The song of the week is 'I Still Write Your Name In The Sand' in the key of A. This song is from Mac Wiseman, a first-generation bluegrass singer who recorded with Bill Monroe, and sang harmony on a few of Flatt and Scruggs' earliest records.
Mac Wiseman - key of Db
The Osborne Brothers & Mac Wiseman - key of C
Lyrics & Phrasing
Notice that the lyrics are not exactly the same in both versions, and that the phrasing of the lyrics also differs between the two versions. The way I sing the song comes closer to the first version offered here. Please keep this in mind when singing harmony with me on the choruses.
The set of lyrics I use for the chorus is:
Oh! I love you my darling, how I love you.
If I talk, will you try to understand?
It's no matter how you treat me, I love you,
And I still write your name in the sand.
Del McCoury - key of B
Tim O'Brien - key of A
The chord progression for 'I Still Write Your Name In The Sand' is the most common of all chord progressions in bluegrass:
Other songs that have been played at this incarnation of the beginner/intermediate jam (Thursdays from Sept. 2015 to the present) that use the same progression include:
Bury Me Beneath The Willow
Wreck Of The Old '97
Ain't Nobody Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone
Hard Ain't It Hard
I'm On My Way Back To The Old Home
Cry, Cry Darlin' (verses)
White Dove (verses)
Rose Of Old Kentucky (verses)
A Memory Of You
Flint Hill Special (A & B Parts)
The intermediate jam has progressed to the point where, in most cases, relatively little time needs to be spent explaining/running through the chord progression of a song before playing a song that uses an uncommon progression. And, on the whole, the jam group is getting noticeably faster at identifying and finding 'off-chords' in songs: and not just the most common ones (2's, b7's, 6m's), but also some of the less frequently used 'off-chords' (e.g., 6's, 3's, 2m's).
['Off-chord' is an informal term for chords other than the 1, 4, and 5.]
However, the advantage of introducing songs that use such a familiar and commonplace chord progression as the 'Bury Me Beneath The Willow/I Still Write Your Name In The Sand' progression is that it frees up the jam group from the need to focus on catching on to the progression, thereby allowing everyone to focus more on other things that are also important for the continued progress of the jam: timing, feel, melody; and for harmony singers, lyrics and phrasing as well.
Here is a list of songs that use the 'Bury Me Beneath The Willow/I Still Write Your Name In The Sand' progression that I believe could be good song choices for people looking to introduce new songs into the jam (or, in a few cases, songs to reintroduce, revisit, or play more frequently):
Instrumentals that make use of the same progression include: