Shady Grove (major key)
The song of the week is 'Shady Grove' in the key of C.
The progression for the song is:
(In the key of C, 1=C, 5=G)
Some guitar and banjo players will likely find that this song works best for them in the key of C if they capo to the 5th fret and then play as if they were in the key of G (1=G, 5=D), while others will prefer to play in C without a capo.
I have included a live recording of Bill Monroe singing Shady Grove in C. In the performance, the song is played much faster than what would be appropriate for us to try to play it at at the beginner jam, but there are good fiddle and mandolin breaks in it to listen to.
In the following link (also in the key of C), Hot Rize performs a mostly instrumental version of 'Shady Grove' that has a B Part which we will not use at the jam next week; but the tempo at which they play it is more jam friendly, and unlike the Bill Monroe recording, there are banjo and guitar breaks in it. If, in the breaks, you zero in on the A Part, and ignore the B Part, the breaks on this recording will hopefully be of use to you in helping you to come up with your own breaks for the song.
Hot Rize - instrumental - Shady Grove
These versions of Shady Grove are closely related to the old-time tune 'Susanna Gal', which also goes by the names 'Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss', and 'Western Country'. The melody for the A Part of Susanna Gal is virtually identical to that for Shady Grove.
There is another old-time song called Shady Grove, that many of you may be more familiar with than the 'Shady Grove' that I have chosen as the song of the week. It has a very different melody and chord progression, but some of the same lyrics (more or less, depending upon which sets of lyrics for the two 'Shady Groves' are being used). If you go on youtube to find recordings a performances of Shady Grove, most of what you will find will be versions of this other 'Shady Grove'.
It is not uncommon in old-time music for there to be two different songs with the same title, or for there to be two or more titles for the same song; and in many cases, it is not clear whether one is dealing with two different, but closely related, tunes, or just simply two different versions of the same tune. It also happens frequently that two or more different songs may share some of the same lyrics in common. All of these things are the natural results of the informal ways in which old-time music has traditionally been handed down from one person to another and from one generation to another.
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