Christmas Music at Heritage Assisted Living

It was a very cold crisp December morning as the Athens Dulcimers gathered to play at Heritage Assisted Living on County Line Road in Madison. We were warmed when the residents sang along with us to the Christmas tunes we played.

David B <><


I-65 South Welcome Center Pics

7 December 2017 two different groups of Athens Dulcimer players performed at the Ardmore Welcome Center on I-65 southbound.

David B <><

Athens Dulcimer Christmas Tree at the duck pond

Athens North Pole Stroll: Christmas trees next to the Athens-Limestone Visitor Center in the Big Spring Memorial Park in Athens.

I did not take photos of all the trees, so go out and see them for yourselves!

Click on the first image and you can scroll through the stroll…

Merry Christmas!

Limberjill “My Darling Clementine”

Jerry Todd made the limberjack Karen was playing at the last jam though Karen made the outfit.

Click on images for larger picture

Karen says this of her creation, “I painted the face, added the chain hair and handkerchief dress, and put ‘No. 9’ on her shoes because her shoes look like boxes.  Also added the duck “and she quacks back” and I know it’s Clementine!  So, she is a limberjill and I named her “My Darling Clementine”

In a cavern, in a canyon,
Excavating for a mine,
Dwelt a miner, forty-niner
And his daughter – Clementine

Oh my Darling, Oh my Darling,
Oh my Darling Clementine.
Thou art lost and gone forever,
Dreadful sorry, Clementine.

Light she was and like a fairy,
And her shoes were number nine,
Herring boxes without topses
Sandals were for Clementine…

Well, you probably know the rest of the song.

For those who don’t know, the limberjack is an American folk percussion instrument consisting of a dancing wooden doll and a flexible plank and was popular in many areas including Appalachia. Wikipedia says, “…In London they were frequently operated by street entertainers… In England, old soldiers from the Great War (WW I) sometimes busked with them to supplement their meagre war pensions…” Louise Todd always draws a crowd when she plays her limberjacks when the Athens Dulcimers play anywhere.

The jig doll goes by many names and I read that in the Appalachians the general term amongst the old-timers was ‘dancing man’. The term ‘limberjack’ may been introduced in the late 1800s when such homemade toys started to be commercially produced. The term comes from its loose ‘limber’ method of dancing and ‘Jack’ was the generic name for any boy (ref. the tradition of Jack tales).  Limberjacks go by many names such as clogging doll, jig doll, dancing doll, limberjack or limberjill, limbertoy, paddle puppet, stick puppet, and Dancin’ Dan to name a few.

For other limberjack shapes/examples see

David B <><

David’s Dulcimer Diet

Keep in mind I’m assuming playing mountain dulcimer is equal in effort expended to playing an acoustical guitar, and these are all estimates/averages.

Calories burned Music playing, guitar (mountain dulcimer), classical, folk(sitting) is approximately 145 an hour (2.4 calories per minute).

It is well known that a person needs to burn (or not consume) 3,500 calories to lose a pound.

145 calories burned playing dulcimer an hour a day X 30 days = 4,350 calories burned a month. That equals to 1.24 pounds a month.

 145 calories burned playing dulcimer an hour a day X 365 days = 52,200 calories burned a year. That equals to almost 15 pounds a year. [52,200/3,500= 14.9 lbs].

Warning: consult your physician or musicologist before starting any dulcimer diet

David B. <><

Finger Pickin’ Good

Thanks to Louise for the newspaper clippings