Big Rock Candy Mountain is an old hobo song that was featured in the movie “O Brother Where Art Thou?” Like many folk songs, over the years the lyrics have been
adapted to suit different singers. As a modern folk song for kids references such as “cigarette trees,” which might have appealed to hobos but would probably be
less enticing to kids and even grownups in the 21st century, have been changed to the less objectionable “peppermint trees.” I have stuck with the old hobo version
but it’s easy to find more kid-friendly versions of the lyrics on the Internet. There are also arrangements for Big Rock Candy Mountain for guitar, bluegrass banjo, and clawhammer banjo on ezFolk.
Two clawhammer ukulele arrangements of "Big Rock Candy Mountain" are presented here.
Clawhammer Ukulele Accompaniment
-- This is just the background accompaniment I play while singing the song on the uke MP3. The chords are simple and it’s not complicated although I have written it out to include drop thumb roll during the second half of many verses. If you have a problem with the drop thumb just substitute another bum-ditty the same as the first half of the measure. If you need help with the clawhammer uke technique see the clawhammer uke tutorial.
Break -- I have included a separate arrangement for the break that I play after the second verse so it will be easier to isolate it from the rest of the song. It also is not complicated but does contain a few hammer-ons and slides.