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Hi, this is my educational research site dedicated mainly to traditional music. Currently I'm working on US and Canadian versions of the Child Ballads (click Bluegrass Lyrics>Ballads> 305 Child Ballads). The Child Ballad section (the 305 Child ballads) is way over 10,000 pages! Also check out my books and articles (Click Roots> Roots; Old-time Folk & Bluegrass and related Books- it's near the bottom of left hand column). Anyone who wants to help do research on this site; edit; or just comment please- contact me: Richiematt7@gmail.com I do this research for you! If you want to help me please do; you can make a donation or a suggestion, share some lyrics. I want to thank you for using and sharing this research - this site is dedicated to you and all who have shared their songs through the ages. Carry on!

Richard L. Matteson Jr. 2014

   [Below is my painting of Tenbrooks and Molly: which is exhibited at the Country Music Hall-of-Fame Museum in Kentucky]

Painting by Richard L. Matteson Jr. of Molly and Tenbrooks, the song that created the bluegrass genre. To see all of Richard's "Bluegrass Series" Paintings: http://www.mattesonart.com/bluegrass-series.aspx Comments, donations, or to contact Richard: Richiematt7@gmail.com

Richard Matteson, Earl Skruggs, Doc Watson and Ricky Skaggs before a concert in Winston-Salem NC

Above is Richard Matteson's new book, Acoustic Music Source Book, published in October 2010. Available now from Mel Bay Publications 1-800-863-5229 or Amazon.com The book has the melody, history (origin), lyrics and chords of over 200 bluegrass and old-time songs.


Richard Matteson's Bluegrass Picker's Tunebook. Matteson is the founder and current guitarist of the Bluegrass Messengers, now in Port St. Lucie, FL. Bluegrass Picker's Tunebook, still in print, was published by Mel Bay in May 2006. It features the melody, history (origin), lyrics and chords of 213 bluegrass songs. Also has an introduction detailing the bluegrass style and history. Available still from Mel Bay Publications 1-800-863-5229

Bluegrass Messengers Play with Doc Watson in Eden NC


Constant Farmer's Son- George Digweed (Hamp) 1906

Constant Farmer's Son- George Digweed (Hamp) 1906

[From: Henry Hammond Manuscript Collection (HAM/3/14/4).

R. Matteson 2016]

Constant Farmer's Son- sung by George Digweed, of Micheldever, Hampshire in March, 1906; collected by H.E.D. Hammond.

Tis of a merchant's daughter in London town did dwell,
So modest, fair and handsome, and her parents lovd her well,
She was admired by lords and squires, but all their hopes was vain,
There was only one, twas a farmer's son, young Mary's heart could gain.

Long time young William courted her, and fixed the wedding day,
His (Her) brothers both consented he should be sent to sea
There lives a lord, he pledged his word, and him we shall not shun;
Him we'll betray and then we'll slay her constant farmer's son.

A fair was held not far from town, these brothers went straightway,
They asked young William's company with them to spend the day;
But mark, returning home again they sware his race was run,
And with a stake the life did take of her constant farmer's son.

As Mary on her pillow  lay, she dreamt such dreadful dreams,
She dreamt she saw his body lay his blood it 'peared in streams,
Then she arose; put on her clothes, to seek her love did run,
Dead and cold, she did behold her constant farmer's son.

The salt tear stood upon his cheeks, all mingled with his gore,
She shrunk in vain, to ease her pain, and kissed him ten times o'er,
She gathered green leaves from the trees, to keep him from the sun,
Three nights and days she passed away with her constant farmer's son.

Sharp hunger it come creeping on, poor girl she shrunk with woe;
Tried and find the murderer then straightway home did go,
"Parents dear, you soon shall hear, the dreadful deed is done,
In yonder vale lies dead and pale my constant farmer's son.

Up come her oldest brother and said it was not he,
The same replied the younger one, and sware most bitterly,
But  Mary said, "Don't turn so red, nor try the laws (loss) to shun,
You done the deed, and you shall bleed for my constant farmer's son.

And these two villains owned the guilt, and for the same did die;
Young Mary fair in deep despair, and never ceased to cry.
Her parents they did fade away, their glass of life was run,
Poor Mary cried, in sorrow died for her constant farmer's son.