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The Cuckoo Bird

hanklebury on October 07, 2012 06:16

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    In 2 Sets

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    This ballad goes way, way back into the dim mists of antiquity, originating in the British Isles and coming across the ocean with the people who would later establish themselves as the Hillbilly-American community. It has been sung many ways with many verses, and recorded by many people. And now I'm one of 'em, I guess. I made up the verse about Louisa just for a little plot twist--my interpretation of why the singer wanted to watch Willie so closely.

    I play this, clawhammer-style, on a cheap, but surprisingly sweet-playing, guitar I picked up recently in a pawn shop. The brand is the virtually-unheard-of "H.I.H" (the sticker on the inside says, "A Word Famous Musical Instruments"!), with a top made of plywood and plastic. The action is surprisingly good--it's no Martin, but then, I wouldn't super-glue a rubber eraser to the fretboard under the sixth string on a Martin. I did it here to keep my thumb from popping it so loud, and I kinda like the way that muted string sounds.

    Photo: "The Cucumber Bird".

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