The ToneWay® Project: helping people play music


On Top of Old Smoky [core]

On top of Old Smokey
All covered with snow
I lost my true lover
From a-courtin' too slow

Now courting's a pleasure
And parting is grief
But a false hearted lover
Is worse than a thief

For a thief he will rob you
And take all you have
But a false hearted lover
Will lead you to the grave

And the grave will decay you
And turn you to dust
There ain't a girl in a hundred
That a poor boy can trust

They'll hug you and kiss you
And tell you more lies
Than the cross ties on railroads
Or stars in the sky

They tell you they love you
To give your heart ease
But as soon as your back's turned
They court whom they please

So come all you maidens
And listen to me
Never place your affections
On a green willow tree

For the leaves they will wither
And the roots they will die
And your true love will leave you
And you'll never know why

Available in these books:

Get Started Plus:
Core Songs Edition
100 songs and our acclaimed play-by-ear learning method.
Big Print Songs
Over 200 songs.
Family Tradition
The reference manual, with lyrics to 330 songs.
The first two books feature large-print lyrics (20-point type) and include chords, historical info, jamming hints, and more.

...and on these CDs:

Five CDs, 100 songs. Recordings from the Abbott family and their friends.
Listen to sample tracks.

The MP3 collection has all 100 songs on one CD for a discount. See details.


A song from the The ToneWay Mountain Music Collection, which offers lyrics and free Song Clips (recordings for learning the song by ear) for nearly 400 traditional songs, many of which are often heard in bluegrass and old-time jam circles. The ToneWay Project also offers songbooks, CDs, and a free online video series for learning to play music by ear. http://ToneWay.com