Tag: song

historical recordings

The “Wreck of the Old 97” and other Songs…

On twitter I have found a tweet about an online exhibition about Songs of Virginia Tragedies which can be found on the homepage of the Blueridge Institute:

Deathly Lyrics: Songs of Virginia Tragedies (link no more available)
A story told in song, the ballad has for centuries been a means for passing history from one generation to the next. Virginia ballads cover a host of tragedies, from military battles and cyclones to train wrecks and broken-love murders.

In this online exhibit of the Blueridge Institute you can find stories about tragedies that happened in Virginia and songs that were made to tell about those tragedies. You can read the complete song text, listen to the audio of historical recordings of many songs and  also look at some historical newspaper pages about those events.

Additional information

Homepage of the Blueridge Institute: http://www.blueridgeinstitute.org/

Ferrum College created the Blue Ridge Institute & Museum in the early 1970s to document, interpret, and present the folk heritage of the Blue Ridge region.  Since that time, the Institute has grown steadily, expanding its work throughout Virginia and Appalachia while maintaining an emphasis upon the western portion of the state.

The Blue Ridge Institute & Museum enjoys a national reputation.  From festivals and concerts to exhibits and publications, the BRI offers educational and entertaining programming of unmatched quality and authenticity.  The Institute’s audience spans all ages and backgrounds, enhancing Ferrum College’s educational mission for all.

More Online Exhibits of the Blueridge Institute: http://www.ferrum.edu/blueridgeinstitute/onlineexhibits/

Another interesting online exhibit tells the story of Moonshine:

Moonshine – Blue Ridge Style (no more available)
Over the course of a century, mountain distillers went from making “mostly legal” whiskey and brandy for nearby markets to producing millions of gallons of untaxed “sugar liquor” for customers in Philadelphia and similar urban centers.Take a long sip of moonshine’s real history.

You can find many songs about historical tradgedies at youtube:

Songs That Recount Historical Tragedies: Hank Snow Sings the “Wreck of the Old 97”

Another song about a cyclone that killed a group of school children in 1929

The Cyclone Of Rye Cove Carter Family

Pictures of Steamboad Disasters and Railroad Accidents


Yell – A Great Song by Ikimono Gakari –…

Ikimono Gakari is a very successfull Japanese pop trio, the songs by this group are very popular in Japan.

During the last days the song Yell by Ikomono Gakari has sticked to my mind – and I have listened to many videos with different versions of this song.

I have first found a version of this song for mandolin orchestra, and I was fascinated by this music and curious about who was the composer of this piece. In the following video Yell is played by musicians of a mandolin orchestra in Usa, Oita prefecture. The video shows paintings – including some nice paintings with mandolins – while the music plays:


I think this song is really well suited to be played by mandolin orchestra. I have found 3 different versions played by a mandolin orchestra, one version for mandolin and guitar and a great version for classical guitar (video not available in Germany).

“M” YELL いきものがかり Ikimono Gakari

“YELL” Ikimono Gakari, is very, very popular among Japanese teenagers.
NHK, a Japanese TV station, like BBC in the UK, selected this song as a junior high school chorus national contest song in 2009. Therefore, almost every teenager in Japan knows this song so well xD

You may notice that i played another old guitar, which i borrowed from the owner of the old clothing store, Blonde on Blonde, where i happened to dropped-in two weeks ago. There are some old guitars with dust and i decided to pick up some of them to clean, polish and played by me as i love all the guitars on the earth =)

I tried to find out more about this song, and I was surprised that I found many versions of this song sung by youth choirs, including this great video with hundreds of teenaged singers:

郡山第二中学校 「YELL」

Finally I found out  that the song has been composed for a competition held by the Japanese broadcasting company NHK – which led to the fact that almost every teenager now knows this song, and many teenagers have sung the song with a school choir (especially the information from the guitar version above was helpfull to me).

In the meantime I have found many other versions, played by mandolin orchestra, mandolin and guitar, violin, recorder, violin.

Playlist – Yell – by Ikimono Gakari

Additional information

Wikipedia (German) about Ikimono Gakari: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ikimono_Gakari

Wikipedia (Engl.) about Ikimono Gakari: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ikimono-gakari

Lyrics: http://www.kiwi-musume.com/lyrics/ikimonogakari/singles/yell/yell.html

Another great life video by Ikimono Gakari: http://www.wat.tv/video/ikimono-gakari-yell-from-live-3m4r5_2ey5f_.html

More posts about Japan in my blog: http://www.mandoisland.com/?tag=japan

aa mandolin guitar

Farewell to Nova Scotia

The banjo player of my bluegrass band sung this song when we met last time – Farewell to Nova Scotia.  She grew up in Canada and moved back to Germany, and used to sing this song when she felt homesick.

This is a nice folk song, and there are many nice versions at youtube.

My favorite version up to now is the following by Bonnie Dobson – with some nice mandolin playing in the background:

Bonnie Dobson – Farewell to Nova Scotia

A very smooth version played with two harps:

Farewell to Nova Scotia – Ardyth and Jennifer

and a heavy version:

The Real McKenzies – Farewell To Nova Scotia

Playlist with many more versions, for example by:

  • Sons of Maxwell- Sons of Maxwell is a Canadian music duo who perform both traditional Celtic folk music and original compositions with a pop-folk sound.
  • Rising Gael – Rising Gael was named one of the “Best Celtic Folk Bands of 2010” by Marc Gunn on his popular Celtic Music Podcast!
  • Ryan’s Fancy – Ryan’s Fancy was a musical group active from the 1960s until the 1980s, all three of whose members were Irish immigrants to Canada.

Additional information

wikipedia about Farewell to Nova Scotia (with lyrics): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farewell_to_Nova_Scotia

Homepage The Real McKenzies: http://www.realmckenzies.com/Welcome.html

Homepage RisingGael: http://www.risinggael.com/

Homepage Sons of Maxwell: http://sonsofmaxwell.com/

Wikipedia about Ryan’s Fancy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryan%27s_Fancy

Sheet music:





aa mandolin guitar

Ariane Lorch – Mozart Songs with Mandolin – Youth…

Yesterday I found a blog about a new CD with all songs by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart by Naxos. This CD does also include a recording of the song Die Zufriedenheit with mandolin accompaniment. The mandolin part is played by Ariane Lorch:

Die Zufriedenheit: Was frag ich viel nach
Geld und Gut, KV 349**

The blog does also include a player to play this Mozart song at the end! Here is the link to this blog (German):


Ariane Zernecke-Lorch is a German mandolin player and teacher. She has published a mandolin method (Mein erstes Mandolinenbuch) for children and other music. She is teaching for the mandolin orchestra in Wickenrode where she has established a system to teach children of very young age. All the children start playing with the orchestra after short time. Special mandolins for children and special strings have also been developped.

The following video shows Ariane Lorch conducting the youth mandolin orchestra of Wickenrode at the music fest of the BDZ (plucked strings association) of Hessen in 2009:

Jugendorchester Wickenrode – Auszug aus “10 leichte Stücke”

Aufnahme vom Jugendorchester Wickenrode anlässlich des Landesmusikfestes vom BDZ Hessen 2009. Leitung Ariane Zernecke-Lorch

Here is another video of the same group:

Jugendorchester Wickenrode – Conjuration

In the following video two players from Wickenrode who won a price in the German contest for young instrumentalists “Jugend Musiziert” play the beginning of the Andante con Variazioni by Ludwig van Beethoven in a version for mandolin and guitar:

Jugend musiziert Preisträger von dem MO Wickenrode

Other Resources:

Ariane Lorch at Naxos: http://www.naxos.com/artistinfo/Ariane_Lorch/65716.htm

Homepage Ariane Zernecke-Lorch: http://www.duo-lorch.com/ und http://www.duo-lorch.com/duolorch.html

Homepage of the Mandolinen- und Gitarrenverein 1923 Wickenrode:

Youtube channel with more mandolin orchestra videos from the musicfest in Hessen 2009: http://www.youtube.com/user/60erklaus