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Old Timey

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I believe I heard a tune like this on the radio long ago — as a kid approx 40 years ago. It was sung in a mourning mood which I liked a lot. It was a very old timey recording.

Have tried to find out about the origin, but no friends well-informed of old timey music have been able to tell.

It may be, that I have rearranged it so much in my head during forty years, that it is not recognizable any more. But please, if any one of you happen know what it is, I’d be very happy to know because I love the melody so much! (And in that case I will also have to eraze it from here because then it is a cover).

Made this particular recording three years ago on a 30 $ toy guitar that I bought for my son — it was actually fairly playable for a while ... in the beginning ... (the picture is taken today).

Found this recording while exploring lots of old things that was on my hd for no one listening. Since I found it to be a charming take (which I don’t believe will ever recur) I decided to share it to the macjams community.
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Song Stats
Hits: 6526
Comments: 30
Fans: 8
Plays: 529
Downloads: 243

Uploaded: May 31, 2005 - 05:10:02 PM
Last Updated: Jan 09, 2007 - 11:24:23 AM Last Played: May 15, 2019 - 12:13:20 PM
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toy guitar
old G3 upgraded PM 8600
Pro Tools free
Mac OS 9.1
Tom Atwood said 5132 days ago (May 31st, 2005)
hymn-like quality
Sounds like a combination of old hymns played on lovely
music box that needs winding. This has a very sweet
sound. A cheap guitar, maybe, but nothing cheap at all
about the playing or the recording itself.
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Mystified said 5132 days ago (May 31st, 2005)
Absolutely charming
What a lovely recording! Ok, so call me sentimental, but,
besides the wonderful playing of this 'toy' guitar,
with the story behind it, this recording is priceless.
I'm so glad you chose to post this here!

I agree with Tom that it sounds like a hymn. I couldn't
name it, but I did notice that one bit of it sounds a little
like "In the Good ol' Summertime..."

I hope you do identify the original song one of these days!

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Rebsie said 5132 days ago (June 1st, 2005)
I can't identify it but ...
... a charming take ... is the right description. It's very
sweet and lovely. Amazing that you can get such a
heartfelt performance from a toy guitar. Beautiful!
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Tom Atwood said 5131 days ago (June 1st, 2005)
who bombs a toy guitar piece???
I don't understand. Only positive comments for this tune, I
gave it a high rating, and I'm pretty sure Cat & Rebsie
did...so that means the 4th voter had to have bombed
this, and yet it isn't reflected in the graph, or in any
comments. Perplexing...
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Rebsie said 5131 days ago (June 1st, 2005)
who bombs a toy guitar piece???
I did indeed give it a high rating. But it was one of a whole batch of
songs which got bombed by a troll (now removed) this morning ... so at
least it isn't personal. Still a shame though.
Check out my latest song called Amongst The Colours (w/ Luna Trick)
Jim Bouchard said 5131 days ago (June 1st, 2005)
who bombs a toy guitar piece???
I don't get it either. I have always had a hard time reading the graph and what it looks like to me for this song is the votes go 7-8-7-7 and maybe one 8 vote on the overall category. But the total currently is below a 7. I guess there was some explanation that the individual's votes are weighted according to their voting patterns. That means that if all you give out are 10s the algorithim starts looking at your votes as more like 8s, I think. Or at least that's the way I understood it. The problem if I understand it correctly then is that if you don't vote lower sometimes, your high votes don't count. So I think it might be not so much that the song is being bombed, but the people that are voting on it only vote on things that they are really impressed with, so the algorithim is adjusting their votes slightly down. I might be wrong though.

I don't understand this system so I tend to vote rarely these days.

This is a really nice piece of music, though. Toy guitar! Wow!

"Vote for me, and all your wildest dreams will come true."-Pedro
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Cori Ander said 5131 days ago (June 1st, 2005)
who bombs a toy guitar piece???
the tune HAD a high rating ( 8.33 ) after you people voted !

but there is ONE more voting that seem to have been able to drag the tune quite
far down ... well I have also wondered a lot about how the voting system works
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Cori Ander said 5131 days ago (June 1st, 2005)
who bombs a toy guitar piece???
A little wonder happened and the tune just recovered. The bomb seems to have

Thank you Atwood! I believe it may be your starting of the forum post "Toy
Guitar Bomb" that lead to the little wonder in some way or another.
Check out my latest song called O store Gud
Joanna said 5131 days ago (June 1st, 2005)
What a wonderful piece. I love the soft, drowsy tempo, and
the deft touch on that ole toy guitar. The song sounds
familiar to me, but I don't know the name. It's possible it's
a civil war tune. I did a lot of research on civil war music
once, and might have heard it then.
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Peter Greenstone said 5131 days ago (June 1st, 2005)
I love it
It does sound familiar, but I think that there was a lot of
music built on this basic structure in those days. It's really
wonderful and you play it so sweetly. I like the sound of that
toy guitar; it almost has a little mandolin tone to it. Other
than the hiss on the recording it sounds nice and clear.
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ziti said 5131 days ago (June 1st, 2005)
very very sweet
this is a very nice performance. In my iPod, thank you
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thetiler said 5131 days ago (June 1st, 2005)
Like it

Nice sound production as well as clean fingerpicking.

Like the added fingerpicking in the middle of the tune as well

Very lyrical, like the softness of it, the reflective quality.

Good going

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Einarus said 5131 days ago (June 1st, 2005)
Oh, so very sweet
Very nice. Love the laid-back, almost lazy tempo. It really
gives the song a lot of heart.
Nice guitarwork as well.
Great stuff!
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alley-oop said 5131 days ago (June 1st, 2005)
Sweet and mellow
Excellent performance. Perfect ambiance. Enjoyed much
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J.A.Stewart said 5131 days ago (June 1st, 2005)
Whatever It Was
... it's yours now.

The plaintive melody sounds older than the mid-60s,
where your memory would place this tune, unless it
happened to be from a period-piece movie of that time,
which is quite possible.

But having passed through your personal alembic, the
tune is, undoubtedly yours.

The performance on a toy guitar reminds me of an old
quote about the guitar: "It's the easiest instrument to play
(badly) and the most difficult instrument to play (well).

Nicely remembered, nicely played... and nicely shared.
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TennesseeVic said 5131 days ago (June 1st, 2005)
The simple joys
Hey, this is a lovely piece, and played very nicely. The melody
sounds somehow familiar, but what 3-chord piece
doesn't..... Actually you play at least four chords, but you get
my drift.

Anyway: wonderful!

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ledebutant said 5130 days ago (June 2nd, 2005)
I think I know...
This sounds a lot like a slight variation on "Over in Killarney," (it also goes by "An Irish Lullaby" or "Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ra." ) which has been around since at least the 19th century, so it qualifies as "Old Timey". It's also a copyright free song because of its age, so you don't have to take it down. I think it's more classic, than cover.

Here's a link to a version of the song with words.


My mother sang this song to me every night when I was a little girl and now I do the same for my daughter, so the song packs a big emotional wallop for me. Your playing and memory of the song are absolutely beautiful.

I'm pretty sure this is the song you're remembering, as I'm able to sing portions of the song along with your guitair playing. It matches note for note in a few spots.

said 5130 days ago (June 2nd, 2005)
very charming indeed...love the simplicity, which makes it so pristine
rovert10 said 5129 days ago (June 3rd, 2005)
Nice delicate touch
Sounds kinda familiar... perhaps something from the civil
war era? Has a sort of Battle Hym of the Republic tone to it.
Great stuff.
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Magritte said 5128 days ago (June 5th, 2005)
I mean that literally. It's so lovely I found myself holding my breath. It's so...I don't know...optimistic and sad, like a Depression-era tune that both celebrates and grieves at the same time. The performance is perfect in that it is not perfect...the slightly untuned guitar, the hesitations in the timing, all give it the exact right feel.

If you couldn't tell, I really loved this.
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Cameron said 5127 days ago (June 5th, 2005)
amazing grace
The chord progressions on this remind me of the hymn
"Amazing Grace", but the melody line is different. As
someone else commented here, this is a very common
chord structure for hymns and folksongs.

I am amazed that you get such a good, full sound out of
that toy guitar! How big is it, exactly? Fascinating.

I like the deliberate way that you played this piece, very
contemplative. Reminds me of sitting on a porch at dusk,
watching the sun set.

Very nice!
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Swanny said 5126 days ago (June 6th, 2005)
Simply Beautiful !
This song is so lovely to listen to, Thanks for placing it here!
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Ed Hannifin said 5126 days ago (June 6th, 2005)
It has a vocal quality...
and a contemplative quality, and yes, a shape note hymn
quality...it would fit seamlessly into the Ken Burns Civil
War soundtrack, or into some part of the O Brother Where
Art Thou? soundtrack...

The tone of the guitar is again simple, sweet, the playing
unmannered, unaffected.

To quote a different song with the same vibe,

"How can I keep from singing?"

Another nice one...

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Anyse said 5108 days ago (June 24th, 2005)
I Have the SONG!!
I knew that this was an old Carter Family tune and it has
haunted me since I heard it. The name of the song is
"Diamonds in the Rough." What threw me for a bit was the
speed as it is about half as fast as the Carter song itself. I
speed it up with Guitarshed to 140% speed and it was not as
fast as the Carter tune but was fast enough for me to get a
glimpse and further "ear tuning" to ascertain the tune itself.
Since I have a whole collection of Carter Family records, I just
looked at a few that I felt were close and found it. I like your
rendition very well for it is more haunting and has less of a
"hymnal" quality.
Frogmorton said 4542 days ago (January 11th, 2007)
That sounds right...
Yeah, I thought Carters, too. Good job!
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TobinMueller said 5102 days ago (June 30th, 2005)
So tender
The toy guitar lends such a era-lightness, like a tenor
ukulele, and it makes the song so tender. Another
excellent interpretation, performance, and recording.
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hamboy22 said 4934 days ago (December 15th, 2005)
Just what I needed today - something that reached back into a time long
forgotten and took me on a journey. Thanks for the music. Wonderful
job. So simple and beauitiful.
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Scott Carmichael said 4835 days ago (March 24th, 2006)
is what the art of recording is all about... great idea well executed

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Cori Ander said 4606 days ago (November 8th, 2006)
Thank you Tom, an honour to have you here!
(yes I know I'm a little late replying).
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glymontmd said 4524 days ago (January 29th, 2007)
Engine 143
I stumbled on this web page by accident (looking for Old Timey Uke music). When I was a kid, I learned to sing "Engine 143" to this tune (off a Joan Baez album). The author seems to be "Traditional"...which to me means it may be one of those tunes that may date back centuries and folks, remembering the tune before songbooks were written, sing new verses or even whole new songs to the tune. Perhaps it's your turn to write lyrics for this generation and keep the tradition going?
It's absolutly beautiful the way you've remembered it..thanks.
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