This is a traditional American song. A very easy guitar chord song with a melody easy even for beginners, Shortnin' Bread is a toe-tapping tune!
Here's a cute little old bluegrass band playing this old-time song, very nicely indeed -- it looks like they have a home-made bass:
Here is what the easy guitar tabs for Shortnin' Bread look like:
Please scroll down the page for the free PDF downloads!
Don't worry about the lyrics and how they don't really match the rhythm of the notes! The kids will not care.
This easy version is much easier to play than would be a version where the rhythm changed with each line (and maybe with each verse) to match words, which with this and other folk songs, can be notoriously changeable anyway!
My favorite key to play this song in with my students is the key of A, because it goes nicely with Boilem' Cabbage Down, as a medley.
Here is a version of Shortnin' Bread for fiddle in A. I decided I need an arrangement for my beginning violin players that doesn't have chord symbols over the tops of notes, because some kids will be confused by these.
Once fiddle players can play Shortnin' Bread in the key of A, they can easily transpose down to the other strings and play the song in the keys of D and G.
Now here is one more version of Shortnin' Bread - this video by "The Tractors" is WILD! (And my students love to watch it multiple times!)
This is the perfect easy start for little pianists.
And when they start reading white-key notes on the staff, this is a fun easy resource to say each week, "Choose a new black-key song at home this week and figure it out to show me next lesson!" They will be spending more time at the piano.