Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

Old Blue, an Illustrated Song

Posted on: January 30, 2014

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OLD BLUE 4 SBWE limberjack
Old Blue (arranged by ELEG for SBWE and limberjack dog)

Traditional Words and Tune
Arrangement by ELEG for SBWE
To view or print this sheet, click here:
OLD BLUE 4 SBWE limberjack

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Note to self:
Key of C.
Pitch pipe start on E.

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Old Blue Taylor Holton
Old Blue (You Good Dog You)
Traditional Words and Tune
Story by Mark Taylor
Illustrated by Gene Holton
Sing OLD BLUE with Emily:

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This books tells the sometimes funny and touching story of the song.  Individual pages might be assembled to illustrated the song lyrics.  Musical chart with guitar chords is in the back of the book with a set of lyrics.

Here’s the printed music from the book:

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old dog blue holtan11
Old Blue (You Good Dog You) (Printed Music)
Traditional Words and Tune
Arranged by Mark Taylor

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OLD BLUE lyrics w guitar chords 4 SBWE
Old Blue (Lyric Sheet with Guitar Chords for SBWE)
Traditional Words and Tune
Arrangement by ELEG for SBWE
OLD BLUE lyrics w guitar chords 4 SBWE

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OLD BLUE 4 SBWE limberjack
Old Blue (arranged by ELEG for SBWE and limberjack dog)

Traditional Words and Tune
Arrangement by ELEG for SBWE
To view or print this sheet, click here:
OLD BLUE 4 SBWE limberjack

*
Note to self:
Key of C.
Pitch pipe start on E.

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Patty Cake Claps and Pats Instructions for OLD BLUE
For the Sing Books with Emily No Book or Accompaniment Need Set Choices List

The counting is a nice slow 1 (and) 2 (and) 3 (and) 4 (and)

With both hands, pat thighs slowly counting 4 to set a nice slow steady rhythm

Prepare with a clap and leave your hands like in the hands together clap position in front of you.  We’ll call this, “home.”

The counts then, will go like this:

  • Count 1: From home, pat your right thigh with your right hand
  • Count And: Bring right hand back to home with a clap
  • Count 2: From that home, pat left thigh with left hand
  • Count And: Bring right hand back to home with a clap
  • Count 3: Both hands pat both thighs
  • Count And: Bring right hand back to home with a clap
  • Count 3: Both hands pat both thighs
  • Count And: Bring right hand back to home with a clap

Here’s an example lyric with Patty Cake Counts

  • I (Count 1)
  • had (Count And)
  • a dog (Count 2)
  • and (Count And)
  • his name (Count 3)
  • was (Count And)
  • blue (Count 4)
  • (rest Count And)

Then just keep on trucking.

(Not to self, make a little video to demonstrate.  It’s a lot easier than these instructions appear)

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OLE BLUE is featured in:

Sleepytime Songs

Compiled by Peter Yarrow
Illustrated by Terry Widener
Collection of lullabies, illustrated from the:
The Peter Yarrow Songbook Series

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This is what Peter Yarrow says in the Peter Yarrow Songbook SLEEPYTIME SONGS about OLE BLUE:

One of the most beloved, endearing story songs I’ve ever sung for children, “Ole Blue” tells of the great love between a child and a dog.  We can sense how proud the child is that Blue responds whenever he hears the sound of the child’s horn, and the child’s delightful appreciation of Blue’s way of chasing a possum up a tree.  Particularly touching is the child’s confirmation that Blue is a really “good dog” and has, like all dogs, a place in heaven.

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As with many folk songs, the lyrics of this one vary from person to person, place to place and I’ve heard and read many a-lyric about OLD BLUE.  This simple set of lyrics, however, works for me.  My daughter has a sweet sensitivity to the death of an animal.  So, though most of the lyrics refer to the death of Old Blue, I’m gonna choose for this fact to be “implied” with the past tense and to remember some of the quirky wonderful habits of Good Ol’ Blue:

OLD BLUE
Traditional Words and Tune

I had a dog and his name was Blue
I had a dog and his name was Blue
I had a dog and his name was Blue
I betcha five dollars he’s a good dog, too

I’m cryin’, “Here Blue. You good dog you.”

Blue come a-runnin’ when I blow my horn
Blue come a-runnin’ when I blow my horn
Blue come a-runnin’ through the yella corn
Blue comea-runnin’ when I blow my horn

I’m a blowin’, “Here Blue. You good dog you.”

Blue chased a possum up a hollow limb
Blue chased a possum up a hollow limb
Blue chased a possum up a hollow limb
Old Blue growled, Possum grinned at him

He was grinnin’ “Here Blue. You good dog you.”

I had a dog and his name was Blue
I had a dog and his name was Blue
I had a dog and his name was Blue
I betcha five dollars he’s a good dog, too

I’m cryin’, “Here Blue. You good dog you.”

I’m cryin’, “Here Blue. You good dog you.”

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Old Blue (You Good Dog You)
Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Gene Holton

old dog blue holtan2
I had a dog and his name was Blue
I had a dog and his name was Blue

old dog blue holtan4
I had a dog and his name was Blue
I betcha five dollars he’s a good dog, too

old dog blue holtan1
Cryin’, “Here Blue, you good dog you”

old dog blue holtan6
Blue come a-runnin’ when I blow my horn
Blue come a-runnin’ when I blow my horn
Blue come a-runnin’ through the yellow corn
Blue come a-runnin’ when I blow my horn

old dog blue holtan3
I’m blowin’, “Here Blue, you good dog you”

old dog blue holtan9
Blue chased a possum up a hollow limb
Blue chased a possum up a hollow limb

old dog blue holtan8
Old Blue growled, Possum grinned at him

old dog blue holtan7
He was grinnin’, “Here Blue, you good dog you”

old dog blue holtan5
I had a dog and his name was Blue
I had a dog and his name was Blue

old dog blue holtan10
I had a dog and his name was Blue
I betcha five dollars he’s a good dog, too

old dog blue holtan1
Cryin’, “Here Blue, you good dog you”

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My “OLD BLUES”

When I was a kid, we had many dogs, usually a couple at a time.  When I sing this song, I remember our Good Ol’ Dogs Grant (he was a Miniature Poodle), Nikki (she was a Black and Golden Labrador mix), Paddy (she was a Weatie), Tilly (a Standard Poodle) and Sadie (a Standard Poodle).  I love and miss them all.

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This song is known variously at OL’ BLUE, OLD BLUE, OLE BLUE, OLD DOG BLUE

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OLD BLUE wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Blue_(song)

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A bit of info and a different set of lyrics on Ballad of America website:
http://www.balladofamerica.com/music/indexes/songs/oldblue/index.htm

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OH, how I love love love James Taylor:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ss3JiGaFj3w
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ss3JiGaFj3w

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The Byrds sing OLD BLUE

www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbuQDqnMebk

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Here’s the Dillard’s bluegrass version, a different tune, but worth hearing it just for the story they tell before singing it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMw2Fdylb4E

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Old Blue, sung by Dave van Ronk (mighty fine guitar):

www.youtube.com/watch?v=LC6KQ8n-JlM

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Brooks Williams

www.youtube.com/watch?v=nypDOby2P3g

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I like this flickr photo of a dog’s eptitaph
WILMA RUDOLPH TUCKER, A Damn Good Dog:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/19944331@N03/2458444806/in/photostream/

I wonder if they named their dog after the great runner Wilma Rudolph.  When I was a kid, Wilma Rudloph lived up the street from us in Indianapolis for a couple years.

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Related Posts

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PETER YARROW SONGBOOK

A list of the Singable Picture Books from the Peter Yarrow Songbook series:
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2009/11/30/the-case-for-singing-with-children-from-peter-yarrow/

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Old Blue (You Good Dog You), a Picture Book with Music
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/old-blue-you-good-dog-you-a-picture-book-with-music/

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OLD BLUE Gets a Song Sheet with Guitar Chords
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/old-blue-gets-a-song-sheet-with-guitar-chords/

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SING-ALONG RESOURCES AND PRINTABLE MATERIALS
This is the place to find Print Materials Created by Emily
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/sing-along-resources-2/

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OLD BLUE, AN ILLUSTRATED SONG

https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/old-blue-you-good-dog-you-a-picture-book-with-music/

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Old Blue for SBWE and Limberjack
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2015/10/25/old-blue-for-sbwe-and-limberjack/

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LIMBERJACK SONGS FOR SBWE
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2015/10/09/limberjack-songs-for-sing-books-with-emily/

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No Book or Accompaniment Needed Set Choices
Sing Books with Emily No Book or Accompaniment Needed Set Choices
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2016/04/14/no-books-and-no-accompaniment-needed/

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