Cripple Creek

Frank George & Jerron Paxton at a fiddle festival.

Square tune with two parts. Key of G or A.

  • This is a great, great old time recording from 1978. The fiddler is Eldia Barbee and he plays in key of A cross tuned to A.
  • When you play this tune in a bluegrass circle, be sure to quiet down for the banjo leads and singing parts. These guys manage a lot of harmonies and leads sitting around the camp fire with a washtub bass. Expect the bluegrass banjo player to do a sliding twang at the lead in to each part 1 as Earl Scruggs did.
  • This deer hunter sounds like a beginner but he does a nice job putting in saw stroke.
  • Did the Monkees record this song? Nice banjo playing, anyway.
  • Leo Kottke does not play old time style but he is an amazing guitar player. This recording demonstrates more you can do with this simple tune.

Lyrics

Cripple Creek's wide, Cripple Creek's deep.I wade old Cripple Creek two times a week.Cripple Creek's wide, Cripple Creek's muddy.I'm so drunk, I can't stand steady.Going up Cripple Creek, going in a run.Going up Cripple Creek to have some fun.Going up Cripple Creek, going in a whirl.Going up Cripple Creek to see my girl.

Not to be confused with...

Tommy Jarrell fiddles Cripple Creek.

Mike Webb on clawhammer banjo.

For students...

Chords (ok to substitute D7 for D).

Part 1: G G C G / G G D G (play this twice)
Part 2: G G G G / G G D G (play this twice)

Fiddle fingering, part 1 (play this twice):

E: 2 2 - - | - 0 - - | 2 2 - - | - - - -
A: - - 3 1 | 2 - 3 3 | - - 3 1 | - - - -
D: - - - - | - - - - | - - - - | 0 2 3 3

Fiddle fingering, part 2 (play this twice):

E: - - - - | - - - - | - - - - | - - - -
A: 1 1 0 - | 1 1 - - | 1 1 0 - | - - - -
D: - - - 3 | - - 3 3 | - - - 3 | 0 2 3 3

Chords shown on mandolin.

Dave Hunt on fiddle.