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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.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

140 news items

London Free Press

London Free Press
Fri, 21 Nov 2014 16:22:30 -0800

There's a new venue for Sunday's Orchestra London's sold-out Serenade Brunch event — the Delta London Armouries ballroom area. A scheduling conflict led to the switch from the Serenade Brunch's familiar locale at the Best Western Plus Lamplighter Inn, ...

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 ...

The Daily Times

The Daily Times
Sun, 09 Nov 2014 06:25:32 -0800

Jack and the Jolly Green Giants with Jeannie Seely, Old Joe Clark, Roy Sneed, the Smoky Mountain Troubador Gene Wardell, the Hayseeds, Pee Wee King of Tennessee Waltz fame on the accordion, Del Wood known for her piano rendition of “Down ...

St George News

St George News
Thu, 06 Nov 2014 16:22:30 -0800

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 cellists are featured with concerti by Vivaldi and Telemann. Seventeen ...

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 ...

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 ...

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News
Thu, 04 Sep 2014 22:18:11 -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 ...
Jefferson Post
Mon, 04 Aug 2014 05:22:30 -0700

Photos by Alan Bulluck | Jefferson PostMusicians from around the High Country and beyond spent Friday and Saturday performing with and competing against one another at the 45th annual Ashe County Bluegrass and Old Time Fiddlers Convention, at Ashe ...

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