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The Old Black Cat Couldn't Catch A Rat


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Description
June 25th through 30th found me up at Kentucky Music Week where I attended workshops by some of the great dulcimer instructors in the country, if not the world. One of them was Don Pedi, a well-known performer and old-time music historian who specializes in playing fiddle tunes on the mountain dulcimer. One of the traditional tunes he taught the class was "The Old Black Cat Couldn't Catch A Rat", a so-called "crooked tune" due to the occasional two-beat measure in this four-four tune which would throw a hitch into any dancer's rhythm. This tune hails from Yancy County, North Carolina and is mainly popular in that region.
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Lyrics
the old black cat couldn't catch a rat
the old black cat couldn't catch a rat
the old black cat couldn't catch a rat
tell me little boy what you think of that
Song Stats
Hits: 5075
Comments: 15
Fans: 2
Plays: 416
Downloads: 137
Votes: 5
Uploaded: Jul 06, 2006 - 06:24:58 PM
Last Updated: Jul 06, 2006 - 06:24:58 PM Last Played: Sep 03, 2017 - 10:13:15 PM
Song License
Creative Commons License:
Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial

Creative Commons

Song Actions
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Hardware:
Folkcraft CF-300 mountain dulcimer tuned DGD
audio-technica microphone
Software:
Garageband 3
Comments
kristyjo said 4096 days ago (July 6th, 2006)
Great folk tune!
And, you know the origin:) You really have some snap in your sound.
Good dance tune, even if it is a bit crooked. It would have been kind of
neat to hear you sing to it, too, but it was sweet to hear your dulcimer at
its best again on these pages. (I've taken some time away.)
Check out my latest song called Sussex Carol
dreadmon said 4096 days ago (July 6th, 2006)
Great folk tune!
Hey, thanks Kristy! Of all the tunes I learned last week, this one really endeared itself to me. If you haven't heard Don Pedi play, he is an incredible performer. He doesn't do chords - just melody and rhythm drone, and his strumming style incorporates the bouncing bow of a fiddler with the percussive slap of a tub bass. I'm still trying to get his string damping style down, but I picked up a lot of that "snap" from watching him do his thing. What's really cool about Don is that he's not big on sheet music. He'll do the hand-out thing, but prefers to teach people tunes the old-fashioned way, by repetition and getting the songs into their heads. Though I'm an advocate of having this music archived so that it's preserved for generations to come, there's only so much that notes on paper can tell you about the style of a song. When it comes right down to it - you've got to hear it played and that's what he's all about. (Well, that and T'ai chi) I'm glad you dig this kind of music - I had thought about doing some vocals, but just wanted the song to do its thing. There's another one that I think is called "Susie's Got Mud Between Her Toes" that is quite good, but we didn't work on it. I just ran the video camera during the last day of workshop and called out tunes - so I'll study it up later and post it here. Thanks for listening and appreciating this ol' time music!

---
Mahalo nui loa,<p>

Bing Futch<br>
<a href="http://www.macjams.com/song/22354" target="_blank">"The Old Black Cat Couldn't Catch A Rat" </a> - A traditional
Check out my latest song called Don't You
Macaudion said 4096 days ago (July 6th, 2006)
Well that was pretty endearing piece of music
I was just reading your comments to Krtyjo as I was listening and all I could think was, Bing has the heart and soul of a little boy w/ a new toy - Your enthusiasm for the dulcimer can't go unnoticed - I saw your name in the who's on line list, and I don't know what made me revisit your page and then head to you website of which I found the coolest aural treat, it was the tune, "before this moment passes" - Now I remember that I went there to try and better understand the music that you choose to play w/ the dulcimer, and the instrument itself - I ended up leaving the page having failed my mission, but what really caused the failure was the aural treat that I found - That was quite a surprise, but it was pleasant one. 'That tune is one that really travels around the spirit', as Tadashi would say - Now that I've rambled off subject, mostly what I wanted you to know was that it ended up becoming my favorite tune of yours.

'The old black cat' tune seems to travel around your spirit - It seems a perfect match for who I'm getting that you 'virtually' are... Whatever that means... Anyways, it was a very pleasant listen and it brought a soothing smile to my face - Thanks that Bing - Dion

12 Dulcimers - You really do have it bad..., but it's all good...
Check out my latest song called Picture country living
dreadmon said 4096 days ago (July 7th, 2006)
Well that was pretty endearing piece of music
Hey Dion, thanks again man - you're sure an eloquent guy, I appreciate knowing you. I got bitten by the dulcimer really hard and it's been quite a love affair for the past 21 years, funny thing is, I'm just getting to know the instrument well. You're right, it's a soul thing, something very timeless and ancient about the sound that really attracts me, and not just from its European roots, but its similarities to all of the great tribal instruments of centuries. Though it's dubbed an American instrument, it has the uncanny ability to transcend cultural boundaries and has found its way into the music of the Celts, the First Nations people, even African tribes. It all sounds really good on the dulcimer. I'm glad you like "Before This Moment Passes" - it was my first attempt to cross those cultural lines and create something that would be as at home in an Irish pub as it would be the plains of Africa or the hills of the southwestern North American desert. Plus it's a fun drinking song. : )

I'm glad I could pass along a little joy - you've sent more than a grand amount in my direction through your explorations in music, our hailing frequencies are open - and we're receiving loud and clear. That's what I so love about this MJ place. It really and truly gets the signals flowing. Thanks again, D. Much respect!

---
Mahalo nui loa,<p>

Bing Futch<br>
<a href="http://www.macjams.com/song/22369" target="_blank">"Monsters" </a> - Revisiting July 7th, 2005
Check out my latest song called Don't You
composerclark said 4096 days ago (July 7th, 2006)
Well,
I think it's kind of sad that the old black cat couldn't catch a rat,
but I sure enjoyed listening to this tune! It'd be fun to hear this done with
a bodhran (pronounced %u201Cboron,%u201D an Irish open-frame drum used in Celtic
music) and maybe a fiddle too.

At the Don Pedi workshops, he didn't happen to play "I Love My Wife As
Well As Anybody, But When My Back Is Turned, She%u2019s A Huggin%u2019
Everybody" did he?

Great stuff, and thanks for posting!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
composerclark said 4096 days ago (July 7th, 2006)
Well,
(here's the same comment, hopefully without all the weird gobbledygook:)

I think it's kind of sad that the old black cat couldn't catch a rat,
but I sure enjoyed listening to this tune! It'd be fun to hear this done with
a bodhran (pronounced 'boron,' an Irish open-frame drum used in Celtic
music) and maybe a fiddle too.

At the Don Pedi workshops, he didn't happen to play "I Love My Wife As
Well As Anybody, But When My Back Is Turned, She's A Huggin' Everybody"
did he?

Great stuff, and thanks for posting!

---
Visit <a style="color:blue;font-size:11px;" href="http://www.clarkross.ca">my website</a> for lots more free MP3s and scores.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
dreadmon said 4093 days ago (July 10th, 2006)
Well,
Hey Clark - I saw the sheet music for the tune you're talking about, but didn't ask for it. I know it's a track on one of his CDs that I plan to get, so I'll learn it down the road apiece. It's a great title, isn't it? Bodhran would be great on this tune - after I hear it played by a few more folk, get some insight on how it's been arranged, I'll probably have a go at throwing some more elements in. Glad you enjoyed it, thanks for listening!

---
Mahalo nui loa,<p>

Bing Futch<br>
<a href="http://www.macjams.com/song/22369" target="_blank">"Monsters" </a> - Revisiting July 7th, 2005
Check out my latest song called Don't You
perceptualvortex said 4095 days ago (July 8th, 2006)
R
Oh yeah, this is great! You can't help but tap your foot. This sounds really nice, Bing. Great flavor to this tune, and the dulcimer couldn't be sweeter sounding. Very cool!

Ok, as an aside, the title completely threw me. I had an old black cat (Vera) who was hanging out in the back yard with me while I was juggling... and a rat wandered into the yard. I expected a bloodbath, but instead the two of them sniffed noses and proceeded to ignore each other. This thought snapped to mind when I saw the song title!
Check out my latest song called Mercury (RPM 6)
dreadmon said 4093 days ago (July 10th, 2006)
R
That's too funny, PV! Your story has just become a part of this tune's lore for me - I guess Vera's rat-catching days were mainly a vivid memory, huh? I wonder what the rat was thinking, since it didn't seem to have any fear. Maybe they were poker buddies? Thanks for listening and commenting, especially sharing that story!

---
Mahalo nui loa,<p>

Bing Futch<br>
<a href="http://www.macjams.com/song/22369" target="_blank">"Monsters" </a> - Revisiting July 7th, 2005
Check out my latest song called Don't You
Feter said 4065 days ago (August 7th, 2006)
Peacefull !!
I just love the dulcimer .. well done !!!
Check out my latest song called Roll with it
dreadmon said 4019 days ago (September 22nd, 2006)
Thank you
Thanks Feter - I'm glad I could do justice to the instrument! I've actually got a newer recording of this that is a bit snappier and a lot cleaner, but it was professionally recorded, so it'd be cheating to upload it here. : ) Thanks again!

---
Mahalo nui loa,<p>

Bing Futch
Check out my latest song called Don't You
Osric said 4051 days ago (August 21st, 2006)
traditional music rocks
You know I have a soft spot for traditional instruments and music. This is a fantastic song. I dont know how much of it is your workmanship in its creativity (since you said you were taught the song) but you have done an extrodinary job in perfroming and recording it. Well done as always.
Check out my latest song called Look To The West
dreadmon said 4019 days ago (September 22nd, 2006)
Mahalo -
Hi Osric - thanks for listening! This really is a cool tune - it just grabbed me the first time I heard it; I guess I can picture contra-dancers going at it while the band plays on. I'm very happy that you enjoyed it, thanks again!

---
Mahalo nui loa,<p>

Bing Futch
Check out my latest song called Don't You
MunichG said 4020 days ago (September 21st, 2006)
Very cool
Hey dreadmon, I'm just starting out with GarageBand and this song
encouraged me to put my own stuff on this site. I really loved the sound
of the dulcimer and the overall level of quality of the recording. Great
tune, hope to hear more in this vein from you!
Check out my latest song called Buffalo Skinners
dreadmon said 4019 days ago (September 22nd, 2006)
A blessing -
Thanks, man - I appreciate you listening. Glad that you decided to upload some music because I've been enjoying it quite a bit! I'm waiting to get a nice pre-amp before I record any more acoustic pieces, hopefully it won't be too long before I do. I'd love to know what you're using with your rig, because you get such a nice, rich sound! Thanks again! Glad I could be of some encouragement!

---
Mahalo nui loa,<p>

Bing Futch
Check out my latest song called Don't You
Artist Info
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Name: Bing Futch
Location: Orlando Florida United States
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Che hun ta mo!Thanks for visiting my page here on MacJams. I'm a full-time musician that specializes in the Appalachian mountain dulcimer. Besides giving private lessons and teaching workshops at festivals around the country on this unique America... [see more]

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