Ashokan Farewell

This song goes out to Jeanne…. my beautiful bride, the mother of my son, my best friend and the love of my life.

Those of you who were at our wedding may remember it as our wedding song. You may also recognize it as the theme song for the Ken Burns 1990 PBS television miniseries, “The Civil War.”

Although Ashokan Farewell sounds as if it were a traditional tune that was played at the time of the Civil War, it was actually composed composed by Jay Ungar in 1982. Ashokan Farewell  captures the essence of a period of time gone by; it is among the most beautiful fiddle songs ever written.

My fiddle playing is coming along. My bowing has improved, I still need to get better at vibrato with my left hand.

But it’s coming along…

Click on the photo above for link to the video or here:


3 responses

  1. Nice emotional rendering of Ashokan. I was so moved when I first heard that song, that I got my 50 year old self out to a fiddle shop, found an “old time” fiddle teacher, and began working my way to playing Ashokan.

    After a time, I wrote to Jay and told him how that song had moved this “non musical,” hidebound retired cop to begin playing. He wrote a warm response. He’d probably be pleased to know how important it’s been in your life.

    Keep up all of your good work.

    October 19, 2012 at 1:17 pm

  2. Thank you so much for commenting. That’s inspiring that you wrote Jay and he responded. Perhaps I should do the same.

    This song, too, moved me greatly when I first heard it. I have been a guitar and clawhammer banjo player for years, playing music frrom the pre-Civil War through the overland journey and the settiling of the Western Frontier circa 1840-1920.

    After hearing Ashokan, I dreamed of learning to play the fiddle, but I didn’t think I was “ready” until recently. I quite literally know only five songs on the fiddle right now. It’s a little instrument with such a big voice. I love all of my other instruments, but their sound seems so “dull” in comparison to the fiddle.

    I’m looking forward to improving my fiddling and learning more.

    October 21, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    • gooddogbill

      Keep at it. I had a fiddle teacher and it made all of the difference. Haven’t played in a year or so. Need to take care of a Dupuytren’s Contracture in my fret hand. Much luck on your journey. I’ll stay tuned. Best, Jocko

      October 21, 2012 at 6:12 pm

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