My Grandfather’s Clock

From Vol. 2
Traditional Treasures


CAPO: Fret 3



SKILL LEVEL: Intermediate

A Little About This Song…

My Grandfather’s Clock, also called simply “Grandfather’s Clock” was first published in 1876 by Henry Clay Work. It tells the story about a man and his reliable clock that started losing time after its owner’s death. Turns out, the tale is true!

The George Hotel in Piercebridge, North Yorkshire, England, was managed by two brothers. An old “floor clock” stood in the hotel lobby and was thought to be the most accurate timepiece in the area. When one of the brothers passed away, the clock began losing 15 minutes per day and soon progressed to losing an hour a day. Clocksmiths were unable to repair it. When Henry Work, an American songwriter, stayed at the hotel, he learned about the clock’s legacy and wrote a song about it. When he returned to America, he sold over a million copies of the sheet music to his composition. It wasn’t long before “floor clocks” were referred to as “grandfather clocks.”

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