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THE RIDDLE SONG – I Gave My Love A Cherry – English 15th century folk song

October 14, 2013

Riddle complete

“The Riddle Song,” also known as “I Gave My Love a Cherry” is an English folk song, apparently a lullaby, which was carried by settlers to the American Appalachians. It descends from a 15th-century English song in which a maiden says she is advised to unite with her lover. It is related to Child Ballad no. 1, or “Riddles Wisely Expounded” and Child Ballad no. 46, “Captain Wedderburn’s Courtship” Burl Ives recorded it on 11 February 1941 for his debut album, Okeh Presents the Wayfaring Stranger. Since then, it has been recorded by many artists, including Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Doc Watson, Sam Cooke, Shelby Flint, The Meters, and Carly Simon.

THE RIDDLE SONG is a perfect tune for the accompaniment nature of the tender, gentle ukulele. In my video performance I’m playing in 4/4 time with a gentle rolling arppegio. I’m using the fingering THUMB THUMB INDEX MIDDLE . . . . The first thumb stroke plays the 4th string. . . the second thumb stroke plays the 3rd string. Then, the Index finger plays the 2nd string and the Middle finger follow by playing the 1st string. This soft rolling pattern lends itself perfectly to this age old lullaby. Below is a video performance that I did of THE RIDDLE SONG

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