UNCLE PEN

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs
  • UNCLE PEN
    “Uncle Pen” is a song penned by Bill Monroe. Bill Monroe’s mother died when he was
    ten years old, followed by his father six years later. Because his siblings had moved away
    from Rosine, Kentucky, Monroe lived for about two years with his uncle Pen Vandiver,
    often accompanying him when Vandiver played the fiddle at local dances. This
    experience later inspired one of Monroe’s most famous compositions, “Uncle Pen,”
    recorded in 1950; on a 1972 album, “Bill Monroe’s Uncle Pen”, Monroe recorded a
    number of traditional fiddle tunes often performed by Vandiver. Another major influence
    in Monroe’s musical life was a black musician named Arnold Shultz who introduced
    Monroe to the blues.
    Oh, the people would come from far away,
    To dance all night to the break of day.
    When the caller would holler: “Do Si Do”,
    They knew Uncle Pen was ready to go.
    Late in the evening, about sundown,
    High on the hill, an’ above the town,
    Uncle Pen played the fiddle, Lord, how it rang,
    You could hear it talk, you could hear it sing!
    Instrumental break.
    Well, he played an old tune they called the “Soldier’s Joy”,
    And he played the one they called the “Boston Boy”.
    Greatest of all was the “Jennie Lynn”,
    To me, that’s where the fiddlin’ begins.
    Late in the evening, about sundown,
    High on the hill, an’ above the town,
    Uncle Pen played the fiddle, Lord, how it rang,
    You could hear it talk, you could hear it sing!
    Instrumental break.
    I’ll never forget that mournful day
    When old Uncle Pen was called away,
    He hung up his fiddle and he hung up his bow,
    And he knew it was time for him to go.
    Late in the evening, about sundown,
    High on the hill, an’ above the town,
    Uncle Pen played the fiddle, Lord, how it rang,
    You could hear it talk, you could hear it sing!
    Instrumental break.
  • Late in the evening, about sundown,
    High on the hill, an’ above the town,
    Uncle Pen played the fiddle, Lord, how it rang,
    You could hear it talk, you could hear it sing!