Thursday, September 29, 2016

Two three new tunes for Clayville-Prairieland jam sessions -- ** UPDATED ** w/ lead sheet for "Ode to Joy" in G

Blast email sent to my Clayville and Peace Lutheran jam session lists at 7:14 p.m. today --

Hi everybody -- October is sneaking up on us, and it's about to pounce. Saturday is Oct. 1, and that means it's our regular monthly session of the Clayville Pioneer Academy of Music at Clayville, from 10 till noon Saturday morning in the barn at Clayville Historic Site, Ill. 125, Pleasant Plains.

On the, ahem, syllabus this month are two lovely ballads out of the Anglo-Celtic and American tradition of balladry. No, OK, we'll have *one* lovely ballad -- "Wild Mountain Thyme" -- and one raucous bluegrassy novelty song called "Five Pounds of Possum (in my Headlights Tonight"). Lead sheets are available on the Dogwood Dulcimer Association website in Pensacola, Fla.

-- "Five Pounds"

-- Wild Mountain Thyme"

There are video clips and more on Hogfiddle at

We'll also finalize our Christmas play list and hand around a book of Irish slow airs. Hope to see you there!

** UPDATE ** Excerpts from blast email Monday, Oct. 4, at 5:05 p.m.:

Hi everybody -- Our next session is tomorrow, from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, at Peace Lutheran Church. Saturday morning at Clayville we had a great time switching back and forth from D to G, so let's try it some more.

Which means, if you play the mountain dulcimer, you have two excellent choices: (1) bring and capo; or (2) come tuned in DAD and be ready to retune the middle string to G. It takes about as much time to do it either way.

One song we've done in D that works a little better in G (for most people's voices) is the "Ode to Joy" theme from Beethoven's 9th, aka "Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee." Let's try it in G.

Here's a link to a lead sheet in G, on Michael Kravchuk's website:

-- "

I can't find dulcimer tab for DGD, but the "Strumbly Songbook" has the fret numbers in DGD at:


It's on page 8 ... the entire songbook, for a kind of portable dulcimer called a "Strumbly" is available online, and it has fret numbers (no chords and no notation, though) for a bunch of songs in G. ...

We never got around to "Five Pounds of Possum (in my headlights tonight ...)" Saturday, which broke my heart because it's such a tender, lyrical ballad. But I've posted links to Hogfiddle at:


The other tune is "Wild Mountain Thyme." Don't believe my web address -- they're not new, they're both tunes we've played before that we haven't done lately, but they're worth bringing back. We had a lot of fun Saturday with "WMT." Let's try them both Tuesday.

Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Link to Gunnar Fredelius' sound files of (mostly) psalmodikon Jag har väl nästan mailbombat sidan med låtar. Vi är ju faktiskt många medlemmar och jag gissar att de flesta spelar. Jag tycker det vore kul att höra flera!

I stället för att mailbomba denna sida tänkte jag att jag lägger upp några spellistor hör i stället. En gång för alla. Det blir då dels min bror Erik, som fokuserar på de äldre psalmböckerna. 1937-års psalmbok men främst kanske de riktigt gamla. På en del låtar använder han stråke, på andra inte. Helt enligt tradition.

Först en lista jag skapat på SoundCloud med Eriks låtar. Inte bara, men mest, psalmodikon

Sedan en YouTubelista…

Jag spelar väl en och annan andlig låt , men mitt fokus ligger på folkmusik. Bland annat låtar jag vet spelades på psalmodikon på spelmanstävlingar i början på 1900-talet. Även i vår släkt spelades en gång i tiden till dans på psalmodikon, I smyg :) Jag har en del psalmodikon på YouTube:…

Bättre ljud och lite "bättre" låtar på SoundCloud.…/…/psalmodikon-med-nygammalt I guess I have almost mailbombat page with songs. We are, in fact, many members, and I'm guessing that most of the play. I think it would be fun to hear more!

Instead of mail-bomb this page, I thought I put up a few playlists hear in this place. Once and for all. It will be partly my brother Erik, that focuses on the older psalmböckerna. 1937-Year-old hymnal but mainly maybe they really, really old. On some songs he uses bow, on the other not. According to tradition.

First a list I made on soundcloud with Erik's songs. Not only, but mostly, psalmodicon

Since a youtubelista I'm playing a and other spiritual song, but my focus is on folk music. Among other things, I know the songs played at psalmodicon spelmanstävlingar in the early 1900th century. Even in our family was played once upon a time to dance on psalmodicon, on the sly :)

I have some psalmodicon on Youtube: Better sound and a little "better" songs on soundcloud.

Oct. 1 Julafton. Dvs jolakvold -- langspil Ágústa Sigrún Jólakvöld on Soundcloud

Någon kanske frågar sig varför jag pratar hummel och psalmodikon i samma andetag. Svaret är att termerna använts så oprecist så när det står långharpa eller långspel i äldre källor, så vet vi inte vad som avsågs. Om hummel var så vanligt som man får intryck av, så varför finns inte flera bevarade? För att de förstördes under den tid på 1800-talet, och i en del landsändar ända in under min levnad? Det bidrar nog, men många nyckelharpor och fioler överlevde... Å andra sidan så överlevde nyckelharpan främst i Uppland. För att den bara fanns där säger några då. Men den finns omnämnd även på andra ställen. Inte vet jag om den religiösa instrumentutplånarivern var mindre i Uppland än tex Västergötland och Norrbotten, där ett par speciella rörelser ju var starka... Psalmodikon var det vanligaste instrumentet i stugorna under en tid. De spreds ju just för att användas till andlig musik. Men för den som tidigare spelat tex hummel, eller fått sin fiol uppeldad, kliade det nog i fingrarna att spela låtar på psalmodikonet, när ingen alltför folkmusikfientlig var i närheten. / [Some may wonder why I'm talking hummel and psalmodicon in the same breath. The answer is that the terms used so imprecise so when it says långharpa or långspel in older sources, so we do not know what it was intended. If Hummel was as common as you get the impression, so why aren't more preserved? Because they were destroyed during the time in the 1800 s, and in some tracts of all the way in during my life? It helps, I think, but many nyckelharpor and violins survived... on the other hand so survived the nyckelharpa mainly in uppland. Because it was only a few say that then. But it is also mentioned in other places. I don't know if the religious instrumentutplånarivern was less in uppland than tex västergötland and norrbotten, where a couple of special movement was strong... Psalmodicon was the most common instrument in the cottages for a period of time. They spread precisely in order to be used for spiritual music. But for the one who previously played Tex Hummel, or had his violin pumped, scratched it in my fingers to play songs on psalmodikonet, when no one is too folkmusikfientlig was in the neighborhood.]

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Notes on psalmodikon and Swedish hummel in Stig Walin's "Die Schwische Hummel."

Important discussion below of the relationship between a Swedish hummel and a psalmodikon on my Facebook feed this morning. Link here or click on permalink address just below this screenshot to see the original:

Background: This morning I posted to Facebook my pictures of the Dillner Museum behind the church in Östervåla, and Gunnar Fredelius questioned whether the instrument identified in the museum as a hummel toward the end of my photo album wasn't really a psalmodikon. This led to threads on my FB feed and Gunnar's, where he had posted a copy of my pix.

Upshot: I quickly agreed the instrument in question was a psalmodikon, but one with a body shape modeled after a hummel -- at least it resembles my Frisian hummel (Friesische Hummel) made by Willfried Ulrich of coastal East Frisia in Germany (pictures at I'll won't repeat the thread here. Instead I'll link to:

In the process of researching the Ostervala psalmodikon, I consulted Stig Walin's "Die Schwedische Hummel" and copied his discussion of psalmodikons below, along with an unedited Google translation. Rely on it at your peril, but it'll give you a rough idea of what he says.

If I am reading Walin correctly, both the hummel and the psalmodikon traced their origins back to the medieval monochord and a related folk instrument in parts of northern Europe called a långspel. (The word is Swedish, and I think it might be a generic term for an stringed instrument played lengthwise -- i.e. up and down a single string over a fretboard on the long side of the instrument. Cf. Icelandic langspil.) Like an American dulcimer or any other instrument where the melody is played on a single string.

Background on hummel. Långspel and långharpa are also words for the hummel (see discussion in Wikipedia, which is unusually informative, at "Hummeln är ett (troligen medeltida) instrument som funnits i hela Europa i lite olika varianter. Instrumentet var vanligt i Nederländerna, Nordtyskland och Danmark under 1700-talet. I svensk bondekultur finns belägg för instrumentet först från 1600-talet och det verkar ha förekommit mest i de södra delarna. Under 1800-talet ansågs hummeln vara ett primitivt bondeinstrument och dess popularitet avtog men några entusiaster har, med start från 1970-talet, återupptagit traditionen att spela hummel." [Google trans.: Hummeln is a (probably medieval) instruments that existed throughout Europe in a few different directions. The instrument was common in the Netherlands , northern Germany and Denmark during the 1700s. In the Swedish farming culture is evidence of the instrument to the 1600s, and it seems to have been mostly in the southern parts. In the 1800s it was considered Hummeln be a primitive peasant instruments and its popularity waned, but some enthusiasts have, starting from the 1970s, resumed the tradition to play Hummel.]

Stig Walin, Die Schwedische Hummel: Eine Instrumentenkindliche Untersuchung. Stockholm: Nordiska Museet, 1952. Ethnomusicology pp. 95-96.

Unedited excerpts in English translation are by Google. Use at your own risk. [One example will suffice: When the text refers to "bumblebee," it is Google's translation of the name of the instrument. The name comes from the buzzing sound made by the drone (bourdon) strings.] I am putting these pages, Walin's only mention of the psalmodikon, up on the blog for convenient access. I am not attempting a translation at this point.

Around 1830 began the incredible fast triumph of Psalmodikons over the areas.1 The instrument was developed by the powerful revivals of 40s and the following decades put into use. but Still the Tonwerkzeug could never so quickly can spread and would in the tradition-bound Rural population never come to immediate application, if not the bottom of the related older zither type Hummel as good would have been prepared. As a popular Tool of a purely secular musical culture (Including dance) had the Hummel many places as hard considered a sin and therefore burdened aside been pushed or simply destroyed be 2 to instead of Psalmodikon to be replaced, the 3 t the beginning of A an instrument for worship and house devotion was. Where the Hummel despite everything further held that both types could be confused.

The Hummel was also certain constructional details of Psalmodikons acquire. The right in Fingerboard cut chromatic Bund series at G 40 we have already by above as a sign of the influence the Psalmodikon angenommen.4 Maybe has the same effect at the chromatic (re) grouping the frets at G 2 9 5 asserted, the instrument I. Westerlund, the various religious purposes served. W hen but also to Psalmodikon victoriously penetrated, it possessed but far from the same tradition force as the bumblebee.

* * *

This is, inter alia, from his Mold development produced. Dill Ner original instrument supposedly now in N M under N r. 14152 is, has an elongated body with straight sides and the same width Later the web as in Sattel.6 but the Psalmodikon was often with extensions and bulges of various Article provided. but these have not the formal unity and the organic Beauty, which bulges the the native bumblebee ajjszeichnen. It often seems as if they quite by accident and not natural Way from the actual basic shape developed hätten.7 In the rich flora of this form Psalmodikons can be of different influences feel sides - in a few notable cases of the Bumblebee! Three Psalmodikon in Västergötland Museum, Skara, N r. 13754, 41966 and 45778, with respect to the outer body shape a side bulged Hummel's amazing ähnlich.1 order but it is not enough. also regarding the size they close the Hummel at. Dill former Psalmodikon has a gr. L. 1027 mm.2 The three about equally large instruments in Skara are However, considerably shorter. No. 41966 has a gr. L. 810 mm. The gr. L. of Most native bumblebees is between the limits 692- 890. The Psalmodikon therefore closes this Plurality of. According to the catalog information originates the instrument of Vastergotland, 3 of the landscape, in the "långspel" already on widespread at the beginning of the 18th century was, of which we only a bumblebee (G 26) have registered. The Psalmodikon however, shows that the Hummel tradition in the countryside in the 19th century was strong. Perhaps one could even the "långspel» -Tradition say. The length of the "långspel" was about 890 and the width of about 223 mm. The corresponding V alues ​​of Psalmodikons N r 41966 are 810 and 215 mm.

W hen we now again the question over the age of zither instrument from Type Hummel turn in Sweden, we must say that a type of instrument, already at the beginning of the 18th century. Century in at least a portion of the spread Swedish country areas and was popular and then in spite of all unfavorable conditions around the country one such striking force Tradition showed spoken of here, that such type of instrument, as already indicated, a local history must have that far out stretched on the said date. The sources of this ancient history but are difficult to access and uncertain. One reason for this is the terminology Ambiguity. Google Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder

Monday, September 26, 2016

Hör hur tempelsången stiger [Herre, signe du och råde in gammal psalmbok, No. 500 in Wallin's 1819 psalmbook)

Hör hur tempelsången stiger - Jens Fredborg

[Fredborg also gives titles: Giv, o Jesus, fröjd och lycka - Ljus av ljus, o morgonstjärna.]

The last song the Nordiska Psalmodikonförbundet played at Östervålakyrka was Hör hur tempelsången Svenska Psalmbok (1986), No. 77. It's very old, dating back to the gamla psalmbok of the 1690s. Wikipedia has the background at,_signe_du_och_r%C3%A5de. The last verse, beginning "Herre, signe du och råde," has been commonly used as a benediction or "sending" song -- although the other verses have swapped around considerably in the 1819, 1937 and 1986 hymnals. Says Wikipedia:

Herre, signe du och råde (även känd som Du som fromma hjärtan vårdar, Hör hur tempelsången stiger och Dagar komma, dagar flykta) är en psalm ursprungligen skriven av Jesper Swedberg 1694, som utökades med sex verser av Johan Olof Wallin 1816.

I 1695 års psalmbok utgjorde Swedbergs vers "Herre, signe du och råde" den sista psalmen (nummer 413 under rubriken "Om thet ewiga Lifwet"). Även i 1819 års psalmbok och 1937 års psalmbok stod psalmen sist (som nr 500 resp 600), men då hade Johan Olof Wallin lagt till ytterligare sex verser, så därmed fick den titeln "Du som fromma hjärtan vårdar" med Swedbergs sista vers som ståvers.

I Den svenska psalmboken 1986 ströks de två första verserna och psalmen gavs inledningen "Hör hur tempelsången stiger" som psalm nr 77 i den ekumeniska delen av psalmböckerna 1986 års Cecilia-psalmbok, Psalmer och Sånger 1987, Segertoner 1988 och Frälsningsarméns sångbok 1990.

* * *

Särskilt sjungen är Jesper Svedbergs vers, "Herre, signe du och råde", som dels var självständig psalm i 124 år, dels ofta fick avsluta folkskolans arbetsdagar i minst ett sekel till.

Med ursprunglig stavning löd versen 1695:

Herre signe tu och råde Och beware nu oss wäl Herre titt Ansicht i nåde Lyse altijd för wår siäl! Herre Gudh titt Ansicht wänd Och tin frijd oss allom sänd! O Gudh Fader, Son och Ande Tigh ske prijs i allo lande!

Melodi i psalmboken av Johann Schop ur Himmlischer Lieder från 1642 (F-dur, 2/2, samma som till Gud, i mina unga dagar och mest känd som melodin för just "Herre, signe du och råde".) Redan i 1697 års koralbok anges att melodin är densamma som för psalmerna Giv, o Jesus, fröjd och lycka (nr 139), Helge Ande, hjärtats nöje (nr 184), Ack, vi ästu dock så blinder (nr 278), Ljus av ljus, o Morgonstjärna (nr 356), Öpna tigh min munn och tunga (nr 376), Var nu redo, själ och tunga (nr 377). Det tyska originalets titel är Werde Munter.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Lutheran contemporary worship music links -- (with bonus track, "We come now to the hungry feast ...")


Bonus hymn: "We Come to the Hungry Feast" by Ray Makeveer (WOV 766, ELW 479)

  • Lutheran Contemporary Music Resources. Victoria _________, pastor Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Steelton, Pa. Blog post "... that I hope will be particularly useful for Lutheran pastors who are either trying to make a foray into the world of contemporary Christian music, start contemporary services, or who are trying to get their congregations to rock out with their Bach out." "Lutheran Contemporary Music Resources," Lutheran Moxie, Aug. 30, 2012.

  • True Vine Music! "Our mission is to provide Christ-centered, Biblically-grounded, contemporary worship songs for the church. We provide original congregational worship songs on many themes including Baptism, the Lord's Supper, and the Liturgy." [LC-MS]

Heard "We Come to the Hungry Feast" for the first time (at least the first time I was paying attention" in the traditional service at Peace Lutheran this morning. It's not Christian contemporary -- sounds almost like an American folk hymn, nice and melodious. Reminds me of Marty Haugen's liturgies, definitely a keeper.

Ray Makeveer a campus pastor at the University of Minnesota and music director at Lutheran churches in the Twin Cities, wrote it in 1984 for use in a communion liturgy. Sheet music (from ELW) at

Mary Munson, church musician of Camano Island, Wash., recorded the hymn for her choir at Camano Lutheran Church, as an aid in learning the tune. She has quite a few hymns, mostly from the ELCA's "cranberry book," Evangelical Lutheran Worshop, on her YouTube channel, plus occasional cat videos, including a piano transcription of Sergei Prokofiev's cat melody from "Peter and the Wolf." You can tell she has cats!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Psalmodikon player's repertory in fiddlers' contest (spelmans-tävlingarna) in Uppsala, 1912

‎Gunnar Fredelius‎ to Nordiska Psalmodikonförbundet, September 7 at 10:38am ·

Vid spelmanstävlingarna i Uppsala 1912 spelade August Eriksson upp på psalmodikon. Ebba Brahes brudvals och en gånglåt som kallades Tredjedag Jul. Jag försöker nu ta reda på hur de låtarna går.

Ebba Brahes brudmarsch är välkänd i gammelharpkretsar. Men Ebba Brahes brudvals vet jag inget om annat än att den sägs vara vacker.

Denna psalmodikonspelman hade följande repertoar när det gäller spelmansmusik. 4 marscher,1 skänklåt, 4 polskor, en mycket gammal brudpolska, 7 valser och tre galopper

Kuriosa: En spelman en gång i tiden, berättade att som liten spelade han psalmodikon. Vid ett tillfälle då han spelade i kyrkan hade han skadat en fot. Han stod därför på ett ben och spelade. Han sa "det var som det skulle. En sträng, ett ben"

Herr Prof. Google translates as follows:

At Spelmanstävlingarna in uppsala in 1912 played August Eriksson up on psalmodicon. Ebba Brahes Bridal Waltz and a gånglåt called Tredjedag Christmas. I am now trying to find out how the songs go. Ebba Brahes Wedding March is well known in gammelharpkretsar. But Ebba Brahes Bridal Waltz, I know nothing about other than that it is said to be beautiful. This psalmodikonspelman had the following repertoire when it comes to traditional Nordic Dance music. 4 Marches, 1 Skänklåt, 4 Polish, a very old brudpolska, 7 Waltzes and three galopper.

Factoid: A Fiddler, once upon a time, told me that as a kid, he played psalmodicon. At a time when he played in the church, he had a hurt foot. That is why he was standing on one leg and played. He said " it was as it should. A String, a bone "

BACKGROUND Spelmanstävling Wikipedia

En spelmanstävling är ett evenemang med tävlan mellan spelmän eller spelgrupper. 1906 anordnades den första i Sverige och de närmaste decennierna därefter blev detta sedan en fluga och runt om i landet ordnades en mängd sådana spelmanstävlingar, ofta i samband med andra evenemang, såsom utställningar, hembygdsevenemang, idrottsevenemang etc. [Google: A fiddler contest is an event with the rivalry between musicians and gaming groups. 1906 organized the first in Sweden and in the decades thereafter became then a fly and around the country held a variety of such folk competitions, often in conjunction with other events, such as exhibitions, local events, sports events, etc.]

more info, incl. list of annual events 1906-1945, including Uppsala, 1912.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Jeg ved en lærkerede -- Danish children's song on psalmodikon

Jeg ved en lärkerede [I know a lark's nest]

Gisli Olsen Facebook

Här spelar vi några verser av den välkända danska dikten "Jeg ved en lärkerede". Vi spelar "Grovt och grant", Solveig på sopran- och jag på alt-psalmodikon. Dikten är tonsatt av Carl Nielsen. [Trans. Google: Here we are playing a few verses of the famous Danish poem " jeg ved a lärkerede ". we play " rough and grant ", solveig on soprano and I on the alt-Psalmodicon. The poem is tonsatt by Carl Nielsen.]

According to Wikipedia (, it is Denmark's best-known children's song. Composer Carl Nielsen arranged it:

Friday, September 16, 2016

Esbjorn: "I sow the seed in hope ..." -- cf. Reformed, Lutheran attitudes on new birth in baptism

"Last Years in Andover" p. 307, n5 -- Tidskrift, 1899, pp. 284f.

C.A. Blomgren, Review of Tidskrift for Svensk Ev. Luth. Kyrko-Historia 1899, The Lutheran Church Review, Volume 17 (1898), pp. 631-32.

polemic against Unionus ... a masterly polemic.

John Norton, ed. "Immigrant Pastor Lars Paul Esbjörn's 1851 Recruiting Pamphlet: Greetings to the Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish Emigrant." Swedish-American Historical Quarterly 60.4 (October 2009), pp. 167-73.

... At home, you perhaps did not ask much about the welfare of your soul. You were perhaps satisfied, when no one could bring you to commit a major criminal act ... theft, murder, adultery, swearing, breach of the Sab-bath, and such ... or that you were no worse than others. You perhaps thought that all was well, when you were called “Christian” and went to church and Communion. O, my countryman! Thousands upon thousands of souls have gone to eternal damnation, because they trusted such weak grounds for faith, and wandered the broad road with the masses. (Matthew 7:13). And if you never before cared 170 about Jesus’ words, that without being saved, and become as chil-dren, you will not come into Heaven (Matthew 18:3), do it now. Now you have arrived at completely new conditions, you have come to a land where people generally are not content with the externals and form of Christianity: now you have the best opportunity in the world to convert yourself, so that your soul may be saved from the coming wrath (Matthew 3:7). Do not ever believe that a human, who by knowingly sinning breaks their baptismal compact, can be saved without conversion. There are certainly thousands of people in all the cities and parishes of Sweden, Norway and Denmark who believed this, but it is against God’s word, and God’s word shall not perish, even if heaven and earth shall perish. (Matthew 24:35). No, if you have not been converted before, you have never experienced any anguish in your heart for your sins, and have no fear of damna-tion, as well as having a new, blessed life in your heart, then hasten to turn yourself to Jesus Christ; like the Lost Son, confess your sins to Him (Luke 15) and pray for grace and forgiveness in His name, so you may be given grace to become a child of God, so that your soul dies in grace, when you are called home.

* * *

You believe, according to God’s word that your children were born again in their baptism, through Jesus’ righ-teousness and forgiveness. You will find few outside the Lutherans who believe that way. When you take communion, you find a blessed comfort in the truth that the body and blood of Our Savior are truly present in the bread and wine; but other congregations in this coun-try, except the Lutheran, say that the bread and wine are only sym-bols or signs of Jesus’ body and blood, and that Jesus’ body and blood are partaken of only spiritually and in a heavenly way, by faith, and in many other respects. Thus, stay with that to which you have already come, and if you accept anything else, let God reveal it (Phil. 3:15-16), and do not accept it from men, however learned, pious or good they may be. Take these words of welcome to heart, dear countryman! They are spoken in heartfelt concern for you, and for the spiritual well-being of your children, by one who has carefully tested the teachings of this land, who wishes to see the true light of God’s word shine among his countrymen, and who shall finally answer to God if he fails to educate and watch over his brothers. We shall there, before 173 God’s judgment throne, see each other again, and have eternal joy with Him, if we have been his children and faithfully kept the profes-sion of hope (Hebrews 10:23) until the end. Yes, Amen, so be it! In the northern part of Illinois there are many Swedes, hundreds, especially in Andover, Henry County, Rock Island, and Moline on the Mississippi. There are even three Evangelical Lutheran congrega-tions, at Andover, Moline and Henderson, served by God’s word and the Holy Sacraments, by a Swedish pastor, sent by the Swedish Mission Society in Stockholm, and truly ordained in his holy calling. Other sects and parties are also found in the area, but do not hold the pure faith. The surest sign of a congregation or teacher is that they recognize the Lutheran church’s symbolic books as containing God’s word and true teaching. The way to Andover is from New York to Albany by steamboat; to Buffalo by canal boat or railroad; to Chicago by steamboat; to Peru or LaSalle by canal boat; and to Andover by land using rented or, better yet, purchased horses. Those who can leave Sweden in the fall by sea to New Orleans, can in the spring quickly and easily come by steamboat up the entire Mississippi to Rock Island and Moline. During the winter there are good work opportunities in New Orleans and St. Louis, but during the summer it is unhealthy there. Printed in New York by H. Ludwig & Co., 1851.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Five pounds of possum/wild mountain thyme -- two for Clayville-Prairieland slow jam and tune learning sessions


TENNESSEE MAFIA JUG BAND "Five Pounds Of Possum," Franklin, Ky., 2011

xxx arr. R.L. Walker.

Michael Shull & Dave Holder, "Five Pounds of Possum," Lexington, S.C., 2011


As performed by Dick Gaughan, Emmylou Harris, The McGarrigles and Rufus Wainwright on BBC-4's Transatlantic Sessions.

From Transatlantic Sessions, 1st Series, 1996, BBC-4 Television

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

"Build Your Kingdom Here" -- a praise song for the anniversary of Peace Lutheran Church's first blended service -- Pentecost XVIII

Rend Collective - Build Your Kingdom Here OFFICIAL

Here is the worship set for this coming weekend (9/17):

Gathering/Call to Worship: "Build Your Kingdom Here" (praise team) Worship Songs:

  • "You Are Good"
  • "God of This City"
  • "How Great is Our God" - chorus only, connecting from end of "God of This City"

creed: "We Believe"

sung "Lord's Prayer"

during communion: "Remember" (Jamie?)

Closing/Sending Song: "Awesome is the Lord Most High"

Since we are celebrating our church's anniversary for the next 2 weekend's services, I have a song that I'd like us to use both weekends. We just have our regular services on the 17th and 24th (no blended service).

We'll do this as the Gathering/Call to Worship this weekend, and then on the 24th we'll use it as a congregational.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

"Happy Land" -- an iconic early American hymn that got into an iconic early 20th-century American comic strip

"Happy Land" is one of two songs we played by ear at our last slow jam and tune learning session of the Clayville-Prairieland Strings. I can't find the other one, "Swing Low Sweet Chariot," on line in a form we can use, but it's in Stephen Seifert's Join the Jam Gospel Edition, available on line at Steve's website at I plan to order a couple of extra copies, and Steve has it on his website at $13.80 for a digital download and $29.00 in hard copy with CD included. If the extras come on time, we can do "Swing Low" in October.

At a recent Clayville-Prairieland jam session, we got to playing "Happy Land" by ear, a 150-year-old gospel song that got into the shape-note hymn tradition and from there into a total of 534 hymnals, mostly in the 1800s and early 1900s. It has a bouncy Scots-Irish tune that practically sings itself, and it's been revived in Sacred Harp singings and Appalachian dulcimer jams. Lead sheets with dulcimer tab, notes and guitar chords available at

(If the link the the PDF file doesn't open, go to the tab directory, and scroll down to "Happy Land." We want the version with words, by Robert Sutton.)

We meet from 7 to 9 p.m. Thurssday, Sept. 15, at Peace Lutheran Church, 2800 West Jefferson, Springfield. ALSO COMING UP: Clayville Fall Festival, Saturday, Sept. 17, and Sunday, Sept. 18. We will have people playing informally on the grounds both afternoons.

Not only was it a favorite old-time gospel hymn, "Happy Land" won a place in "Krazy Kat," the iconic comic strip from the 1910s into the 1940s.

First, here's what it sounds like:

Dr. Bill's Mountain Music - Appalachian Dulcimer Demo's

"This channel provides demonstrations of music arranged for the Appalachian dulcimer: including detailed video of the dulcimer fingerboard to show fingerings," says Dr. Bill, of Huntsville, Alabama, on his YouTube channel. "The videos are rough, intended for instructional purposes -- to assist folks learning these songs from my own tablature. They're not really intended for entertainment; but if you find them entertaining ... you should probably get out more."

Well, yes, but Dr. Bill's learning video shows the tune at its best -- simple, unadorned on a dulcimer tuned to DAA. (Dulcimer players please note -- this D tuning brings out the darker sound of the mountain dulcimer on American folk hymns. Try it. You'll like it, and it will help you overcome the DAD lockstep.) With its Scots-Irish origins, it's also a fine jam tune. For video of a dulcimer jam, check out the links below.

"Happy Land's" origins are in the shape-note Sacred Harp tradition, and this clip records it as sung at one of the most authentic traditional singings in the Sand Mountain area of northern Alabama. The nonsense syllables they sing the first time through -- fa, sol, la -- represent degrees of the scale, and they them first to help set the melody in mind before they go on to the words.

Sacred Harp sing at Liberty Church in Henagar, Alabama

According to and the Sacred Harp resources at, the words were written in 1838 by Andrew Young, an educator of Edinburgh, Scotland, and the tune by Leonard Breedlove, a 19th-century singing master of rural Georgia. Some of the old songbooks say it's a "Hindoo melody," but I think it belongs to the same Anglo-Celtic tune stock as folk hymns like "Amazing Grace" and fiddle tunes like "Cripple Creek," to which it bears at least a passing resemblance.

In an unusually good brief account, Wikipedia notes that the song got around widely in the popular culture of the early to mid-1900s, including the movies "Arsenic and Old Lace" and "The King and I." Laura Ingalls Wilder's mother sings it in "Little House on the Prairie" and Mark Twain had a parody, "There Is a Boarding-House," in his novel "The American Claimant" as early as 1892.

And that's not all. We're about to get to one of my all-time favorite comic strips.

Krazy Kat and Ignatz, dreaming of angels in a rare moment of good will. (Wikipedia)

Adds Wikipedia, "It is also a favorite song of Krazy Kat, the main character from George Herriman's eponymous newspaper comic strip (1913-1944), where the song's opening verse is often willingly misspelled as 'There is a heppy lend fur fur away... [sic]'." Krazy Kat was a staple of the "Sunday funnies" through most of the 1910s, 20s, 30s and 40s, ending only with Herriman's death. It was, well, a little strange. But it was way ahead of its time, and an icon of popular culture.

Says the Publisher's Weekly review of a recent collection, titled Krazy & Ignatz 1925-1926: "There Is a Heppy Lend Fur Fur Awa-a-ay" (see screen shot of title page at right, with miniature of a forlorn Krazy Kat watching Ignatz stalk off in the distance).

"The premise couldn't be simpler: Krazy Kat loves Ignatz Mouse, who rejects the Kat's affections by throwing a brick at him? her? Krazy is both and neither whereupon Offisa Pupp arrests Ignatz. This was the plot of nearly every episode, but the beauty was in the variations Herriman could work on it and in his delirious sense of style. The primal comedy played out in thousands of ways, drawn with an incomparable design sense against a gorgeously stylized backdrop of the American Southwest and delivered with Herriman's hilarious dialogue half invented, half quasi-Joycean wordplay ..."

So Krazy Kat's happy land "fur fur away" is quasi-Joycean? Uh, OK. I'll leave the literary allusions to others, but know I like the story, and I see something of myself at times in Krazy Kat, at others in Ignatz the mouse throwing his brick.

None of which has very much to do with the song "Happy Land." Here are some YouTube clips that illustrate how far it's gotten.

  • As a mountain dulcimer jam tune after the Double Dulcimer Gathering workshops in 2010 at Madison, Alabama. Ron Zuckerman, whose dulcimer tab we have used, recorded the tune
  • A popular 19th-century American gospel hymn, as performed here by the Steve Petit Evangelistic Team, in their Irish Concert, 2009 (the singing begins at 1:30). In performance today, at least outside the shape-note tradition, it often has a wistful sound.
  • A Rastafari hymn of the Nyahbinghi Order, taken from Jerusalem School Room of The Ethiopia Africa Black International Congress Church of Salvation. More on the Nyahbinghi Order in the Wikipedia article on the Mansions of Rastafari (scroll down to Nyahbinghi Order).
  • An early swing band foxtrot recorded by Nat Shikret and the Victor Orchestra in New York, March 13, 1929. Nat Shilkret, director; Del Staigers and Mike Mosiello, trumpet; Chuck Campbell, tb; Andy Sannella and Sammy Feinstein, cl-as; Maurice Pierce-cl-ts, Lou Raderman and Murray Kellner-vn; Milt Rettenberg, piano John Cali or Dick Maffai, banjo, Jack Pierce, bb; and Joe Green, drums.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Peace Lutheran Church -- contemporary service -- Pentecost XVII

Chris Tomlin - Psalm 100 (Lyrics & Chords)

Saturday, 4 p.m., Sept. 10

Call to Worship/Gathering: "Psalm 100" (we did this for the blended service in July)

Worship Songs:

"Hallelujah (Your Love is Amazing)"

"For These Reasons"

"Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)"

creed: "We Believe"

sung Lord's Prayer

Closing: "You Are My King (Amazing Love)"

Chris Tomlin - "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)." Live.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Hör hur tempelsången stiger -- (Herre, signe du och råde in Swedberg's 1694 psalmbook)

Hör hur tempelsången stiger - Svenska Koralboken, Jens Fredborg [piano]

Wikipedia "Herre, signe du och råde",_signe_du_och_r%C3%A5de

Särskilt sjungen är Jesper Svedbergs vers, "Herre, signe du och råde", som dels var självständig psalm i 124 år, dels ofta fick avsluta folkskolans arbetsdagar i minst ett sekel till.

Med ursprunglig stavning löd versen 1695:

Herre signe tu och råde
Och beware nu oss wäl
Herre titt Ansicht i nåde
Lyse altijd för wår siäl!
Herre Gudh titt Ansicht wänd
Och tin frijd oss allom sänd!
O Gudh Fader, Son och Ande
Tigh ske prijs i allo lande!

Melodi i psalmboken av Johann Schop ur Himmlischer Lieder från 1642 (F-dur, 2/2, samma som till Gud, i mina unga dagar och mest känd som melodin för just "Herre, signe du och råde".) Redan i 1697 års koralbok anges att melodin är densamma som för psalmerna Giv, o Jesus, fröjd och lycka (nr 139), Helge Ande, hjärtats nöje (nr 184), Ack, vi ästu dock så blinder (nr 278), Ljus av ljus, o Morgonstjärna (nr 356), Öpna tigh min munn och tunga (nr 376), Var nu redo, själ och tunga (nr 377). Det tyska originalets titel är Werde Munter

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Two tunes to slow down and smell the roses with -- 'Nutfactory Shuffle' and the best audio version of 'Gray Cat on a Tennessee Farm' you'll ever hear

Uncle Dave Macon, "Grey Cat On A Tennessee Farm" [but link here for the best version!]

It's Labor Day weekend, there's a touch of fall in the air, the cats are snoozing in a patch of sunlight in the master bedroom they consider their own, and I'm in a perfect mood to slow down and enjoy life. Besides, I've been thinking about an email message I got the other day about one of the songs on our Clayville-Prairieland jam session playlist.

"[Another group plays] the 'Nutfactory' song," it said. "They play it way too fast."

I agree. But it's not just one group that plays way too fast, IMO, and it's not just "Nutfactory Shuffle." It's not just mountain dulcimer players, either. Sometimes clog dancers need a fast tune, so they can show off their skills, and bluegrass is always fast. But a lot of the time, I feel like oldtime musicians, especially up north, play fast to show they can -- and they lose the feel of the music.

So at our next session Tuesday I'd like to take a couple of favorite dulcimer jam tunes, "Nutfactory" and "Gray Cat on a Tennessee Farm," ease up on the tempo a little and see what they sound like. I think we'll find they have a nice, bouncy lilt to them that doesn't come across when everybody's in a race to the end of the tab.

Our next Clayville-Prairieland show jam and tune learning circle session is from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6, at Peace Lutheran Church, 2800 West Jefferson, Springfield. ALSO COMING UP: Clayville Fall Festival, Saturday, Sept. 17, and Sunday, Sept. 18. We will have people playing informally on the grounds both afternoons.

Gray Cat on a Tennessee Farm

An Uncle Dave Macon song from the early days of the Grand Ole Opry that was covered by the New Lost City Ramblers in the 1960s and taken up en masse by the mountain dulcimer revival of the 1970s onward. Uncle Dave, of Murfreesboro, Tenn., and his Fruit Jar Drinkers were a hugely successful novelty act on the Opry. He got his start playing medicine shows in the early 1900s, and his arrangements hark back to the earliest recoverable days of old-time Appalachian string band music. In other words, he sounds exactly like the earliest fiddle players we have any record of.

But the best arrangement of all is in a sound file by Nick Kroes, a businessman of Muskegon, Mich. Go to and click on Download "Gray Cat on a Tennessee Farm." As far as I know, Kroes has never recorded it commercially. But since I first heard his "Gray Cat" on line about 10 years ago, it completely changed the way I think of the tune.

Kroes makes a song out of it, IMO, not a fiddle tune with shouted lyrics, and the lyrics carry the song.

Dulcimer tab with chords and lyrics, is available on the Dogwood Dulcimer Association Music Site of Pensacola, Fla. It's not 100% the way Uncle Dave sang it, but it's close enough. A more accurate transcription, with information about personnel of the Fruit Jar Drinkers, is on the country blues website at

Nutfactory Shuffle

A staple in recent years at mountain dulcimer jams by Gil Anderson. Listen to Dustin and Marc Mathieu playing it at Western Carolina Univeristy in the YouTube clip below. There's just the hint of a lilt to it, the way I most enjoyed hearing the mountain dulcimer played in the southern Appalachians. Give it a listen.

The Connecticut Mountain Dulcimer Gathering in Colchester, Conn., has dulcimer tab with notation and guitar chords linked to the Music List on its website, and I have tab that a member of the Prairieland Dulcimer Strings got permission to copy for our group several years ago that may be a little easier to follow.

Anderson, who was active on the dulcimer festival circuit during the 1970s, wrote it one day when he was on a gig. Sue Carpenter told the story in the Dulcimer Association of Albany (N.Y.) newsletter (as quoted in an discussion forum):

This bouncy tune is not only a lot of fun to play, but has a story behind it as well. Some years ago, Gil Anderson was showing his instruments at a craft fair in one of the malls. Few people paid him much attention, being more concerned with designer labels than with traditional instruments, so he took out his dulcimer, and as he played, he came up with this piece. Not sure just what to call it, he had a stroke of genius as he watched people shuffling out of the "Nut Factory" across the way, popping peanuts and cashews in their mouths: he decided to dedicate it to all those shoppers who rush about their business with no heed for the pleasures of dulcimer music. The tune was recorded by Tom and Geri White on their album, Working Days.

Play it too fast, and you lose the bounce.

Friday, September 02, 2016

King Harald V of Norway speaks on immigration, refugees and kjærlighet (Christian charity)

The Norwegian King's speech on love, religion and acceptance (English subtitles) NRK Nyheter

NRK (Norsk rikskringkasting), the state broadcasting service in Norway, appends this note: "Published on Sep 1, 2016. King Harald V of Norway gave a speech to his 1500 guests at his garden party Thursday 1st of September 2016. In 2015 thousands of refugees came to Norway, followed by a huge debate on migration politics. The King's message is that we have to take care of each other."

I can't think of anything I can add to that.

[Hat tip to Gunnar Fredelius for sharing the Norwegian-language original on Facebook.)