo Nixon, Jello Biafra, and the Toadliquors for "Let's Go Burn Old Nashville Down" for the Prairie Home Invasion album. On guitarist Pat Metheny's "80/81" album, bassist Charlie Haden quotes from the melody of "Old Joe Clark" during his solo on "Two Folk Songs 1st | 2nd." The riff of Ian Dury's 1977 single "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll" originates from "Old Joe Clark".


  1. ^ a b c d e "Old Joe Clark Ballad". Historical Marker #1382. Kentucky Historical Society, Kentucky Department of Highways. 1970. Retrieved 2008-08-26. 
  2. ^ Clark, Lisa. "Old Joe Clark Biography". The Rosinators. Retrieved 2008-08-26. 
  3. ^ Anthony, Wendy (February 2007). "Building a Traditional Tune Repertoire: Old Joe Clark". Mandolin Sessions (Mel Bay Publications). Retrieved 2008-08-26. 
  4. ^ Brody, David (1983). The Fiddler's Fake Book. New York: Oak Publications. p. 207. ISBN 978-0-8256-0238-2. 
  5. ^ Building a Traditional Tune Repertoire by Wendy Anthony

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Joe_Clark — Please support Wikipedia.
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300558 videos foundNext > 

Old Joe Clark lyrics

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300558 videos foundNext > 

150 news items


Sat, 24 Jan 2015 10:45:56 -0800

Ed Cunningham shone in fiddle tunes, such as "Old Joe Clark." For the finale, they whooped it up with the whole cast in "Camptown Races." The orchestra sounded refined all evening, including a sweeping performance of "Shenandoah," and Russell was an ...
The Tomahawk
Wed, 14 Jan 2015 07:33:45 -0800

The group, under the direction of Buddy Morefield and Phil Nave, performed two guitar pieces including “Wagon Wheel” and “Old Joe Clark.” Clearly paying homage to local music heritage, the group of talented youngsters gave the board and all those in ...

Arkansas Online

Arkansas Online
Sat, 20 Dec 2014 22:11:15 -0800

When she mentioned “Old Joe Clark,” the excitement translated into the rustling of sheet music and single staccato notes as the bows hurriedly met the strings in anticipation. The only boy in the class — who is actually a local home-schooled student ...

News & Observer

News & Observer
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 17:00:00 -0700

Marecheau's students mastered “Black Snake” and “Old Joe Clark” so quickly that Ulisse decided to do some extra songs, including “Lonesome Pine” and “Rough and Ready.” There was talk of some of the kids possibly joining Ulisse and Lonesome Pine ...

Slate Magazine

Slate Magazine
Fri, 11 Jul 2014 14:53:50 -0700

It was a long, breathtaking rendition, and when Haden took his solo, he segued into “Barbara Allen,” “Old Joe Clark,” and “Fort Worth Jail,” country tunes that he'd sung with his family as a child. Haden always saw links between jazz and country music ...
Daily Press (blog)
Mon, 01 Dec 2014 07:00:00 -0800

But I would counter that some of the best American music can be accessible to beginners - 'Soldier's Joy' and 'Amazing Grace' and 'Old Joe Clark' and boogie-woogie." Music means many things to O'Connor. It has always had a strong association with ...

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News
Thu, 04 Sep 2014 22:15:00 -0700

One of the discovered video treasures is a wonderful performance by Old Joe Clark singing the classic “Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss”. In 1967 a movie was produced of the Renfro Valley Barn dance and it contained all the greats on it along with John ...

St. George Daily Spectrum

St. George Daily Spectrum
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 19:47:35 -0700

Concert music includes “Pizzicato Polka” by Strauss, themes from the “Sound of Music,” folk music, and fiddling favorites “Old Joe Clark” and “Cripple Creek.” Violins, violas and cellos are featured with concerti by Vivaldi and Telemann. Seventeen ...

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