Willie Moore

23 Mar

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[gDGAD tuning; aka “Willie Moore tuning”]

Although a tragic tale of heartbreak and suicide not unlike the traditional “murder ballads” of the British Isles, Willie Moore reportedly has its origins in the US.  The seminal recorded version comes from Burnett & Rutherford (Anthology of American Folk Music Vol. 1: Ballads, Folkways FA2951, track 10; Burnett & Rutherford “1926-1930”, Document Docd-8025, track 11) who claim to have learned it from sheet music in Arkansas. The liner notes in Harry Smith’s Anthology identify a fella from Farmington, KY by the name of Paul Wilson who met a Rev. William Moore who claimed to be the inspiration for the song…I guess we’ll never know the real story.

Either way, it’s another classic song which has been performed by musicians as diverse as Joan Baez, Doc Watson, Greg Graffin (front-man for punk band Bad Religion) and the Foghorn Stringband.  Definitely one for rainy days.

For more info go HERE.

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