by Irwin Russell
Who is dat ar a-playin'? Shucks! I wish I wuzn't blin';
But when de Lord he tuk my eyes, he lef' my yeahs behin'.
Is dat you, Mahsr Bob? I t'ought I reco'nized your bowin';
I said I knowed 'twas you, soon's I heered de fiddle goin'.
Sho! dat ain't right! jes' le' me show you how to play dat tune;
I feel like I could make de fiddle talk dis arternoon.
Now don't you see that counter's jes a leetle bit too high?
Well, nebber min'; I guess you'll learn to tune her by an' by.
You's jes like all musicianers dat learns to play by note:
You ain't got music in you, so you has to hab it wrote.
Now dat ain't science — why de debbil don't you play by yeah?
For dat's de onlies' kin' ob music fittin' fur to heah.
Do you suppose, when David wuz a-pickin' on de harp,
He ebber knowed de difference atwixt a flat an' sharp?
But any tune you called fur, he could pick it all de same,
For David knowed de music, dough he didn't know de name.
Now what shall I begin on? Sometin lively, jas, an' quick?
Well, sah, jes pay attention, an' I'll gib you " Cap'n Dick. "
Yah! yah! young mahsr, don't you feel jes like you want to pat?
You'll hab to practice fur a while afore you ekals dat!
Dere ain't nobody 'roun' dis place kin play wid Uncle Ned;
Dey isn't got it in deir fingers, neider in deir head;
Dat fiddler Bill dey talks about — I heered him play a piece,
An' I declar' it sounded like a fox among de geese.
A violeen is like an 'ooman, mighty hard to guide,
An' mighty hard to keep in order arter once it's buyed.
Dere's alluz somefin 'bout it out ob kelter, more or less,
An' 'tain't de fancies'-lookin' ones dat alluz does de bes'.
Dis yer's a splendid inst'ument — I " spec" it cost a heap;
You r'al'y ought to let me hab dis fiddle fur to keep.
It ain't no use to you, sah; fur, widout it's in de man,
He cain't git music out de fines' fiddle in de lan'.
It 'quires a power ob science fur to fiddle, sah, you see,
An' science comes by natur; dat's de way it is wid me.
But Lord! dat Bill! It 'muses me to heah him talkin' big;
You never heered a braggin' fiddler play a decent jig!
Dat Bill, he is a caution, sah! I wonder now whar he
An' oder folks I knows of — yes, I wonder whar'll dey be
In hebben, when de music's playin', an' de angels shout —
If Bill should jine de chorus, dey would hab to put him out.
Well, good-bye, Mahsr Bob, sah; when you's nuffin else to do
Jes sen' fur dis ol' darky, an' he'll come an' play fur you;
An' don't gib up your practisin' — you's only sebenteen,
An' maybe when you's ol' as me you'll play the violeen.
Last updated September 05, 2017