A String In The Key Of G

I have been having trouble tuning the 4th string on my banjo. Last night I couldn’t get it tuned no matter what I did. Mrs. Byrd plays the guitar so she gave it a go, but she couldn’t tune that string either. Today I thought that I’d pick the banjo at lunch. Before I did though I still needed to tune that darn string. I tried, to no avail. Instead the string broke and nearly took out an eye. Maybe it was fraying and that was why it wouldn’t tune. Or more likely, I am tone deaf and I turned that string just a little too much. In any event I now have an after work errand. I can’t practice without my string.

Wagon Wheel get a lot of play in the ByrdHouse, owing in part to these lyrics:

My baby plays the guitar
I pick a banjo now

Okay. Okay. Okay. That is the portion that is most relevant to the Byrd’s. Here’s the whole song:

Wagon Wheel

(Written by Bob Dylan with additional lyrics by Ketch Secor Performed by the Old Crow Medicine Show)

Headed down south to the land of the pines
And I’m thumbin’ my way into North Caroline
Starin’ up the road
And pray to God I see headlights

I made it down the coast in seventeen hours
Pickin’ me a bouquet of dogwood flowers
And I’m a hopin’ for Raleigh
I can see my baby tonight

So rock me mama like a wagon wheel
Rock me mama anyway you feel
Hey mama rock me
Rock me mama like the wind and the rain
Rock me mama like a south-bound train
Hey mama rock me

Runnin’ from the cold up in New England
I was born to be a fiddler in an old-time stringband
My baby plays the guitar
I pick a banjo now

Oh, the North country winters keep a gettin’ me now
Lost my money playin’ poker so I had to up and leave
But I ain’t a turnin’ back
To livin’ that old life no more

So rock me mama like a wagon wheel
Rock me mama anyway you feel
Hey mama rock me
Rock me mama like the wind and the rain
Rock me mama like a south-bound train
Hey mama rock me

Walkin’ to the south out of Roanoke
I caught a trucker out of Philly
Had a nice long toke
But he’s a headed west from the Cumberland Gap
To Johnson City, Tennessee

And I gotta get a move on fit for the sun
I hear my baby callin’ my name
And I know that she’s the only one
And if I die in Raleigh
At least I will die free

So rock me mama like a wagon wheel
Rock me mama anyway you feel
Hey mama rock me
Rock me mama like the wind and the rain
Rock me mama like a south-bound train
Hey mama rock me

(Thanks to Hickory Wind for the history on the lyrics.)

The song really rocks, in a bluegrass kind of way.

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