Bluegrass Fiddler of London

Well I was walkin’ around feelin’ lost
Wonderin’ what to do
Tourists everywhere
With no time to spare
I was feelin’ lonesome and blue

I looked around in the paper
For the sights to see
It seemed a little absurd
I thought, oh my word
I’m goin’ to a jamboree

She’s the bluegrass fiddler of London
Up north in Kentish Town
For the music that’s so fine
Head on up to the Vine
For a taste of that old-time sound

Now I got nothin’ against the punk rockers,
The hot-town women with the belly button rings
But when I just got to let loose
I hop on the caboose
To listen to them old fiddle strings


Soon I’ll head back to Massachusetts
Though I’ll be sorry to part
Now I loved that beans and toast
But what I’ll remember most
Was how that fiddle warmed my lonely heart


“Bluegrass Fiddler of London” originally appeared on the CD and cassette, Make It So, in 1996.

For several weeks in 1995 I had a pretty rough time traveling around Ireland and England. I got really sick, and couldn’t busk, and I was broke, and hungry. But I managed to get out of the hostel on the nights I wasn’t feeling too shit, and one of those nights was spent hanging out at a pub called the Vine in Kentish Town, which is a neighborhood of London. There were a bunch of impressive bluegrass musicians there holding court, which around that time was something you would run into a bit more often in both England and Ireland. Or maybe I was just looking for it more back then, I don’t know. But I had such an enjoyable evening, I was inspired to verse.