Old Joe Clark

arr. Paul Jennings

By popular demand (and because we have a lot of fun doing it...) we are pleased to bring you and your students another upbeat folk song in an updated arrangement with authentic instruments. While it probably originated in the 1880s in the American South, there tales diverge. Old Joe may have lived in Kentucky, maybe in Virginia. Either way, people have enjoyed singing silly verses about him for a long time. It has also been a popular fiddle tune for much of that time.

For our arrangement, we feature Sandy Williams playing a happy combination of guitars, mandolin, and banjo with a recurring solo by our favorite harmonica virtuoso, Michael Runyan. If you are looking askance at the key signature, know that we consider this older version of the traditional melody most likely in the mixolydian mode.

The setting is seven verses long, using verse four as a harmonica solo. We recommend using this verse for movement. Consider doing a one-leg, foot-tapping, knee-slapping routine. You know the one. And don't hesitate to replace some verses with tall tales created by your students.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.