Every Dance That Daddy Played

by @nancycunning

Liner Notes

#family-stories #americana #biab #collaborations_welcome

This is another from the line of family story songs I'm interested in putting together. Another great, great grandfather, this one just a little too young to fight in the Civil War. I was intrigued my stories about how my dad's grandfather and his siblings didn't have much to do with their father after he remarried, though my dad's uncle remembered going to see him at the butcher store where he worked sometimes, and the big white horse he rode on. And everyone in that generation (so his grandkids) remembered that his first kids would go to the dances where he played, and one night one of them danced through her shoes...The song's written from the perspective of one of his daughters. Families are complicated even a hundred years later.

I'm experimenting with slowing down songs like this to make it possible for the listener to hear the words of the story. Usually I just want to get through things as fast as possible.

I'd love to replace the Band in a Box instruments with some real ones at some point, but I was happy to get an idea for now, and I had a hard time convincing myself to stay slow when I tried to play along....

Any feedback is especially welcome, since it's hard to tell whether old family stories can resonate for other people

Lyrics

Every Dance That Daddy Played
Nancy Cunningham

Daddy's first children looked down on Daddy's wife
Daddy's first children disapproved of his second life
Daddy's first children didn't like the choices Daddy made
So they'd only ever see him every dance that Daddy played

Daddy did some preaching, did a whole lot more
Daddy did some workin at the butcher store
Daddy's first children didn't like the choices Daddy made
So he'd only ever see 'em every dance that Daddy played

They'd come
Dancing in the school room, they'd come
Dancing in some barn
Dancing anywhere at all
'Cept back, back on Daddy's farm

They built themselves a little shack, it was no more than rough boards
On Daddy's land of course, they bragged on growing gourds
Well, Daddy's first children didn't like the choices Daddy made
So we'd only ever see 'em every dance that Daddy played

One night his first youngest girl, she danced right through her shoes
She mighta asked, I had a pair she mighta used
But Daddy's first children didn't like the choices Daddy made
So I'd only ever see 'er every dance that Daddy played

I'd see her
Dancing in the school house, she'd be
Dancing in a barn
Dancing anywhere at all
'Cept back, back on Daddy's farm

Daddy's back together with their Mama now
They're both up Friendship cemetery, but anyhow
Daddy's first children didn't like the choices Daddy made
So they'd only go to see him every dance that Daddy played

I gave 'em Daddy's fiddle, but I kept his old guitar
That picture on his big white horse, and a couple empty jars
Daddy's first children didn't like the choices Daddy made
They only ever see 'em every dance that Daddy played
I don't know, did they even him every dance my Daddy played



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This is one fabulous song...truly authentic storytelling and beautifully sung. I don't use BIAB but it doesn't detract from the impact this song has...in fact, it enhances it's potential imo...

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@mctown

Cool song... nice story lyric.

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@brisk

I obviously have a terrible ear, because I thought this backing sounded lovely and didn't really question its provenance - I assumed you just had a bunch of likeminded hoedown experts to hand. This song is really accomplished sounding, as is the vocal performance. I think the tempo is great, lets you tell the story clearly but doesn't drag. Great story too. All round goodness.

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Thanks, @wolfkier I removed all the panning and reposted it. Someday I'll learn what all those knobs are for, but better to leave them alone in the meantime. And thank you @billwhite51 - I'll keep practicing my guitar.

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I think this is a story many people can relate to but even if not, other people's family stories are fascinating. This is so authentic-sounding in every way and I'm often critical of BIAB but this sounds good.

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This really is lovely. Nance. I love that down home country feel.... great hook, only ever see em...
but why are your vocals on the left? Don't you have a choice.

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the song and your singing is so genuine that i hate to hear it compromised by the canned accompaniment of BIAB. if your problem is keeping the time even, and not speeding up, i suggest you practice your guitar with a metronome if neccessary so you can record your songs with the authenticity of real instruments that they deserve. i think this is one of your best songs.