Cripple Creek

As played by Ernie Carpenter from the West Virginia region

Reel or Breakdown in A

From the Southern Appalachians Collection

3 files for this tune:

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


Recording of Ernie Carpenter released by the Augusta Heritage Center


Here’s an oddity among the versions of Cripple Creek that I have studied: an incredibly crooked version from West Virginia fiddler Ernie Carpenter. Every line basically has four extra beats, which would be five measures per line. But due to phrasing, I transcribed them as two extra beats in the middle of each line and two extra beats at the end of each line. The resulting transcription looks a little strange, as I had to break up each line into one line of three-and-a-half measures and second line of one-and-a-half measures.

Cross-tune to AEAE.

This tune is a member of the following groups:


Cripple Creek

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