Wildwood Flower


                      Wildwood Flower
 
                        Maude Irving and J. D. Webster, 1860
                                       Mandolin tablature by 
                                    Elizabeth T. Knuth, 1998

Key: D

E--||-------------|---------------------------------|
A--||--4:---------|--0-------2---5------------------|
D--||--4:--4---5--|------------------4-------5---4--|
G--||-------------|---------------------------------|
           |___|     |       |___|   |       |___|

          Oh, I'll twine   'mid the ring - lets  of


|---------------------------------|
|---------------------------------|
|--2-------4---2---0-------4---5--|
|---------------------------------|
   |       |___|   |       |___|

  ra  -  ven black hair, With the  


|---------------------------------|
|--0-------2---5------------------|
|------------------4-------5---4--|
|---------------------------------|
   |       |___|   |       |___|

   ro  -  ses  so red     and the


|------------------------------0--|
|--------------------------0------|
|--2-------4---2---0--------------|
|---------------------------------|
   |       |___|   |       |___|

  lil  -  ies  so fair,   And the


|--2-------2---0------------------|
|------------------5-------5---4--|
|---------------------------------|
|---------------------------------|
   |       |___|   |       |___|

  myr  -  tle so bright  with the


                   Q
|---------------------------------|
|--2-------5---2---0--------------|
|------------------------------0--|
|---------------------------------|
   |       |___|   |           |_

  em   -  er- ald hue,        And


|---------------------------------|-------------------------||
|----------------------0----------|-------------------------||
|--4-------4---2---4-----------4--|--2-------4---2---0------||
|---------------------------------|-------------------------||
   |       |___|   |_  |       |_    |       |___|   |

  pale    ar- row-net- ta     with eyes    of bright blue.

============================================================
==                 TABLATURE EXPLANATION                  ==
============================================================

----------
-4:------- Time
-4:------- Signature 
----------

Rhythm:
  Q = dotted quarter

Freely. You can add fills between lines, change quarter notes to combinations of eighth notes (or sixteenths, if you're brave), fool with the timing within the phrases--or even alter the melody a bit, especially in the third line.

Play the tune as an intro and between verses.

This song was recorded by A. P. Carter and the Carter Family in 1928. Subsequently there has been a great deal of speculation about the lyrics, because they were not very clear on the record. In particular, "arrownetta" is a guess. It sounds like "emanita", but clearly must be some kind of flower. For what it's worth, there is such a thing as an amanita mushroom in Appalachia, but ordinarily women don't twine mushrooms in their hair!

You can hear Mother Maybelle Carter playing autoharp and singing "Wildwood Flower" on the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's 1972 double album Will the Circle Be Unbroken, EMI America (Capitol) CDPB 7 46589 1/2 DIDX 1234/1235. She performs the song there in the key of F.

If you like, you can hear a MIDI file of "Wildwood Flower".


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Wildwood Flower / Rev. 11 December 1998 / © Copyright 1998, Elizabeth T. Knuth / URL: http://www.users.csbsju.edu/~eknuth/mandotab/wildwood.html