Hi I’m Vi Wickam with myTalentForge.com. This is a lesson for the Montana State Old-Time Fiddlers Association sheet music book of fiddle tunes.
I’m really glad to be a part of this project and that I get to make this lesson video for you.
The first lesson we’re going to learn is Boil Them Cabbage Down. Now Boil Them Cabbage Down is a great old fiddle tune. And it’s usually one of the first “real” fiddle tunes that we learn when we’re learning to play a fiddle.
The melody of Boil Them Cabbage Down is:
“Boil them Cabbage down boys / Turn them hoecakes round / The only song that I can sing / Is boil them cabbage down…”
And when we play it on the fiddle, we add a shuffle bowing pattern, which the single shuffle, or the common shuffle, that we do with this- is a long-short-short, long-short-short…
For the whole A-part here, we’re going to do a shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, shuffle. And the fingering is going to be [2, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 2, 1, 0]…
We’ll slow it down a little bit to add the shuffle […]. So that’s our basic melody.
We’ll play two times through that because twice through the A-part and twice through the B-part is kind of a common form in fiddle tunes.
We have Boil Them Cabbage Down- and when we’re singing this tune, generally speaking, there will be a verse followed by a chorus. And the chorus is… […]. Then there will be a verse, and we usually follow that same melody:
“Bought my gal a bicycle / She learned to ride it well / Till she rode it into a telephone and busted it all to… pieces…”
And then we come back to that melody again- to the chorus.
As often happens when a singing song becomes a fiddle tune, the singing song is simpler than the fiddle tune. So we fiddlers like to make up our own extra verses. Or our own variations. So this B-part is a fiddlers variation- it’s a fiddle version that’s added onto that basic melody.
We’ll call this the B-part, and it’s the fiddle B-part. It goes […]. [0, 1, 0, 2 – 0, 1, 0, 2 – 0, 1, 0, 2, 1, 1 – 0, 1, 0, 2 – 0, 1, 2, 0, 2, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1, 0, 0 , 0, 0…]
We’ll play the B-part twice too. We have A-A, B-B. Two A’s and two B’s. Let’s see what that sounds like together:
Of course, because it’s a fiddle tune- we can end with “a shave and a hair cut”!
That’s Boil Them Cabbage Down. I hope you’ve had a great time with this lesson, and I’ll see you next time!