Arkansas Traveler

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Arkansas Traveler is an early 1900's folk song designated as the Arkansas State Historical Song. Originally written by Colonel Sanford C. Falknore, remixed by Kindermusik International, and introduced to Duke TiP at Davidson Term I 2017 by Michael Panarisi, it has become one of the most popular country songs at Duke TIP.

Song Setup

The original Arkansas Traveler consists of 2 alternating versus about an old man playing a fiddle, and doesn't care that "his rooftop had leaked like a waterfall". In the Introduced version by Kindermusik International, each alternating verse is repeated, becoming more complex as the song goes on. Alternating with each section, There is a fiddle and a mandolin every other verse, each becoming more complex independently. On the second verse for mandolin (4th overall), there is a slight hint of Latin-style music. The remix also contains a midrange guitar and bass.


The unofficial Arkansas Traveler dance goes as follows:

  • When the first verse is played, move arms up and down, making a left-quarter turn every 4 Beats (0:02-0:09)
  • Following the same quarter-turn pattern, raise and spin your right or left arm above your heard, or jump to the beat (0:09-0:16)
  • Square Dance section (0:16-0:31):
  • If you came find a partner, "Swing your partner round and round", alternating directions 3 times every 4 Beats. Do-si-do and repeat to 0:31
  • If you don't have a partner, jump in place in a circle with one hand seeking like it is holding onto another. Change direction every 4 Beats until 0:31
  • When the mandolin begins, face your original direction and hold out your arms like they are wings of a plane, tilting them to one side and alternating the tilt every 2 beats. Every 4 Beats, make a left-quarter turn (0:31-0:37)
  • When the mandolin verse repeats, continue the previous dance for 12 Beats. Then, alternate the tilt of your arms every beat, turning 180 degrees on the 2nd beat. (0:37-0:45)
  • When the mandolin plays higher notes, keep your arms are extended, but spin around 360 degrees in place, alternating directions every 4 Beats (0:45-0:59)
  • When the fiddle begins again, you have 2 options both for 32 beats:
  • Do the square dance trick


  • Move your arms back and forth stiffly, making a left-quarter turn every 4 Beats.
  • BOTH tasks have to be completed when the mandolin starts up again at 1:28
  • At 1:28, cut back to the "plane spin", spinning around with your arms extended to the side, reversing direction every 4 beats until the fiddle restarts (1:28-1:58)

External Links

Arkansas Traveler