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The Arkansas Traveler

“The Arkansas Traveler” is a traditional song that was composed in the 19th century by Colonel Sanford C. ‘Sandy’ Faulkner. It was the state song of Arkansas from 1949 to 1963 and it’s been the state historical song since 1987. This song was frequently featured in animated cartoons in the 1930s and 1940s when a hillbilly, or “country bumpkin” character would appear on screen. Since it’s origin, “The Arkansas Traveler” has become a standard at bluegrass jams around the world.

“The Arkansas Traveler” is usually played in the key of D. Like most traditional tunes, there are a few different variations of the chord progression. Below, we’ll tab out a common version you’ll hear at jams. Sometimes you’ll see this song played capo 2nd fret, but we’ll keep it simple with standard tuning.


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