Arkansas Traveler banjo tabs & chords

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  • Scruggs Style

    Difficulty

    This arrangement features some essential Scruggs-style roll patterns, especially in the B section of the song. Check out the preview measure below to learn the MTMT roll.

    • Key C
    • 100 bpm
    • Tuning gDGBD
    Play Scruggs Style
  • Melodic Style

    Difficulty

    An intermediate level version of Arkansas Traveler. Typically, the song is in D, but it's fun to put your capo on the 2nd fret and play it out of C position.

    • Key C
    • 100 bpm
    • Tuning gDGBD
    Play Melodic Style
  • Backup

    Difficulty

    Arkansas Traveler features regular chord movement between the C and G chords in the B section, and that can be a difficult (and fun) challenge to get the hang of.

    • Key C
    • 100 bpm
    • Tuning gDGBD
    Play Backup

Arkansas Traveler lyrics

Oh, once upon a time in Arkansas
An old man sat in his little cabin door
And fiddled at a tune that he liked to hear
A jolly old tune that he played by ear
It was raining hard, but the fiddler didn't care
He sawed aways at the popular air
Though his rooftop leaked like a waterfall
That didn't seem to bother the old man at all

A traveler was riding by that day
And stopped to hear him a-fiddling away
The cabin was afloat and his feet were wet
But the old man still didn't seem to fret
So the stranger said Now, the way it seems to me
You'd better mend your roof said he
But the old man said as he played away
I couldn't mend it now, it's a rainy day

The rtaveler replied that's all quite true
But this I think is the thing for you to do
Get busy on a day that is fair and bright
Then patch the old roof till it's good and tight
But the old man kept on a-playing at his reel
And tapped the ground with his leathery heel
Get along said he for you give me a pain
My cabin never leaks when it doesn't rain