Cripple Creek
SSA - Sheet Music

Item Number: 18097566
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SSA choir, piano and violin (SSA choir)

SKU: AN.AMP-0721

Edited by Susan McMane. Arranged by Tom Porter. Octavo. Alliance Music Publications #AMP 0721. Published by Alliance Music Publications (AN.AMP-0721).


Notes on Cripple Creek

Cripple Creek is a folk song in the Appalachian tradition, using harmony, fiddle, and piano (in the style of a strumming guitar or banjo). As with most folk music, the origins of the song are uncertain. Some attribute the location of the song to the discovery of gold in Cripple Creek, Colorado in the late 19th Century. Others attribute it to labor disputes in the same area in the early 20th Century. There is a Cripple Creek that flows through Southwest Virginia, and a town in North Carolina named Cripple Creek. Whatever its inspiration, the music is clearly in the Southern mountain tradition.

The fiddle part is meant as suggested material for experienced fiddlers. Violinists should feel free to create their own version (especially bending notes and adding ornamentation to the given part) within the parameters of the composition and in consultation with the conductor. I listened to a number of traditional fiddlers playing this tune, and combined parts to create this version. During the solo fiddle parts, feel free to have the choir whoop and hollar.

The clapping parts can be ornamented as well, especially the sections that go back and forth between the right and left sides of the choir. Treat it as a playful competition, and allow it to get more complex as it suits the choir. If it gets in the way at any point, omit it. At the end, the choir could raise their hands on the final word, fun.