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Banjo tricks and gun culture in old time music

I was surfing around the YouTube and came across this great footage of Uncle Dave Macon performing Take me Back to my Old Carolina Home…

This jaunty tune, which comes complete with banjo tricks, has a violent heart – banga banga banga went my Gatlin Gun. This is by no means unique. Gun violence has a long history in American song, perpetuated even now with gangsta rappers. It seems our collective obsession with violence, (and I include gentle apologetic Canadians along with our American friends here), spills out all over our culture. I suppose we sing about our darker selves.

There are songs about men murdering other men (Stagger Lee; John Hardy), men murdering women (Little Sadie, Pretty Polly) and occasionally, women murdering men (Frankie & Johnny).

Here are Kurt Sutphin and Riley Baugus performing John Hardy. John Hardy was a desperate little man; he carried two guns every day...

Sometimes the killer is caught – and killed. Here is the story of Charles Guiteau, who killed American President Garfield in 1881… Lew Dite

Then there is the introspective look at the beast inside us. Here is Nick Lowe…and Johnny Cash

Have a safe and peaceful day. Hug somebody today.

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