Skip To My Lou by Roger McGuinn
From Roger McGuinn's "The Folk Den Project" page:
"In November of 1995 I began a project for the preservation of the music I love, Folk Music. Each month I would record a song, print the lyrics and chords, add a personal note and put it on my web site, mcguinn.com. I wanted everyone to have the opportunity to learn the songs and to be able to sing them with their families and friends, so downloads were offered free of charge."
The lyrics, chords, and notes on each song can be found at the Folk Den Project website.
In 2005, Roger McGuinn released a 4xCD to commemorate the 10 year anniversary of the FOLK DEN. The
compilation contains 100 favorites re-recorded in 24-bit 44.1 KHz
Stereo, and comes with detailed liner notes. The compilation is available at The Folk Den Project.
In early America, respectable folk in Protestant communities have always regarded the fiddle as the devil’s instrument and dancing as downright sinful. Faced with such a religious prejudice for socializing, young people of the frontier developed the “play-party,” in which all the objectionable features of a square dance were removed or masked so that their grave elders could approve.
No instruments were permitted - the dancers sang and clapped their own music. In time, the play-party acquired a life of its own. It became an ideal amusement for teenagers and young married couples. In many a frontier community, the bear hunters, Indian fighters, the rough keel-boat men and the wild cowboys could be seen dancing innocently with their gals, like so many children at a Sunday school picnic.
“Skip to My Lou” is a simple game of stealing partners. It begins with any number of couples hand in hand, skipping around in a ring. A lone boy in the center of the moving circle of couple sings, “Lost my partner what’ll I do?” as the girls whirl past him. The young man in the center hesitates while he decides which girl to choose, singing, “I’ll get another one prettier than you.” When he grasps the hand of his chosen one, her partner then takes his place in the center of the ring and the game continues. It’s an ice-breaker, a good dance to get a group acquainted to one another and to get everyone in the mood for swinging around.
It’s interesting to note that “loo” is the Scottish word for “love.” The spelling change from “loo” to “lou” probably happened as our Anglo ancestors, and the song, became Americanized.
I decided that since I was allowed to play musical instruments, I would use guitar and banjo on this song.
Source: The Folk Songs of North America, by Alan Lomax, Doubleday.
Recordings on file by: Carter Family, Lead Belly, Mike & Peggy Seeger, Pete Seeger.
Lyrics and chords available from Folk Den Project.
Skip To My Lou by Roger McGuinn is licensed under a Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.