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Come, Ye Children of The Lord

Two versions-- one easy, one somewhat harder. Oddly enough, though I arranged both versions, and have labeled the harder one "performance version", I like the easy one best. It uses plain, easy chords, all strummed, with the melody picked out in single notes, making it perfect for picking out on a steel-string flat-top. Which I seldom do. So seldom that I gave away my old flat-top some years ago, and don't often miss it.

In either version, you can hit the D note after the F chord with the little finger, a lick that repeats a few times. There's also a repeating lick where you have to hit the A note on the G string from a C chord, which you do by briefly flattening the middle finger, to catch the A, then immediately returning to the C chord.

If you're accompanying singers, definitely use the "easy" version, as the "performance" version has too much other stuff going on, and would either confuse the singers, or distract the audience.

The "performance" version is actually closer to the sheet music printed in the hymnal, which it follows almost perfectly. But frankly, I think it sounds better on the piano or organ than on the guitar.

Ayiti cheri (Haiti Cherie)

One of my favorite creole songs from Haiti. It has no hard chords, no barre chords, no special techniques, besides the Calypso strum, and is in the key of C. It's REALY EASY, except for the strum, and the lyrics, which are entirely in kreyòl, the spoken dialect of Haiti. For those of you who may not be fluent in kreyòl, I've included a pronouncing, etymological, kreyòl-English vocabulary on the last page.

The first page is a cheat sheet, with the kreyòl words on one line, the approximate pronunciation on the second line, and an English translation on the third. You will notice that the words do not mean exactly what Harry Belafonte sang in the English version, but they're mostly fairly close, allowing for "poetic licence."

The next two pages are another cheat sheet, but with the Calypso strum and counting numbers included, and the pronunciation and translation left out. I had some room, so I included chord charts and some notes about kreyòl.

Page Four is a detailed explanation of how to play the Calypso strum, for those who don't already know how. It's tricky to explain, but not so tricky to do, so I'm planning to video it and post the video here soon. I haven't done this before, so it's new ground for me. Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?