Ballad of Sally Ann

This is an online fiddle lesson for the country song "The Ballad of Sally Ann," in the style of Mark O'Connor. is your best source for Bluegrass, Old Time, Celtic, Gospel, and Country fiddle lessons!

Genre: Country, Bluegrass
Skill Level: Advanced
Key of G

You may download and use any of the MP3s and tablature for your personal use. However, please do not make them available online or otherwise distribute them.

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Video #1: Here is a video of me playing the country song "The Ballad of Sally Ann."

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"The Ballad of Sally Ann" is a traditional fiddle tune.  This arrangement was created by Mark O'Connor and the lyrics were written by Alice Randall, Harry Stinson and Mark O'Connor.  It was recorded in 1991 by the New Nashville Cats.

The Ballad of Sally Ann

With love in his heart and flowers in hand
Johnny proposed to Sally Ann
Sally shivered as she said, 
"I'll love you 'til the day I'm dead"

Refrain: Who's gonna dance with Sally Ann 
Who's gonna touch her tremblin' hand 
When the fiddler takes the stand 
Who's gonna dance with Sally Ann

Johnny got married in his one good suit 
But the ride from church bore strange fruit
Down by road you can hear her cry 
As he hung from a tree, she watched him die

Sally attends every wedding 'round here 
Lookin' for her Johnny dear
When wedding bells ring in that town 
A ghostly widow strolls the ground

Sail away ladies, Sail away!
Sail away ladies, Sail away!

Darkened shadows cross the floor 
As ghostly lovers dance once more
You can feel them in the room 
If the fiddler plays that tune 

Online Fiddle Lessons Forums The Ballad of Sally Ann

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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  • #42598

    Oh that’s a good one!  I love it.  I gotta learn that one right away.  Good creepy halloween story, but it’s a great ballad for anytime.  I hear d Mark O Conner do it similar to that on youtube and always wanted to learn it.  You look so proud singing with your daughters…ya’ll sound so good together.


    Yippee!! No tricks here. All treats. Happy Halloween to BGD land. Awesome family talent. Thanks!


    Hakan Lindholm

    Very good.


    Very wonderful! Your daughters sang this song so well! I’ve never heard this song before!


    I worked on this one for my Halloween treat. I don’t have it enough to post yet but will soon. It’s a great lesson.

    John, in the tab, I think the chord should be a minor instead of d minor. What do you think?

    Great Scott

    I just love a ghostly tale!  This one made me feel right at home in my new plot.

    Thank you John, Arwin and Lorien for such a great rendition and lesson!

    John (BGD)

    Angela, I think I’ve got it fixed… Let me know if you see anything else!


    This is going on the “to learn” list for sure.

    Hoping to start on it sometime next week…we’ll see how the present project goes…It’s actually a tune from BGD this time.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by fiddlewood.
    John (BGD)

    I hope to hear you play it soon!


    Sally Ann, the Ballad of Sally Ann, Sail Away, Ladies…how does anybody decide which one?

    John (BGD)

    That’s why there’s a whole “Sally Ann” or “Sandy Land” family of tunes. They just keep populating!

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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