Old Time Mandolin Music

Barlowe Knife

learned Barlowe Knife from some OTM friends.  Barlowe knife is a well known Old Time tune that you’ll encounter at many OTM gatherings.

This arrangement of Barlowe Knife is in the key of G with three parts and is similar to the version played by the Fuzzy Mountain String Band on their CD of the same name.  I’ve also included in the arrangement a simple variation for the A part of Barlowe Knife starting at measure 26.  The idea of note repetition, as used in the A part variation starting at measure 26, is a common method of extending a notes length when playing OTM tunes with a mandolin.  You’ll understand what I mean when you listen/play the arrangement.

Here is a sample of the lyrics you might hear sung with Barlowe Knife:

Buckhorn handle and a Barlow blade

Best damned knife that ever was made


I've been working all my life

And all I've got is a Barlow knife


Worked in the cotten mill all my life

Nothin' to show but a Barlow knife.


Download a pdf of Barlowe Knife  -> Click BarloweKinfe.pdf