Dick Gaughan – The World Turned Upside Down (Tab)

The World Turned Upside Down (Tab)

Dick Gaughan’s Handful of Earth is an absolute powerhouse folk album. One of the best records of the 80s. Probably the best that didn’t come out of Manchester (okay, maybe Minnesota too). The highlight of the album is his galvanising take on Leon Rosselson’s The World Turned Upside Down

The original version is curiously mild-mannered for a song about an uprising. But Dick Gaughan packed his version with a fierce sense of resistance. His arrangement became the default and was an obvious influence on Billy Bragg’s cover (seen here performing it with Amanda Palmer and her ukulele) and on mine.

I tried to capture the force and relentlessness of Gaughan’s version in my arrangement. I’ve done that by having my thumb hammering out eighth notes on the g-string the whole way through. In combination with the index finger picking the C-string, that produces this rhythm in the intro and between verses:

Then on top of that you have the middle finger and the ring finger picking the melody on the E and C-strings respectively.


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