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Pretty Polly banjo tabs

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  • Tablatures
    Banjo Pretty Polly tab

    Stanley Style

    The Stanley Brothers

    • Difficulty
    • Key
      G
    • Tempo
      130 bpm
    • Tuning
      gDGBD

    This is the exact arrangement of Pretty Polly that Ralph Stanley played on the original recording of this song. Play close to the bridge for maximum Stanley tone.

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  • Bluesy Style

    The Stanley Brothers

    • Difficulty
    • Key
      G
    • Tempo
      120 bpm
    • Tuning
      gDGBD

    Based on the Stanley-style version of Pretty Polly, this has a lot more bluesy licks thrown in to give it some spice.

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  • Backup

    The Stanley Brothers

    • Difficulty
    • Key
      G
    • Tempo
      130 bpm
    • Tuning
      gDGBD

    A bluesy backup version of Pretty Polly with lots of forward rolls in the style of Ralph Stanley. Try to sing the lyrics while you're playing!

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More about Pretty Polly

"Pretty Polly", "The Gosport Tragedy" or "The Cruel Ship's Carpenter" is a popular English-language folk song located among other areas in the British Isles, Canada, and North America's Appalachian region. The album is a ballad of suicide, telling about a young woman drawn into the forest. There she is murdered and buried in a shallow grave. Some versions of the plot have the protagonist as the carpenter of a boat who wants to marry Polly but murders her once she gets pregnant. If he sails back to sea, either he is visited by her spirit, confesses to the assassination, goes mad and disappears, or the boat will not run, refuses the assassination, and her ghost rips him to pieces. There is a number of existing broadside versions of the earliest known edition of "The Gosport Tragedy." It is a long ballad of rhymed sets, seventeen verses of eight lines each. A print has an estimated date from 1760 to 1765 at the Lewis Walpole Library. D.C. Fowler argued in "The Gosport Tragedy: Story of a Ballad" that the events described in the song might have occurred in 1726. The boat, sometimes known as "laying at Portsmouth," as in the song as the Bedford. Fowler found evidence that on September 25, 1726, a ship's carpenter on the Bedford was killed at sea by the name of John Billson, and that at the point there was a Charles Stewart among the crew members, as stated in some accounts. The unfortunate heroine, "Molly," seems not to have been found in St. Mary's Alverstoke's Parish Church, the supposed "Gosford Chapel," as the album says. While not convincing, the situation of Fowler was found probable by a variety of later commentators.

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 Pretty Polly 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. Be sure to check out all of the great learning tools that Tunefox has to offer such as "Hide Notes", "Memory Train", and "Speed Up". These tools can be found in the "Tools" menu at the bottom right of your screen. Want to learn some of Pretty Polly by ear? Use "Hide Notes" to hide some or all of the notes in the tablature. Once you’re finished learning with the tab use the "Memory Train" tool to commit the song to memory. Then practice with "Speed Up" to improve your technique and speed in no time. Each arrangement of Pretty Polly for banjo features real-sounding backing tracks. Use these backing tracks to polish up the solo you’re working on. You can mix the banjo, band, and metronome up or down so that you have several options for your practice. Members can also export all of their banjo Pretty Polly arrangements into PDF files.

Pretty Polly lyrics

Oh Polly, Pretty Polly, come go along with me.
Polly, Pretty Polly, come go along with me.
Before we get married some pleasures to see.

She got behind him and away they did go,
She got behind him and away they did go,
Over the hills and mountains to the valley below....p.
Pretty Polly mistrusted and then began to weep.

Oh Willie, Oh Willie, I'm afraid to of your ways.
Willie, Oh Willie, I'm afraid of your ways.
The way you've been acting, you'll lead me astray.

They went up a little farther, and what did they spy,
They went up a little farther and what did they spy,
A newly-dug grave, and a spade lying by.

Oh Polly, Pretty Polly, your guess is about right.
Polly, Pretty Polly, your guess is about right.
I dug on your grave the best part of last night.

She knelt down before him pleading for her life.
She knelt down before him pleading for her life.
Please let me be a single girl if I can't be your wife.

He stabbed her in the heart and her heart's blood did flow.
He stabbed her in the heart and her heart's blood did flow.
And into the grave Pretty Polly did go.

He threw something over her and turned to go home,
He threw something over her and turned to go home,
Leaving nothing behind him, but the girl left to mourn.

He went down to the jailhouse and what did he say.
He went down to the jailhouse and what did he say.
I killed Pretty Polly and tried to get away.

Oh gentlemen and ladies, I bid you farewell.
Oh gentlemen and ladies, I bid you farewell.
For killing Pretty Polly my soul will go to hell.