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Thursday, January 10

hear that fiddle music?

"Ashokan Farewell" has been, for us, one of the most beautiful, haunting songs we've ever heard. If by chance you're unfamiliar with it, it's from the PBS series Civil War by Ken Burns. Take a minute and click above to hear it playing in the background while the Sullivan Ballou letter is read...I can't express how touching the letter & music are together.

For many years I've wanted to play the fiddle and this song was at the top of my list. But, alas, with kids on the move, a farm to keep up, church callings, and family & friends, it's just one of those things that sat on the back burner...until this past Christmas!

Just look what my family surprised me with!

yes, I've broken a string already...
yes, I'm screeching like a beginner...
and yes, I may get my family matching earplugs...

but with the help of this book...how can I fail?

Old-Time Fiddle for the Complete Ignoramus by Wayne Erbsen

(Don't you love that title?!)

While I'm working my way through the book, it'll most likely be quite a long while before I'm playing "Ashokan Farewell"...but I'm on my way.

And so, to leave you with a smile...

What's the difference between a violin & a fiddle?
Well...a violin has strings, a fiddle has straaangs!


  1. Awesome ! I love the fiddle my cousin can play the fiddle and Banjo another that I like ! Thanks for sharing . There is nothing different about the two only how they are played lol ! Have a good day !

    1. Oh, me too...banjo & fiddle combined, you just can't beat 'em!

  2. Wonderful, good luck, maybe we will see you in a concert some day!!

    1. Hee, hee...a jam session at a folk festival would be terrific! I'm not holding my breath, but thanks for the good wishes, Ginny!

  3. You should go see the group Redhead Express when they come to MV in April. Their grandpa lives in our ward and Rene's niece sang with them in high school. They play some mighty good fiddle and banjo.

  4. Good for you! You can do this! We love Ashokan Farewell. Our son, the fiddler, played it when he was younger. Wonder if he could still pull it off? I'm happy to report that at 30 he still loves fiddling! Enjoy *your fiddlin'.. and keep us posted! -Tammy p.s. my new camera is a Canon sx50.. SO much fun! And way cheaper than a new telephoto would have been for my Rebel :)

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Tammy! I'm still squeaking along...I guess everyone does for awhile, but I'm dreaming of Ashokan Farewell. And thanks for the camera information...the moon was amazing! -Mary


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