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Roll In My Sweet Baby’s Arms

2 August 2011 No Comment

Bob Altschulerby Bob Altschuler

Roll in My Sweet Baby’s Arms has been performed by a wide variety of artists, including Bill Monroe, Willie Nelson, Leon Russell, Del McCoury, Jerry Lee Lewis, George Jones, Ricky Skaggs, Flatt and Scruggs, Ralph Stanley, Roy Clark, Doc Watson and untold numbers of well known and lesser known bluegrass bands. The song is a jam and festival favorite and should be part of your regular repertoire.

 

The following are some standard lyrics for this song. If you listen at jams, it is possible to hear other verses, including ones made up on the spot. Like Old Joe Clark and some other bluegrass and folk-based songs, there are standard and other versions of lyrics.

 

 

Roll in My Sweet Baby’s Arms

Ain’t gonna work on the railroad
Ain’t gonna work on the farm
Gonna lay around the shack
Till the mail train comes back
And roll in my sweet baby’s arms.

Chorus: Roll in my sweet baby’s arms
Roll in my sweet baby’s arms
Lay around the shack
Till the mail train comes back
And roll in my sweet baby’s arms.

Where were you last Saturday night
While I was lying down in jail?
You were out walking round
With another man
Wouldn’t even go my bail

Chorus

I know your parents don’t like me
They drove me away from your door
If I had my life to live over again
I’d never go there any more

Chorus

Mama is a beauty operator
Sister can weave and spin
Daddy owns an interest in that old cotton mill
Just watching the money roll in

Chorus

Sometimes there’s a change in the ocean
Sometimes there’s a change in the sea
Sometimes there’s a change in my own true love
But there’s never been a change in me

Chorus

Two fine YouTube performances of Roll in My Sweet Baby’s Arms are from Flatt and Scruggs at

and from IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) award winners with John Hartford at

. The Flatt and Scruggs performance is a classic, and Earl’s timing is still amazing to listen to.

The three tabs below include a basic break in Version 1 plus more complex breaks in Versions 2 and 3.


Happy picking. See you next issue!  

Listen to Roll in My Sweet Baby’s Arms Version 1 mp3

 

Listen to Roll in My Sweet Baby’s Arms Version 3 mp3

Listen to Roll in My Sweet Baby’s Arms Version 2 mp3

  

 

About the Author  

Bob Altschuler, a banjo performer, teacher and writer, has played for 40 years. He lives in upstate New York and records and performs with the Dyer Switch Band, playing at festivals and concerts around the country. Bob’s picking has been heard on National Public Radio and on radio and TV commercials. 

An in-demand instructor for over 35 years, he teaches privately and at workshops, and has been head of the Beginner Bluegrass Track at Banjo Camp North since 2003.

Bob has a large number of instructional articles published online and has written articles for Banjo Newsletter. He has a workshop chapter in Gene Senyak’s 2008 book, Banjo Camp!, which includes chapters on many top players. The May 2011 issue of Banjo Newsletter highlighted a feature article about Bob. 

You can contact him at mailto:arobanjo@aol.com, or through the Dyer Switch website at http://www.dyerswitch.com

 

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