I Wish I Was a Mole In the Ground

24 Sep

(click here for tab)

[gCGCD tuning]

This song was first recorded in April of 1924 by the Minstrel of the Appalachians, Bascom Lamar Lunsford (1882-1973, Mars Hill, NC). Lunsford had this to say about the origins of the song: “The title of this mountain banjo song is ‘I Wish I Was a Mole in the Ground.’ I’ve known it since 1901 when I heard Fred Moody, then a high school boy, sing it down in Burke County.” The melody has been performed under many titles, including “My Last Old Dollar is Gone,” Tempy,” “Kimbie”…the list is long – but not as long as the list of verses! Do a Google search and you’ll have your work cut out for you. It hardly gets any more old-timey than this one, folks.

About the Tab: This arrangement was made for a two finger thumb-lead banjo class I have recently started teaching at the Folk-School of St. Louis, MO. I’ve stripped it down to what I consider a very basic form, and it seems to be pretty easy for folks with little experience with the 2ftl style to pick up. Enjoy!

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3 Responses to “I Wish I Was a Mole In the Ground”

  1. scruss 09/24/2010 at 1:23 pm #

    I’m just up the road in Clayton over Christmas – by which time I’ll have missed your classes; dammit!

    Stewart
    (normally in Toronto)

  2. JGriff 02/15/2011 at 12:21 am #

    Thanks so much for this. By far the easiest tab of this song for a beginner like myself to pick up and play that I’ve come across.

    • 2ftlbanjer 02/15/2011 at 1:03 am #

      Glad you’re enjoying it. Let me know if you have any questions. – Sean

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