Family Concert_Singer-Songwriter

"I remember Ted Unseth as the brilliant arranger/conductor and bandleader who corralled a bunch of 20-year-olds into the Wolverines Classic Jazz Orchestra, one of the most amazing Jazz ensembles of the 1970's.  I had no idea he was also a great guitarist and songwriter.  It's strange but beautiful Country.  You should visit, you'll like it."
Tim Sparks, US National Fingerstyle Guitar Champion, 1993


New Riverside Cafe'
Minneapolis, MN






Below you will find PDF and MP3 links for each selection and printed Lyrics that you can apply to the virtual melody. 
[Note: best option is to right-click on the link and choose "open in new window"; let that start loading, then return to this page for viewing while listening.]

40 years ago, I braved the general public and presented my Singer/Songwriter material onstage at the New Riveriside Cafe', the West Bank of the U of MN, Minneapolis, MN, the summer of 1972.  I'd done a few other West Bank gigs previously: the Scholar Coffeehouse (where Bob Dylan got his Twin Cities start and my first public appearance--I got my hair caught in the harmonica holder), The Broken Drum and the Coffeehouse Exempore'.   But, this was Big One for me at the time. 
With backup guitarist Ed Beaty, I featured my original material and was quite pleased with how the evening went:
the place was packed and there was good camaraderie.  I was fortunate to have a decent recording made and (with one exception) these are the only Singer/Songwriter public performance gig recordings I have in my archives. 
I've thought, over the years, of getting back to playing guitar and maybe resurrecting some of this material; but time takes its toll--my voice is gone and I've been away from the guitar too long.  In lieu of that, I thought it would be wonderful if someone else/others played this stuff; but, I've never found the opportunity for such--until recently:
I'm working on a project for 2013 that involves a Family Reunion of sorts.  I have the Lake Harriet Pavilion booked already (July 5th, my birthday) and the main event will be relatives (no matter how distant) who are musically-inclined performing My Music onstage.  The repertoire will reflect my 3 Musical Personae:
--Classic Jazz Orhcestra Director
I have a nephew who responded to this proposed event by saying he would love to sing some of my Singer/Songwriter material--really?  He says his brother and sister are on board for it, too.  How wonderful is that?
So I got to thinking about how they're going to learn the tunes.  The 'ear' method? = nothing written out, jut figure it out by listening.  None of it had ever been written down; and that's how my 'folkie' friends and I functioned--all by ear. 
That would work, of course; but I thought I should at least write up Lead Sheets (melody and chords).  And that led to what I'm presenting here:
Concert Sketches.   Scores and Parts.  Adaptable to whatever instruments are available.  Anyone who knows me knows I am a stickler for detail when it comes to music; so I tried to be as faithful to the originals as possible, especially the Vocals.  There is no human voice with words on these recordings, but I was very careful to capture the original phrasing and thus come very close to the original 'feel'. 
40 years later, this material is going to get a Second Hearing and I'm highly motivated to make it happen. 


FYI - 07/20/12

PDF Scores and MP3s

We are now settled on Instrumentation and I've re-worked all charts to reflect same.

These arrangements will make possible what I've always wanted: a complete band (I never had Bass or Violin; just solo Guitar).  

As relates to this Singer/Songwriter page, I've added new scores and MP3s to all.  Parts are on the Parts site. 


Uncle Ted 



Hey There, Dog


"Hey There, Dog"


Hey There, Dog_Score_PDF

Hey There, Dog_Score_MP3

Hey There, Dog

Ted Unseth



Hey there, dog; they didn’t have to do it.

Why can’t they leave us alone?




I can’t think what terrible pain did hurt them

That hardened their hearts into stone.



Late last night, you strayed away from home.

I tried to find you but they had al-

ready strychnined you.


Now you’re gone and all that I remember…

Is you…

And your Dog-gone…





Updated "Braggadocio".  
Instrumentation is now:








'Braggadocio' they call me.

Sweet pal o' mine: "What can it mean?” 

You wonder. Hmm.






Every place I go I'm thinkin':

"Nothin' I can do, nothin' I can say

Without you”.  Hmm.






'Braggadocio' means I'm talkin'

Like a man at ease with his whole damn self;

And you're the reason.  Hmm.





"Kjaerlighet" re-scored.
New Parts:
--Bass (Electric)

Still OK Part:
--Vocals.  Just 2 Singers on both Choruses/Refrains:
Tenor (low) and Soprano (high): Octaves.



a musical composition by

Ted Unseth


1971—My best friend had been to Norway and she described an unforgettable summer afternoon alongside a magnificent fjord: “It was so beautiful, it was almost painful to take it all in.”  And then she told of walking up a dirt road and, feeling a bit exhausted, she knocked on a cottage door to ask for a drink of water.  The man who opened the door happened to be a champion Norwegian fiddler and he graciously provided her with refreshment.  And then he played his Hardingfele.  My friend was transfixed. 

At this time, I was a young Singer/Songwriter (guitar, piano, vocals) and had researched Norwegian music and culture and felt a strong bond: Both grandparents emigrated from Norway and the inventor of the Hardingfele is in my mother’s family tree.  My parents could speak fluent Norwegian and we always had traditional rice pudding at Christmastime. 

As I was exploring new ideas with the guitar and voice one evening, I imagined being a young lad in Norway composing a love song to his sweetheart.  The end result was the first version of what eventually became entitled “Kjaerlighet” (“Beloved”), composed for guitar and voice.  I knew very few Norwegian words or phrases, so I created imaginary lyrics.  In those days, I could produce a nice falsetto, so I sang it in a high-voice range (those days are long gone, now). 

1987—In celebration of my parents’ 50th Wedding Anniversary, I collaborated with a sister to produce a musical tribute called “Bryllupsfantasi” and I dedicated “Kjaerlighet” to my parents (Eivind and Lorna).  I had consulted with a Norwegian-American friend earlier and she helped me compose lyrics in true Norwegian language.  I chose to play piano instead of guitar; and I sang it an octave lower than the original—it was OK, but the higher octave would have been better.

2004—Being computer-enabled, I decided to compose an instrumental version via a ‘virtual orchestra’ (digital sound sample/ssoundfonts).  Since then, I’ve experimented with various soundfont combinations, but found each version lacking in one regard or another.  Until…

2012—A few days ago, I decided to re-work “Kjaerlighet” on the computer ‘one more time’; and this time I think I finally got it the way I want it.  And I perceive it this way:

From a young lad with a guitar singing to his sweetheart, it has now become a loving tribute to Norway itself; especially its majestic fjords.  Thus, on this day, I am re-dedicating it to the country of Norway—a country I have never visited, but is Beloved to my mind and heart. 

I am 65 years old and feeling the need to tie up certain loose ends.  “Kjaerlighet” was one of those, but is now resolved to my satisfaction.  Vaer sa god


Kjaerlighet_Fam Score_PDF

Kjaerlighet_Fam Score_MP3


Norske                                                              English

Kjaerlighet                        Beloved



Verse 1                                               Verse 1

Du vakreste jenta mi                         My beautiful girl

Du vakreste jenta mi                         My beautiful girl

      Min kjaer, du er god                       My dear, you are fine

Jeg elsker deg så høyt                       I love you so much

     Men vil du ha meg?                      But will you have me?


Refrain                                               Refrain

Kjaerlighet                                         Beloved

  Den er sann vi to                  That’s the way it is for us two

Kjaerlighet                                         Beloved


Verse 2                                               Verse 2

Den første gang jeg så deg               The first time I saw you

Den første gang jeg så deg               The first time I saw you

                                Ditt smil, som er sol                 Your smile was like the sun

Jeg visste du var min                      I knew you were mine

Jeg er helt din                                    I am all yours


Refrain                                               Refrain

Kjaerlighet                                         Beloved

  Den er sann vi to                  That’s the way it is for us two

Kjaerlighet                                         Beloved


Your Lady On The River

Updated "Your Lady".  
Instrumentation is now:


Your Lady_Score_PDF

Your Lady_Score_MP3

Your Lady On The River



When your Lady wishes to be alone

Well, you'll find her on the river skippin' stones.

And you'll be watching with all of the tears you have.

You won't even have your knees.

You listen to the love she feeds the Wood.

Don'tcha know that she's alive?



Here's your Lady finishing last night's dream.

Well, you know it's a feelin' so clean

You've got the birches bowed for overjoy.

She's your life, hey boy.

You listen to them cry; and you nearby.

Don'tcha know that she's alive?


She'll not see you--you will just happen by.

She'll be running and talkin' to the sky.

And she will ask you, "Why do your eyes be full?"

You tell her, "It's just the breeze."

You listen to her eyes--they've brought you home.

Yes, you know that she's alive.




Yes, Once She Knew Me Well


Updated "Yes Once".  
Instrumentation is now:

--Trumpet 1
--Trumpet 2

Yes Once_Score_PDF

Yes Once_Score_MP3

Yes, Once She Knew Me Well






She thanked me for myself and I said

I would be that for her.

She caught me when I fell.

Soothed me with her eyes and I

Thanked her on a string that never broke

As far as she could tell.

Yes, once she knew me well.

03.                                            ...and

Don'tcha think I know how tired you get when

All you hear from me is, "Yes, but don't you see?"

It's just that nothing ever meant so much to me as that

And that's from the heart without the jealousy.

No lie, how she once knew me.



Jimmy And The Chrysler


OK as is.

Jimmy & the Chrysler 2012_PDF

Jimmy & the Chrysler_2012_MP3

Jimmy and the Chrysler


A 1.

Jimmy, you gotta go now. but

Don’t you be leaving without the

Time to say goodbye to me and mine ‘cuz

Buddy what you leave behind

Is gonna miss your kind.


A 2.

Jimmy, you got a car now; and a

Lady friend down by your side. And you

Know foolin’ with the radio and

Cruisin’ down the open road 
Is the only way to go. 



And when you stop for gas,

Don’t you for-get me.           


A 3.

Jimmy, you’re almost there now. The

Chrysler she  may be a hog, but

Still, getcha there I think she will.  And she’ll

Prove to you when she makes that hill that

White Lightning is not the biggest thrill.

The Old Apple Tree
Ramblin' Jack Elliott


"The Old Apple Tree"

--Guitar (or Piano)
--Bass (optional)


Ted preferred all-original material, but would, on rare occasion, go with a 'cover tune', a composition by someone else.  Ramblin' Jack Elliot was Ted's favorite Singer/Songwriter in those days and this bit of humor was irresistible.  

This can/will be a different sort of challenge = I'm not going to score the Vocal, just Lyrics and Chord Changes.  The Vocalist (who dares do this, I wonder) will do what I did in my S/S days = learn it by 'ear'/nothing written down. 


The Old Apple Tree

Ramblin’ Jack Elliott



It was only yesterday I thought I’d take a bath in some water

Blubble blublle blubble

For a bath I hadn’t had in goodness knows when

And for that bath I didn’t want to pay a quarter

So I run down to the crick and jumped right in


I hung my clothes upon an apple tree limb

Twas there I got into an awful fix

When an old maid come and sit right down beside them

And there she sit from 1 O’clock ‘til 6



In the shade of The Old Apple Tree

I’s in water right up to my knee

I had to lay down while she was around

‘Til only my nose you could see

Mosquiters was biting my nose

And the crawdads was nibblin’ my toes

I lay there all day ‘til she went away

From the shade of The Old Apple Tree


Here comes the pitiful part, boys and girls:



It was only yesterday that Jane and I got hitched

You can bet your life I was a happy groom

There was only one thing that filled my heart with sadness

Was parts of her were scattered all over the room


Her glass eye and false teeth was on the mantle

And on the bed she hung her lock of hair

And the one thing that truly filled my heart with sadness

Was she pitched her wooden leg upon a chair



And it was a limb from that Old Apple Tree

I’s in water right up to my knee

I had to lay down while she was around

‘Til only my nose you could see

Mosquiters was biting my nose

And the crawdads was nibblin’ my toes

I lay there all day ‘til she went away

From the shade of The Old Apple Tree

Yes, I carved out my name and there it was plain

On her limb from the Old Apple Tree



The Old Apple Tree_MP3


One O'Clock Leap






Live! at the Firehouse, Mpls., MN, 1973

Ted Unseth, piano; Joe Demko, electric bass

Transition from Singer/Songwriter to Classic Jazz Orchestra

in one fell swoop:

As Singer/Songwriter, I was the Warm-up Act for the

WCJO = it was my last gig in public as S/S and one of

the first for the WCJO.

Based on two sources:

01. Glenn Miller band piano solo on "One O'Clock Jump"; and

02. Slam Stewart bass/vocal solo

01.     A Glenn Miller band piano solo from “O

Dedicated to friend D.R. in Minneapolis, MN.  He's the

 only person I know of who successfully jumped off the

Washington Avenue Bridge (connecting the East and

West Bank campuses of the University of MN, Mp1s.)

and lived to tell about it. 



One O Clock Leap_Score_PDF

One O Clock Leap_Score_MP3