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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:

Building a Traditional Tune Repertoire by Wendy Anthony</ref>

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. ^

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Joe_Clark — Please support Wikipedia.
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220858 videos foundNext > 


Old Joe Clark lyrics

Download from iTunes @ http://www.itunes.com/therosinators See http://www.paulcastlemusic.com/old-joe-clark.html for Old Joe Clark lyrics, biography and song history of this classic bluegrass...



Stringbean - Old Joe Clark

Stringbean performing on the Wilburn Brothers Show with banjoist Harold Morrison.

Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys - Old Joe Clark

Title : Old Joe Clark Album : Bluegrass Ramble.

Old Joe Clark, Rick and Paul

Old Joe Clark clawhammer style on a BC- 350 by goldtone, and a little flatpicking, key of A, Hope you like it.

Aubrey Atwater Plays Old Joe Clark

Aubrey Atwater in an interview with Gina Garland, Plays Old Joe Clark to assist in helping her students at John C Campbell Folk School in Sept. 2009. Aubrey taught Clawhammer Banjo and Singing.

Old Joe Clark Basic Banjo Lesson

http://www.BanjoBenClark.com - This is a basic version of an ol' fiddle tune standard, Old Joe Clark! If you're just starting to learn some banjer tunes, or if you're wanting to beef up on...

RARE 1945 FOOTAGE! Callahan Brothers - OLD JOE CLARK

Callahan Brothers perform Old Joe Clark in the 1945 Jimmy Wakely western "Springtime in Texas".

Old Joe Clark by The Stripey Boys

The Stripey Boys (zebra brothers Bill and Sid Stripes and cousin 'Little Bo') give a storming performance of all-time Bluegrass favorite Old Joe Clark. Hold on to your hats! http://www.satoshi...

220858 videos foundNext > 

153 news items

Peoria Journal Star
Fri, 24 Apr 2015 11:33:45 -0700

The Peoria Area Civic Chorale youth choir will also perform the folk and jazz selections “Old Joe Clark” and “Handful of Keys.” Tickets are $20 for adults, $8 for students, and $18 each for groups of 10 or more. For tickets or more information call 693 ...
Northumberland Gazette
Thu, 23 Apr 2015 04:48:45 -0700

Their music covered a wide variety of styles, including Irish, Scottish, Argentine, Spanish and American bluegrass tunes, with songs such as Molly St George, Beeswing, Old Joe Clark and The Lost Summer. The next concert at the same venue is Alastair ...
Staples World (subscription)
Wed, 15 Apr 2015 21:18:45 -0700

Sarah Koopmann of Motley was named this year's 'Fiddler of the Year' at the 31st annual Fiddler's Contest in Pillager April 11. Koopmann, a senior at Staples Motley High School, also took first place in her age group. She played “Ashokan Farewell” and ...

Coos Bay World

Coos Bay World
Mon, 06 Apr 2015 07:34:24 -0700

Between those engagements, the fiddlers serenade Allegany residents, either standing on the porch or going inside. Hood said the kids enjoy it when older residents recognize tunes such as "Old Joe Clark" or "Turkey in the Straw.'" "My kids didn't know ...

Times Record News

Times Record News
Sun, 29 Mar 2015 05:37:34 -0700

Such was the case Saturday at the J.S. Bridwell Agricultural Center for Cowboy True, where musicians resined up their bows and threw down their best “Old Joe Clark,” “Tennessee Waltz,” “St. Anne's Reel” and the like during the event's fiddling contest, ...

Log Cabin Democrat

Log Cabin Democrat
Wed, 08 Apr 2015 15:05:28 -0700

Porch songs, a group of funny folk songs, will be next, followed by fiddlin' tunes, such as “Arkansas Traveler,” “Old Joe Clark” and “Sourwood Mountain.” The last group of music will be camp songs, a more reflective set of songs that soldiers sang at ...

cleveland.com (blog)

cleveland.com (blog)
Fri, 27 Mar 2015 11:13:57 -0700

Opening with the instrumental "Salt Creek" and bleeding into "Old Joe Clark", the trio led by Strings on lead vocals and backed by Julin tore through a twenty-one song set of Appalachian bluegrass roots music. Covering folks like Doc Watson on "Way ...


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 ...

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