Most of these songs were played on one of my banjos. You can learn how to play many of them in my songbook.

He was a Friend of Mine


Sung for no one in particular. I just like the tune.

Ain’t Got No Home in this World


This song is inexplicably popular, and seems to make people feel happy, whenever I have an audience.


My shoes is all torn up my toes is stickin' out,
If I don't get some whiskey, gonna go up the spout.
I ain't got no jacket, I ain't got no tie,
And I ain't got no home in this world.

I ain't got no home in this world
I ain't got no home in this world
My money is gone and my toes is cold
And I ain't got no home in this world.

Additional Verses:

My friends have all gone and I can't get them back.
My company now's just a cigarette pack.
But I ain't got a light, I just got a dark,
And I ain't got no home in this world.


I ain't got no sweethearts; I ain't got no sweets.
I think my poor heart has been missin' some beats.
I'll dream up some love, 'neath an old willow tree
'Cause I ain't got no home in this world.


But I am happy, I ramble and roam
And them that don't like me they leave me alone.
I'll pluck on my banjo; I'll sing and I'll shout
That I ain't got no home in this world.


When I'm in the graveyard, and I'm laid to rest
And everyone there thinks I'm happy and blessed
Won't have no more money, won't have no banjo—
But I'll have a home in this world!


Willie O’ Winsbury


An old song about being beautiful and not getting killed.


The King has been a poor prisoner
And a prisoner long in Spain
And Willie of Winsbury
has laid long with his daughter at home.

The King, he said to his daughter, Janet
"Why look you so pale and wan?
Have you had any sore sickness?
Or yet been sleeping with a man?"

"I have not had any sore sickness!
Nor yet been sleeping with a man!
It's all for you my father dear,
For biding so long in Spain."

"Cast off, Cast off your berry-brown robe!
And stand naked upon the stone;
That I might know you by your shape:
If you be a maiden or no."

And she's cast off her berry-brown robe,
And stood naked upon the stone.
Her apron was low and her haunches were round,
And her skin was so pale and wan.

"Oh was it, with a lord or a duke or knight?
Or a man of birth and fame?
Or was it with one of my serving men,
That's lately come out of Spain?"

"It wasn't with a lord or a duke or a knight.
Nor a man of birth and fame.
But it was with Willie of Winsbury,
For I could bide no longer alone."

The King has called to his merry men all,
By thirty and by three,
Saying "Fetch me Willie O' Winsbury,
And hanged he shall be!"

When Willie was brought before the King,
He was dressed all in the red silk.
His hair was like the strands of gold,
And his skin was as white as the milk.

"It is no wonder," cried the King,
"That my daughter's love you did win.
For if I were a woman as I am a man,
My bed-fellow you would have been.

And will you marry my daughter Janet,
By the truth of your right hand?
And will you marry my daughter Janet?
I'll make you a lord of my land."

"Oh yes, I'll marry your daughter Janet!
By the truth of my right hand.
Yes I'll marry your daughter Janet,
But I'll not be a lord of your land."

He's mounted her on a milk white steed,
Himself on a dapple gray.
He's made her the lady of as much land
As she'll ride in a long summer's day.

The Old Churchyard


A song for sad occasions.


Come come with me to the old churchyard
For I well know the path beneath the soft green sward
Friends slumber in there that we once did regard
We will trace out their names in the old churchyard.

But mourn not for these, for their trials are o'er,
And why weep for those who will weep no more?
For sweet is their slumber, though cold and hard,
For their pillows lay deep in the old churchyard.

I know that it's vain when friends depart
To breathe kind words to a broken heart
And I know that the joy of life is marred
When we follow our friends to the old churchyard.

But were I at rest 'neath yonder tree,
Oh why would you weep my friends for me?
I'm so weary, so way-worn; why would you retard
The peace I seek in the old churchyard?

Weep not for me for I'm anxious to go
To that haven of rest where no tears ever flow
And I fear not to enter, that dark lonesome tomb
Where our savior has lain and he conquered the gloom.

For I rest in the hope that on one bright day,
Sunshine will burst through these prisons of clay
And ol' Gabriel's trumpet, and the voice of the Lord
Will awaken the dead in the old churchyard.

Man of Constant Sorrow


Even after all these years, there is still much man of constant sorrow in me.

All the Birds Were Singing


A pretty little song.

Man of Constant Sorrow


I am a man of constant sorrow; I have seen trouble all my days.

Glory Glory



Mole in the Ground


Some days, I just wish I was a mole in the ground. According to Wikipedia, a fine early example of American Nihilism.


I wish I was a mole in the ground
Yes, I wish I was a mole in the ground
If I's a mole in the ground, I'd root that mountain down
I wish I was a mole in the ground

Oh, Kimpy wants a nine-dollar shawl
Yes, Kimpy wants a nine-dollar shawl
When I come o'er the hill with a forty-dollar bill
'Tis "Baby, where you been so long?"

I been in the bend so long
Yes, I been in the bend so long
I been in the bend with the rough and rowdy men
'Tis "Baby, where you been so long?"

Oh it's Kimpy, let your hair roll down
Little Kimpy, let your hair roll down
Let your hair roll down, and your bangs curl around
Kimpy, let your hair roll down

I don't like them railroad men
No, I don't like them railroad men
'Cause a railroad man he'll kill you when he can
And drink up your blood like wine

I wish I was a lizard in the spring
Yes, I wish I was a lizard in the spring
If I'se a lizard in the spring, I'd hear my darling sing
An' I wish I was a lizard in the spring

The Jerusalem Athens Song


Dubbed "ballad of a wan cynic's chic" by Dr. Howard. Should probably be called the anti-JAF song. Joel Nolette assisted on the guitar and sang in the chorus.


A long time ago, a man was named Plato
His thoughts are as ancient as his bones
He said the truth is out there
But he never said quite where
So we're left to wonder where the forms are found.

So let's just drink our beer,
And let it not come near
Let's not think about it anymore.
Faith and reason, it's all so out of season
Comes God or brain after or before?


Next came Aristotle, he should have sipped the bottle
He was a moralist right true.
He said we needed virtue,
And that the vices hurt you.
But if you hold your breathe your face turns blue.


Is it good to be alone and call brother monks your own,
As Saint Benedict would have us think?
Is the life of the mind worth leaving all behind
Or should we live in slothful luxury?


I once read a man, whose name was St. Augustine
He said "Credo ut intelligam"
Sed ego non credo, ergo non intelligo.
Quomodo credo si non intelligavi?


'Twas John Calvin said, man's goodness is all dead
His reason is corrupt and all depraved.
But I don't believe him, I think he's got flawed reasons
Why should an apple knock us in the head?


Old man Aquinas, I'm so glad he is behind us
His view of nature was so high
His God orders all, even as before the fall,
But tales of evil simply are too tall.


And Dante pictured hell, and he did it just as well
With everyone and their brother there.
Although it is quite crude to be tortured in the nude
Politicians must ensure the bad guys fell.


Now let us see Descartes, if he's not been blown apart
Into inside and outside by his thoughts
He said if we see stuff, we will never know enough
To prove we know even one small part.


Was Milton's apple puce, could it be made to juice?
Is it the same crime to drink as to eat?
With the serpent he entwined all his wisdom and the rhyme
Leaving Man and God to claim the second place


Old Blaise has not my praise
He was silly anyways
His rambling thoughts just do not persuade
If we must place a bet, I've got one better yet
Let's just sit doing nothing all our days


Kierkegaard was weird; many lives he's seared
With his nonsense about the leap of faith.
My jumping is all done and my legs won't even run
And the paradox no longer has a place.


Peter Berger said that modernity was led
by the factors of pluralization
He himself has claimed to be a heretic in name
And his structures of belief now are fragile.


Now all we've got is science; in it we place reliance
But it cannot satisfy our deepest thoughts.
It's all energy and atoms, but why it cannot fathom
So we call our God to fill the gaps once more

The Pirate Song


Performed by the Kidney Stones. The Pirate Song. Lee Wakeman and Jake Heotzler on vocals. I'm on the drums and sound effects.



Perfomed by the Kidney Stones, the epitome of a highschool band in rural New York.. The BEN song.