Shady Grove (song)

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"Shady Grove" is an 18th-century folk song popular in the United States. It is a standard in the repertoires of folk, Celtic and bluegrass musicians. In most traditional versions, the melody is in the dorian mode such as the version in A dorian below (this is actually not in dorian it is in a six note or hexatonic scale, this should have been noticed as there is clearly neither an f sharp or an f natural in the tune as written and as performed, most Scottish tunes in minor modes have a six note basis, which is simply the addition of the notes of the two basic chords which can be used to harmonise the tunes, these are the Minor triad on the root and the Major triad a tone below);[1] however, Bill Monroe's and some subsequent bluegrass versions use a major-key variation.

Many verses exist,[citation needed] most of them describing the speaker's love for a woman called Shady Grove. There are also various choruses, which refer to the speaker traveling somewhere (to Harlan, to a place called Shady Grove, or simply "away"). Some[who?] have said there have been over 300 stanzas written and added as variations. One of the most recognized cover versions belongs to Charlene Darling and the Darling boys on an episode of The Andy Griffith Show (Divorce, Mountain Style (1964)), portrayed by Maggie Peterson and The Dillards.

The melody is very similar to, and probably based on,[citation needed] that of an old English ballad, "Matty Groves".


\new ChordNames \chordmode {
  \set chordChanges = ##t
  a4:m a4:m |%1
  g4 g4     |%2
  a4:m a4:m |%3
  a4:m a4:m |%4
  a4:m a4:m |%5
  g4 g4     |%6
  a4:m g4   |%7
  a4:m a4:m |%8
\new Staff \relative c''{
\key a \dorian
\time 2/4
\repeat volta 2 { %start repeat
   a8 a16 a a8 a16 a |%1
   b8 a g4           |%2
   a8 a16 a c8 d     |%3
   e4 e4             |%4
   g8. g16 e8 e      |%5
   d8 b16 a g4       |%6
   a8 b8 d8 b8       |%7
   a4 a4             |%8
  } %end repeat

[2] [3]


Well over 100 artists have recorded this song, notably:

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ "List of Common Tunes for Fiddle Hell". Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  2. ^ " lyrics: SHADY GROVE (E minor)". Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  3. ^ George, Vincent. "Shady Grove Chords". Folk & Bluegrass Chord Book. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  4. ^ "Take This Hammer Music". 

External links[edit]