Top Five songs with a fiddle

I’m a sucker for a violin. Also cello, and saxophone…but those are whole other posts.

Here’s my favorite bands/songs that use a fiddle:

1. “Fisherman’s Blues” by The Waterboys

This is tied with two other songs for my favorite song of all time, but if push came to shove, this would be #1. Steve Wickham, fiddle player, did the electric violin on U2’s WAR album.

2. “We Hide and Seek” by Alison Krauss & Union Station

The best live musicians going. Wait for it…Right at 1:45. Heaven.

3. “#41” by Dave Matthews Band

This one also has sax…and flute…does life get any better than that? I love how in the first half of the song, the vocals are done, and the rest is awesome instrumental interplay. Love when the fiddle kicks back in at the end…R.I.P. LeRoi Moore.

4. “Fitzcarraldo” by the Frames

One of what the Frames call their “wedge” songs. Meaning it has a big crescendo. Did I mention I’m a sucker for a crescendo? (The “wedge” term comes from how the song looks on a digital audio editing program–forming a wedge.)

5. “The Lighthouse’s Tale” by Nickel Creek

I tried to find an embeddable version of this song that wasn’t live and this was what I found. The ASL interpreation is just a bonus.

What are some good songs featuring fiddle/violin? Charlie Daniels Band goes without saying.

23 thoughts on “Top Five songs with a fiddle

  1. I did a whole mix for my daughter (who plays the violin) featuring violin rock songs.

    Camper Van Beethoven has lots of good violin songs (e.g., “Tanya,” “Pictures of Matchstick Men,” “Eye of Fatima, Pt. 1.”)

    “Us” by Regina Spektor has a great cello-violin party.

    Of course, Elenore Rigby has that chamber orchestra arrangement.

    “Old Enough” by the Raconteurs has a great lead fiddle.

    Aime by Damien Rice has a great fiddle solo. Pretty much any Irish band uses a fiddle as some point.

    There are a bunch more.

  2. Gotta include Baba O’Riley from Who’s Next, don’t you? Dave Arbus on violin. I know I’m an old guy, but still.

  3. 1. David Lindley’s collaborations with Jackson Browne are pure magic.

    2. Another talented duo featuring a fiddle is the late Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer, where Tracy Grammer always contributes something tasteful on the fiddle.

    2. The Wilders – The Squirrel Hunters

    3. It’s A Beautiful Day – White Bird

    The fiddle player who introduced me to the Bothy Band’s music was inspired to take up the violin by It’s A Beautiful Day.

    4. Lucia Micarelli (not exactly fiddle music, but entertaining)

  4. My generation too, during which several bands employed the violin routinely. Some of the highlights–

    Paradox – Kansas
    White Bird – It’s a Beautiful Day
    Is Once Enough? – Jean-Luc Ponty
    Melinda (More or Less) – Curved Air

  5. I can’t find a good YouTube link, but “Jesus Walking on the Water” by the Violent Femmes has some great fiddle in it.

  6. Redneck Fiddlin’ Man/Charlie Daniels Band
    Bringin’ It Back/Kansas

    …and anything by The Dixie Dregs (Mark O’Connor era) and Natalie McMaster

  7. The best band with a violin and a cello. And the best band in the whole world in general is Cloud Cult.

    Here’s the best song I could find on youtube that’s got both violin and cello prominently.

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