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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."


  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.

6 news items

The Guardian

The Guardian
Sun, 20 Jul 2014 10:00:35 -0700

When he fessed up to this in London, Haden responded that that was fine because he'd nicked it from an old country-bluegrass song, Old Joe Clark. There's a terrific photo of the young Haden on the back of one of his Quartet West albums, In Angel City.

New York Times

New York Times
Fri, 11 Jul 2014 19:23:26 -0700

And in “Ramblin',” another early Coleman classic, Mr. Haden finishes a bass solo with a quotation of the Southern fiddle tune “Old Joe Clark.” For all his affinities with the avant-garde, Mr. Haden was a lifelong proponent of melody, and he pursued ...
Buffalo News
Tue, 15 Jul 2014 04:37:30 -0700

“Rambling” on “Change” as Haden quoting “Old Joe Clark” in his solo, an indication of what people would celebrate later in his history: He had begun playing folk and country music as a child in the Haden Family Band. In his last decade, he return to ...
Logan Daily News
Thu, 03 Jul 2014 00:04:25 -0700

“Proficient in everything from 12- and six-string guitars to mandolins and autoharp... their repertoire continues to expand to include songs from the 1700s and 1800s — great tunes like 'The Two Sisters,' 'Old Joe Clark,' 'In the Pines,' 'John Hardy.' “.


Sat, 12 Jul 2014 04:05:00 -0700

Leur interprétation était longue et à couper le souffle et, quand Haden s'est lancé dans son solo, il a enchaîné sur Barbara Allen, Old Joe Clark et Fort Worth Jail, des airs country qu'il avait chantés avec sa famille quand il était enfant. Haden a ...


Sun, 13 Jul 2014 04:11:04 -0700

V colemanovské skladbě Ramblin' pro změnu Haden završí basové sólo citací motivu z countryové písně Old Joe Clark. Za podstatný rozdíl mezi Colemanovým debutovým albem The Shape of Jazz to Come z roku 1959 a o dva roky starší newyorskou ...

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