More about Down in the Willow Garden
"Down in the Willow Garden" also called "Rose Connelly" is a song that may have its origins from Irish sources in the 19th century. The song was first recorded as "Rose Conley" in either 1927 or 1928 by G. B. Grayson and Henry Whitter. In 1937, another version was recorded by Wade Mainer and Zeke Morris, giving it the name, "Down in the Willow Garden". The song is an Appalachian murder ballad that tells the story of a lady who was poisoned, stabbed, and had her body thrown into the river by her lover. The story or lyric was written from the perspective of the murderer. A man whose father had promised to buy his freedom but failed and was condemned to watch his son executed. Being faced with death, the murderer is overwhelmed by the realization of his action and what pain he has caused his family. A truly sad story considering the victim was assumed to be pregnant. We can only speculate about his motive or motivation but all in all, Rose Connelly got justice for her murder. The song has different versions performed using different styles, one version from Galway is slightly different and has similar lyrics with W. B Yeats 1899 poem called “Down by the Salley Gardens”. Unlike many other Irish ballads, the tune was initially limited to being played in the Appalachian region of the US. But in 1915 it was noted and had a reference in 1895 in Wetzel County, West Virginia. There are over a dozen recordings of the songs and one of the versions that made it popular was that recorded by Charlie Monroe in 1947.
Here on Tunefox you’ll find 3 versions of Down in the Willow Garden for banjo. The Scruggs style tablature will teach you how to play slides, hammer-ons and pull-offs. In the single string arrangement of Down in the Willow Garden, you’ll learn some fancy up-the-neck work. The third variation of this song is a forward roll based-backup arrangement.
Each Tunefox arrangement teaches you how to create your own solos by using a feature called the Lick Switcher. The Lick Switcher features different style licks such as Scruggs, Melodic, or Bluesy and you can swap out measures in Down in the Willow Garden to learn about improvisation and creating arrangements. To use the Lick Switcher, click on the text "Original Measure" above certain measures in the song. Then select the lick you'd like to insert into the song. You can also click on "Shuffle Licks" at the bottom of the page to see a fully new version of the tablature.
There are a number of fantastic learning tools in Tunefox to help you memorize, learn by ear, and improve your speed. These special features are found in the "Tools" menu at the bottom right of your screen. The "Hide Notes" tool will hide a number of the notes in the tab so you can use your ears to learn parts of the melody of the Down in the Willow Garden. Next, try out the "Memory Train" tool, which will hide more and more notes each time the song or measure loops. This will help get you off of the tab you’ve been working with so you can play it by memory. The "Speed Up" feature gradually speeds up the song so you can hone your technique and challenge yourself to go faster.
Using backing tracks for practice should be an essential part of every musician’s routine. With Tunefox, you can practice Down in the Willow Garden as fast or as slow as you want and mix the volume of the tracks with the instrument to your liking. There’s also a metronome so you can always feel the pulse of the song with or without the band track playing along.
When you’ve finished creating your arrangement of Down in the Willow Garden, export your song arrangement to PDF file. This feature is for members of Tunefox, only.