Old Blue

TITLE: Old Blue
AUTHOR: unknown
CATEGORY: Traditional, Public Domain
KEYWORDSdog, death, burial, hunting
EARLIEST PRINTED OR RECORDED REFERENCE: 1913

Old BlueAlan Lomax states in his Folk Songs of North America that “the backwoods folk of the south lived off game, and they thought more of a good hunting dog than they did of most people.In the Mississippi Valley country which produced. . .the ballad of Old Blue, they tell about a boy who fell out of a tree on a possum hunt and broke his neck. ‘Well,’ said his father, ‘it could-a been worse. He might have fell on one of the dogs!'” 

OTHER TITLES AND VARIATIONS:

  • Blue
  • Go On, Blue

RECORDINGS: (mp3’s available through Amazon.com)

YOUTUBE VIDEO: 

YOUTUBE AUDIO: download
LYRIC & CHORD PRO CHART: download
PPT LYRICS FOR THE CLASSROOM: download
BONUS YOUTUBE VIDEO: The Byrds (Kralingen festival, 1970)

Old Blue

Well I had an old dog and his name was Blue
Yes I had an old dog and his name was Blue
Well I had an old dog and his name was Blue
I  bet you five dollars he’s a good dog too

Bye Bye Blue, you good dog you
Bye Bye Blue, you good dog you

Old Blue chased a possum up a holler limb
Blue chased a possum up a holler limb
Blue chased a possum up a holler limb
The possum growled, Blue whined at him

Bye Bye Blue, you good dog you
Bye Bye Blue, you good dog you

When old Blue died he died so hard
He  shook the ground in my back yard
We lowered him down with a golden chain
and every link we called his name

Bye Bye Blue, you good dog you
Bye Bye Blue, you good dog you

My old Blue was a good old hound
You’d hear him holler miles around
When I get to heaven first thing I’ll do
is grab my horn and call for Blue

Bye Bye Blue, you good dog you
Bye Bye Blue, you good dog you

Bye Bye Blue, you good dog you
Bye Bye Blue, you good dog you

SOURCES:

  • Folk Song Index: A Comprehensive Guide to the Florence E. Brunnings Collection, Florence E. Brunnings, Garland Publishing, Inc., New York and London 1981—Amazon Books
  • Country Music Sources: A Biblio-Discography of Commercially Recorded Traditional Music, Guthrie T. Meade, Jr. with Dick Spottswood and Douglas S. Meade, Southern Folklife Collection, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries, NC 2002—Amazon Books
  • Blues and Gospel Records 1902-1943, John Goodrich and Robert M.W. Dixon, Storyville Publications and Company, London Revised 1969.

SONGBOOKS:

NOTICE: I’m not the best guitar player or vocalist, but no one loves these songs more than I do. The tune and lyrics are in the public domain unless otherwise noted. The recording © copyright 2013 by Stephen Griffith and may be used by permission of the copyright holder. The variation of the song I’m posting is the version I perform and is not exactly replicating the sources cited, but is always in the same song family. If anyone has more details about this song, or believes I’ve stated something in error, please let me know. I’m also open to suggestions to improve the site. Thanks. sgg

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