Golden Slippers - by James Alan Bland

Originally this song was titled Oh, Dem Golden Slippers. It was written by James Alan Bland in 1879. He was an African-American musician and song writer who lived from 1854 till 1911. At the age of 14 he was professionally performing banjo. He toured the United States and Europe and is often called “The World’s Greatest Minstrel Man”.

Oh, Dem Golden Slippers was actually a parody of Golden Slippers, a spiritual song sung by the Fisk Jubilee Singers. But Bland’s version became more popular and is now commonly referred to as Golden Slippers. In the 19th century, the song was sung by blackface performers. It is now considered an American standard and is part of the fiddling tradition.

Part of the song goes like this:

Oh, them golden slippers
Oh, them golden slippers
Golden slippers I’m goin’ to wear
Because they look so neat

Oh, them golden slippers
Oh, them golden slippers
Golden slippers I’m goin’ to wear
To walk the golden street

Here is a nice version of this fiddle tune, performed by the Cherryholmes fiddlers.

My recording of this beginner fiddle tune

This was the seventh beginner fiddle song I’ve learned so far. Like the previous fiddle tunes I’ve practiced, this one is also from the Beginner Fiddle Collection. I really love this collection of 25 fiddle tunes. They are fun and all come with piano accompaniment to play along! And I’ve just found out that I can actually change the speed of the song. I just noticed that they have midi downloads available too. So, now I just open the midi file in Musescore (a free program) and I can play the accompaniment at the speed I prefer. This is great because the other accompaniments are a bit fast. So, now I can choose a speed that is more doable for me. :-)

After watching my own recording I can see that I got behind the piano at times. I’m sorry about that. But I was to tired to try and record it again… Hope to do better next time. Anyway, two more fiddle songs will soon be uploaded and then I will be focusing on concertos for a while. Who gave me that idea ;-) I think it’s nice to play different styles of music and not do the same thing all the time.

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