Tallulah Gorge

Composed by Amy Colburn.    …”I wrote this tune a couple winters ago after a hike through Tallulah Gorge in northern Georgia. Tallulah falls used to be called the Niagra of the South, until 1912 when the Georgia Railway and Power Company built a dam there. The gorge is the setting for several legends and many epic adventures. What is left is a deep gorge that gave me a real sense of being a guest of nature. The namesake of the gorge, Tallulah, was a Cherokee maiden, the daughter of Chief Grey Eagle. She fell in love with a white hunter. Her father ordered the stranger thrown off the cliff, now called Lover’s Leap, and into the gorge. Much to the chief’s dismay, Tallulah leaped in after him.

In the evening, after the hike, I didn’t sit down to write a tune. I sat down to learn Sally in the Garden. Though I like the tune, I was having trouble and so I let it go and just started to play whatever came out of my banjo in that same tuning. What the banjo and I came out with was this tune. The low A part of the tune represents the deep shadows that the tall cliffs cast over the canyon most of the day. The high B part represents the rushing cold whitewater that winds through the gorge. I play the tune in double C tuning, which puts it in C minor. I like the low bass of C as opposed to capoed up to D. Guitar players seem to prefer C as well.”