Say Old Man, Can You Play the Fiddle?

As played by Eck Robertson from the Texas region

Reel or Breakdown in E minor

From the Eck Robertson Collection

3 files for this tune:

Melody-Only Transcription (PDF)
Full Transcription (PDF)


Field Recording Released on Album Eck Robertson: Famous Cowboy Fiddler (download the album here)


This breakdown is a staple in the modern Texas repertoire, and is also known by the name Lady’s Fancy. The Fiddler’s Companion relates a story that fiddler Slim Rutland uttered the titular phrase up meeting influential fiddler Luke Thomasson (father of Benny and Lewis Thomasson), though that story has an apocryphal air about it. There are parts of this tune that are marginally in E major rather than E minor, but as only an additional G# is encountered in these parts and the G is not sharped consistently therein, I have not notated it as changing keys.

Tune to EDAE (drop fourth string from G to E).

This tune is a member of the following groups:


Texas Fiddle

This tune has no comments.