Kentucky Home / Champagne / Emily’s Song

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Kentucky Home / Champagne / Emily’s Song

“My Old Kentucky Home” is a Stephen Foster chestnut that happens to work very well on the solo guitar in D, if you drop the low E string to a D and drum back and forth between the two D strings. By a strange coincidence, the same distinctive chord pattern is also the basis of Taj Mahal’s Nobody’s Business But My Own. So these two pieces are natural to put together into a medley.

I used the same chord pattern as the basis of my own piece, Emily’s Song. I jammed this piece on various occasions while my wife walked our new-born child Emily up and down at 3 in the morning. I put in a bass drone on D to make Emily feel like she could hear her mother’s heart beating in the music, and just fell into the Kentucky Home chord pattern because I needed something to keep the music going until she fell asleep.

For the medley I used the same concentric design as in the Horace the Horse / Peggy in Paradise medley, but now with three songs: Kentucky Home > Champagne > Emily’s Song > Champagne > Kentucky Home. It makes a nice folkie piece, with the bass drone continuing under all the melodies. This version of it was performed and recorded on March 19, 2011, but I had been playing the first two pieces since the late 1970s. Emily’s Song came together in 1985, during the first year of Emily’s life. The medley was my standard approach to these three pieces, by the time I moved to Hawaii in 2001.