1. Tunefox.com
  2. Banjo songs
  3. Leather Britches

Banjo tablatures for Leather Britches


Recomended level: Intermediate

Tags: #up-tempo, #old-time, #fiddle tune

The term may apply to' leather breeches,' a word for green (snap) beans dried in the pod and then fried in some sections of the American South and West. Sometimes the beans would be stabbed together with a needle and thread and hanged to dry where they would last the winter (but they would have to be washed before cooking to re-hydrate them). Or the name may apply to real leather shoes, and it has been pointed out that performing the melody on the fiddle requires bowing in a gesture that has been related to stitching motions with a needle and thread. Professor Samuel Bayard states that the song is derived from or connected to an Irish air named "Breeches On (The)" and "Irish Lad (The)" and a common Scottish reel generally called "Lord MacDonald (4)/McDonald's Reel." In particular, the order of the pieces is changed from the' MacDonald' theme. Paul Gifford claims that the first print version of "Leather Breeches" occurs in numerical tablature in Music for the Piano Dulcimer by Robert J. Rudisill (born in 1804, a farmer from Ralls County, Missouri.), written in 1859 by Stedman (New York) & Milton (Kentucky), distributed by L.S. & H. Wade. Apparently the volume was written to complement the dulcimers created by the Wades in Chautauqua County, New York, says Paul. Gifford remarks (in Fiddle-L, 2013), that "Leather Breeches," "is in A Tour Through Indiana in 1840: The Diary of John Parsons of Petersburg, Virginia (NY: Robert M. McBride & Co., 1920, now at the University of Pittsburgh Library), p. 227, where he wrote:"

  • Banjo Leather Britches  Scruggs Style

    Scruggs Style

    A simple arrangement of leather britches reminiscent of the B section to Cumberland Gap.

    Banjo Leather Britches  Scruggs Style
  • Banjo Leather Britches  Melodic Style

    Melodic Style

    A really fun and involved version of Leather Britches as played by Scott Vestal on the "Ultimate Pickin'" record.

    Banjo Leather Britches  Melodic Style
  • Banjo Leather Britches  Backup Style

    Backup Style

    Lots of open G rolling in this one, and it's a great example of how to play behind a fiddle player. Leather Britches is commonly played as a fiddle/banjo duet.

    Banjo Leather Britches  Backup Style