Charlie Daniels doesn’t hold back when he plays the fiddle (photo courtesy charliedaniels.com)
7-Song History of the Fiddle in the South
The Devil Went Down to Georgia
In day’s past, the fiddle was often referred to as “the Devil’s box.” Church leaders condemned fiddle music because it was associated with dances and partying. Traveling fiddle players themselves often preferred to fiddle their lives away on wine, women, and song rather than settle down. From this sprang legends associating the Devil with fiddling, which often involved a fiddler selling his soul in return for expert knowledge of the fiddle. There are versions of this story from all across the world, but the most familiar one to Americans is probably “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by The Charlie Daniels Band. Inspired by the Stephen Vincent Benet poem “The Mountain Whippoorwill,” the song tells the story of a country boy named Johnny who puts his soul on the line in a fiddle contest against the Devil. In classic folktale fashion, Johnny beats the Devil, but the real winner in the song is Charlie Daniels’ fiddle playing, which imitates the different fiddling styles of the two contestants.Although these songs provide an excellent introduction to the fiddle tradition of the American South, they barely scratch the surface of the fiddle’s history. And as music continues to evolve, fiddle players are reviving older styles and innovating the art form even further. So what songs would you put on the list?
Again we turn to the living legend, Charlie Daniels, to give us one of the premier “fiddling” songs of modern times.
Here’s the link –