Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Katy Cline and the Percival Pickers

     The Percival Pickers performed “Katy Cline at the Worley Gardner Winter Music Fest, last Friday February 22.  GWMF is an awesome event held each year in midwinter, created by Worley Gardner and friends some 35 years ago.
Worley and Margaret Gardner with a hammer dulcimer. 

    For the past two years some of the jam groups have performed at GWMF.  This is different from normal performances because a jam is unrehearsed and may have a larger number of performers.   Time will tell whether it catches on or not.  But Old Time musicians are very adept at playing together without written music, and so for that reason twenty or thirty musicans can play together on stage remarkably well.    

   The Percival Pickers have been going strong since about the time of the inception of GWMF, and this is not a coincidence as Worley Gardner was one of the organizers of both functions.  It is an open group that meets every Tuesday at about 730 PM at Percival Hall at West Virginia University.  
    Ray Hicks chose the song Katy Cline, and it proved to be a tremendous success, judging from the audience reaction.  Thanks to Kathryn Madison for creating a video record of the event. 

Video Credit:  Kathryn Madison

     Our version is a bit ominous and there is the distinct suggestion that Katy and/or her family may have met with foul play.  Did the Wild Boys attack?   Perhaps so, otherwise we can not explain why there is no one to weep and no one to mourn and no one to see Katy Cline.

     Versions of the song were recorded as early as 1937 by the Monroe Brothers.  Stanley Brothers and others.

     Interestingly, there are earlier versions of the song.  The oldest known version was composed by one L. V. H. Crosby and published in 1853, as Kitty Clyde.  This version has none of the grim lyrics of the newer version, and is much more happy and carefree.  Because of the copyright laws of the day, one can not conclude with certainty that Crosby composed the tune and lyrics, but he at least compiled the earliest known version.  

Katy Cline
A[G] Now, who does not know Katy Cline,
She lives at the foot of the E[D] hill,
In the A[G] shady nook by the D[C] old babbling brook,
That A[G]  runs by her E
[D] dear old father's A[G] mill.

A[G] Oh tell me that you love me, Katy Cline,
Tell me that your heart is true as 
E[D] mine.

A[G] Oh tell me that you love D[C] your own turtle dove,
A[G] Oh tell me that you E[D] love me, Katy A[G]Cline.

It's away from my little cabin door,
Oh, it's away from my little cabin home.
There's no one to weep and there's no one to mourn
And there's no one to see Katy Cline.

If I was a little bird,
I'd never build my nest on the ground.
I'd build my nest in some high yonder tree
Where them wild boys couldn't tear it down.

Kitty Clyde 
(L. V. H Crosby, 1853)

Oh, who has not seen Kitty Clyde,
She lives at the foot of the hill,
In a sly little nook by the babbling brook,
That carries her father's old mill.
Oh, who does not love Kitty Clyde?
That sunny-eyed, rosy-cheek'd lass,
With a sweet dimpled chin that looks roguish as sin,
With always a smile as you pass.

Sweet Kitty, dear Kitty, my own sweet Kitty Clyde
In a sly little nook by the babbling brook,
Lives my own sweet Kitty Clyde.

With a basket to put in her fish.
Every morn with a line and a hook,
This sweet little lass, through the tall, heavy garss,
Steals along by the clear running brook.
She throws her fine into the stream,
And trips it along the brook side;
Oh, how I do wish that I was a fish,
To be caught by sweet Kitty Clyde.-Chorus.

How wish that I was a bee,
I'd not gather honey from flowers,
But would steal a dear sip from Kitty's sweet lip,
And make my own hive in her bowers.
Or, if I was some little bird,
I would not build my nest in the air,
But keep close by the side of sweet Kitty Clyde,
And sleep in her soft silken hair. - Chorus.
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