Free Little Bird

Empty Bottle String Band

Key of C or key of D or key of G.

  • We know the tune from the old recording by Clarence Ashley & Doc Watson. Download the MP3 at the bottom of this page.
  • Roscoe Holcomb sings and plays banjo [mp3]. We have it on the Roscoe Holcomb's CD, High Lonesome Sound, from Smithsonian Folkways.
  • Here is a video of an old album by Dykes Magic City Trio [utoob]
  • Church music style. "Good Luck Ola" duet sings powerful versions with organ + guitar [utoob] or banjo + drums [utoob].
  • The Whitetop Mountaineers, key of D, singing and dancing too [utoob].
  • Bluegrass style. Nice fiddle break in this bar room video [utoob].

Lyrics (chorus)

I'm as free, little bird, as I can be.I'm as free, little bird, as I can be.I'm as free, at my age, as a bird in a cage.I'm as free, little bird, as I can be.


The scholarly site, Bluegrass Messengers, hast lyrics and recordings. It says the tune is similar to the old time fiddle tune Katy Kline and that that song was an adaptation of a tune called Katy Clyde.