Paddy on the Hand Car (Paddy on the Turnpike)

As played by Albert Lee “Red” Steeley from the Texas region

Reel or Breakdown in A

From the Texas and Oklahoma Collection

3 files for this tune:

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


78rpm Record


Here’s an early (1930) Texas version of Paddy on the Turnpike from “Red” Steeley, an Alabama-to-Texas transplant (much like myself). I transcribed it in the key of A rather than A Mixolydian because there are a lot of G#s in the piece. The B part is crooked and has some potentially difficult passages. You have to hold a D on the second string while playing the melody on the third string (B, G, and A notes). You may be able to hold the G and D down with your ring finger and note the B and A with your pinky, or you may have to go up to third position and plant your middle finger on the D. Everyone’s hands are different, so experiment and figure out what works best for you. On notes marked with an X, start on C natural then slide up a little, but not all the way to C#. Steeley used this technique in other tunes as well.

Cross-tune to AEAE.


This tune is a member of the following groups:


Paddy on the Turnpike

Texas Fiddle

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