A Banjo Story

Dan Hubbs


Hubbs, Dan. “A Banjo Story.” New York Folklore, vol. 48: 1-4, 2022, pp. 62-65.


Everyone listened intently to the words and the lovely trills and his earnest expressive demeanor. There was encouragement mid-song: “Good man, yourself.” “Good man, Paddy.” There was a circle of aunts and uncles and American visitors in attendance. A few others had songs that night. Aunt Peg, from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, offered The Wild Colonial Boy. But Paddy was the real singer, with a seemingly endless store of songs, most of which I had never heard. All the same, I was delighted and moved. We drank and listened and talked. I heard about cousins in Germany and uncles in the Bronx, and I tried to piece it all together and remember who was who. As my grandmother was one of thirteen, there were many people to discuss and to hear about.

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