Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Cripple Creek, mouthbows and muppets

Posted By on Tue, Jul 6, 2010 at 12:15 PM

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There's a Cripple Creek in Colorado and another one in Virginia, and no one living today (with the possible exception of Dave Hughes) knows which one the song "Cripple Creek" is about.

But in either case, the following version of the Appalachian folk tune by Buffy Sainte-Marie and a horse muppet whose name I do not know is entertaining for two reasons:

One is that it's an opportunity to see someone play an unusual instrument called the mouthbow, which sounds like a jaw harp, and about which you can find more info in an article entitled The Mouthbow: Making Music on a Weapon.

The second reason is that it's most likely the only time you'll hear a muppet sing the lyric:

"Now the girls up Cripple Creek about half-grown
Jump on a boy like a dog on a bone"

By the way, this song is not the same as the one that The Band made popular, even though the latter does include something that sounds a lot like a jaw harp, but actually isn't. You can find out more about that in the surprisingly informative clip that follows Buffy and the horse below:


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