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<  Lyrics / Chords  ~  Birmingham Mill Lyrics and Banjo Tab

The whistle knows my name
Posted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:50 pm Reply with quote
Thousandaire Joined: 21 Apr 2008 Posts: 1140

I tabbed out the banjo part. Since this really is a co-write between Willie and Ketch I'm posting it here.
Note that Willie plays this with the capo on 2. If you want to be in the same key, capo on 2 and adjust the fifth string up a whole tone (to A).
Otherwise, you can play this in standard tuning without any adjustments.
Note that this is performed in a two-finger thumb lead old timey style. The thumb picks out every note except for the first string, which the index finger picks. The other three fingers don't actually do anything other than rest on the head of the banjo.
I provided an example index finger part in the first measure, but I didn't want to keep tabbing it out; it follows pretty much the same rhythmic patter throughout the song.

If you're interested, check out my video tutorial here!!

One fair girl with fine yellow hair
Wildflower of the west country
Plucked one night for a stormy ride
On a winding road to the east

One fair girl at the Birmingham Mill
For a dollar and a half times three
See the spinning wheels turn, she is young, but she'll learn
With her slender white hands to weave

Twelve small stacks in a row row row
And a girl of five times three
See the mill boss patrol, hear the factory bells toll
And the girls look as sad as can be
And she cried for her home country

One little spark set a light to a flame
And the fire climbed through to the eaves
And the roof it crashed and the girls all dashed
And they all cried "oh god please"
And she crawled on her hands and her knees

At the Birmingham Mill where the wildflowers grow
Round the grave of the girl so fair
See the lily bells bloom round her cold marble tomb
And they come in the spring of the year

"That's the whole principle of the Medicine Show ... you put your trust in the medicine, and you don't get beat up."
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