Folk Music/fiddlin dan

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Aaron wrote at 2009-01-01 18:47:33
My wife and I have been singing this to our 2 year old since he was born. I'm not sure if it's the song the asker had in mind. My wife knows the lyrics better than i do, I kind of just hum the parts I'm not sure of, or make up words of my own...



Once upon a time in Arkasas

A stranger told this story to my pa

And often is the time he said to me

It's gotta be the truth certain as can be.



There was once in the hills quite a music makin man

Known far and wide as fiddlin Dan

He could fiddle up a tune, he could holler up a song

If (unkown....) he could fiddle them all



One night as he walking out to play

He met a grizzly standing in his way

He could climb a tree, he had no gun

He couldn't fly away, he was scared to run.



Said the bear with a roar as he shook his mighty paw

"You, fiddlin Dan from Arkansas.

I will let you alone if you play a little tune

If you organize a dance by the light of the moon."



Well, Dan took his fiddle under his chin

He drew his bow his music to began

From all around the country critters came

To join in the party led by fiddlin Dan.



Prancing out with the coon was a little porcupine

The bear and bobcat stepped out fine

They could (unkown) every rhythm, they dance every step

And somewhere in the hills they are dancing yet.


Megan H wrote at 2009-10-04 11:23:01
Wow, so glad to finally see that someone else out there is familiar with this song.  My dad used to sing to me about Fiddlin Dan when I was very young, and I always loved it.  In his version, though, the stranger had told the story 'to my Ma'.  I have often done searches, trying to find the lyrics/origin of this song, but have never been able to find anything.  I am curious, where did your wife learn it?  At any rate, it was indescribably wonderful to see the lyrics here, as my dad has passed away, and I could not remember much more than the first few lines.  Thank you!


bounder wrote at 2010-08-15 16:19:57
This is how I remember it



Oh many years ago in Arkansas

a stranger told this story to my ma

and many is the time she said to me

I know it is the truth certain a-as can be



There was once in the hills quite a music makin man

known far and wide as fiddlin dan

he could play every tune, he could holler every call

from circle square or reel he could fiddle them all



one night as dan was walkin out to play, he met a grizzly standin in his way





he couldn't climb a tree, he had no gun

he couldn't fly away, ..he was scared to run



said the bear with a roar as he shook his mighty paw, your fiddlin dan from arkansas



I will let you alone if you play a little tune and organise a dance by the light of the moon.



So dan he tucked his fiddle under chin

he drew his bow, the music to begin



From all around the country critters ran,

to join the party made by old fiddlin dan



(i can not remember the last bit)

I remember this song from music class in grade seven which was about the year 1952!


bob wrote at 2011-10-21 18:05:17
the real name of this song is "Arkansas Traveler" - I'm looking for the lyrics also


Dancer wrote at 2016-08-09 18:35:12
This is the version I was taught:





Once upon a time in Arkasas



A stranger told this story to my Ma



And often is the time she said to me



I know it is the truth certain as can be.







There was once in the hills quite a music makin man



Known far and wide as fiddlin Dan



He could fiddle up a tune, he could holler up a song



For circle, square or reel, he could fiddle them all







One night as he walking out to play



He met a grizzly standing in his way



He could climb a tree, he had no gun



He couldn't fly away, hes too scared to run.







Said the bear with a roar as he shook his mighty paw



"You, fiddlin Dan from Arkansas.



I will let you alone if you play a little tune



And organize a dance by the light of the moon."







Well, Dan took his fiddle under his chin



He drew his bow his music to begin



From all around the country critters ran



To join in the party led by ol fiddlin Dan.







Prancing out came the coon with a little porcupine



The bear and bobcat stepped out fine



They would dance all the evening, they could dance every step

And somewhere in those hills they are dancing yet.  


Folk Music

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Mike Turner

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Folk Music, particularly the Child Ballads and that great body of industrial and work-related songs which arose during the Industrial Revolution. I am well-versed in the history of the Folk Revival, and I have a particular interest in political and agit-prop songs, as well as in traditional Irish dance music. For ten years I was a committee member and resident singer/song-writer/musician with the Grey Cock Folk Club in Birmingham (the pre-eminent traditional club in the English midlands, which was founded by Charles Parker of `Radio Ballad` fame).

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