Grey Eagle, Marcel Ardans (Intermediate)

On April 8th, 1900, The Dallas Morning News reported on an old fiddlers’ contest held the previous day. The author of the article gives excellent background into the origin of the fiddle tune Grey Eagle. “Mr. Matthews of Sherman played ‘Waggoner.’ This is a Tennessee tune, a companion piece to the Kentucky tune ‘Gray Eagle.’ Fifty years ago they were the favorite airs of the country west of the Alleghenies. They were named for two horses, Waggoner and Gray Eagle. The former was a Tennessee horse and the latter a Kentucky horse. They were pitted against each other, and the States bet all they had on the result. That day Kentucky dropped more tears and money than it had ever done before or has done since. Many a Kentuckian who is now working for newspapers and engaging in other menial employment would have been rich today if their grandfathers had not attended that race and had confidence in Gray Eagle.”

(Intermediate guitar tabs include an ornamented version of the melody, chord markings above, and more often than not, a kick-off and a tag. Where the beginning guitar tabs had quarter notes expect there to now be a steady stream of eighth notes! These tabs, though more difficult than the beginning tabs, do not stray far from the melody like the advanced guitar tabs. Intermediate tabs without a bluegrass kick-off or tag generally come from other traditions such as Irish Fiddle Music (Frank’s Reel) or Spanish Folk Songs (La Borrachita).)

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