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Harmonica Lessons: "Will The Circle be Unbroken"

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[MUSIC]
This is one of the most important country,
bluegrass, folk, gospel tunes in
the history of American music.
It's called, Will the Circle be Unbroken?
I believe it's a Carter family tune.
Which means that one of
them either wrote it or
found it somewhere with
someone else signing it.
This song became very important
in the early 70's, when a group
called the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band recorded
it on an album with the same name.
All different kinds of musicians, country
and bluegrass and hippies got together,
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band was basically
kind of a hippiesque bluegrass band.
But they were also bluesy and
they had a harmonica player too.
I've met him.
Awe, I can't remember his name.
John McEwen, maybe.
And the hippies found that when they
got into that back to the earth thing,
and moving into communes, and
moving to the country,
that they ran into the country people.
And there was some hostility first
between the country people who were
definitely more conservative and
more short haired, and between them and
the long haired people.
But as they got into
playing music together,
they found that a lot of the core of
the music of the country people and
the blue grass people was very,
they could really relate to it.
And songs like this have
such a universal message.
The words are, will the circle be
unbroken, by and by, Lord, by and by.
There's a better home awaitin in the sky,
Lord, in the sky.
So, this is that song that deals with
the transitions between life and
death and what it all means.
The verses are great,
you can look up the words online.
But, I'm just gonna play you the tune.
And it's one of those country tunes.
It's that panatonic.
[MUSIC]
I'm using a C harp.
It's my old special 20 that I found
in a drawer somewhere around here.
And
[MUSIC]
you have to have control
over that third hole draw bend.
[MUSIC]
There is a lot of
little nuances
[MUSIC]
unlike the urban blues.
[MUSIC]
This one emphasizes.
[MUSIC]
You can play some bluesy stuff with
the fifth hole draw, but
you have to save it for
those extra special moments
when it can really hit home.
Cuz the song has chords.
It's G, G7, C, G7 and then the E minor.
That minor chord,
that is the sad side of life.
The relative minor chord to the G major.
So, here we go, with this incredibly
important tune that everyone knows.
[MUSIC]
That's
all it
is.
[MUSIC]