|Published||Mid 19th Century|
The lyrics are probably no older than the year 1900, and the tune is of unknown origin. It has become a standard among bluegrass musicians and is often one of the first songs a banjo picker learns.
Origin and contextEdit
The most famous Cripple Creek is Cripple Creek, Colorado, where a mining town was formed after gold was discovered there in 1891. However most traditional Virginia musicians believe that the song refers to Cripple Creek, Virginia.
Simplified version of the basic melody (A part followed by B part).
The following are lyrics from a 1909 version included in the Journal of American Folklore, 1915.
Goin' to Cripple Creek, goin' ter Rome (roam),
Goin' ter Cripple Creek, goin' back home.
See them women layin' in the shade,
Waitin' fer the money them men have made.
Roll my breeches ter my knees
En wade ol' Cripple Creek when I please.
"(From East Tennessee; mountain whites; from memory; 1909)":
Goin' to Cripple Creek, going in a run;
Goin' to Cripple Creek to have my fun.
"(From South Carolina; country whites, MS. of Mr. Bryan; 1909)":
When Cecil Sharp collected folksongs in the Appalachian Mountains in 1917 he found two versions of "Cripple Creek", one from Lizzie Abner of Oneida, Kentucky and another from Alice Wilson of Pineville, Kentucky, a variant which begins "Buck Creek Girls, don't you want to go to Somerset?"
The first recording was in 1924 by Sam Jones, also known as Stovepipe No. 1, a black one-man-band. The Skillet Lickers recorded the song later in the same year. Luther Strong was recorded in 1937 by the Library of Congress singing the song.
U.S. Senator Robert Byrd recorded the song on his album Mountain Fiddler.
Rising Appalachia recorded the song on their 2015 album, Wider Circles.
- "Cripple Creek". Archived from the original on 2014-03-27. Retrieved 2014-03-26.
- "Cripple Creek Song History - Matteson Art". www.mattesonart.com. Retrieved 2022-01-08.
- Rogers, Austin. "Cripple Creek" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
- American Folklore Society (1915). Journal of American Folklore. Published for the American Folk-lore Society by Houghton, Mifflin, and Co. pp. 180–1. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- "Cripple Creek (Cecil Sharp Manuscript Collection (at Clare College, Cambridge) CJS2/10/3879)". The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. Retrieved 2022-01-07.
- "Cripple Creek / Somerset Girls (Cecil Sharp Manuscript Collection (at Clare College, Cambridge) CJS2/10/3930)". The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. Retrieved 2022-01-07.