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Molly and Tenbrooks: Wikis


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"Molly and Tenbrooks", also known as "The Racehorse Song is a traditional song of the late 19th century. One of the first recordings of the song was the 1929 version of the Carver Brothers called "Tom Brooks."[1] The song was recorded by Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys on October 28, 1947. In 1947, The Stanley Brothers recorded it in the Blue Grass Boys' style, marking the first recorded adoption of this style by a second band.


Song plot

The song deals with a match race between two champion horses. According to most song versions, Tenbrooks "ran all around Memphis and beat the Memphis train," while "out in California Molly done as she pleased, came back to Kentucky and got beat with all ease."

Tenbrooks appears again later on Peter Rowan's Muleskinnner album, in the song "Blue Mule", in which the horse is pitted against a blue mule who is the child of Babe the Blue Ox.

Historical facts

This song is based on the July 4, 1878 match race between the "Eastern" horse Ten Broeck and the California mare, Mollie McCarty at the Louisville Jockey Club (now Churchill Downs). Ten Broeck won the race before a record crowd of 30,000.[1]


  1. ^ Wolfe 1996, p. 42.


  • Wolfe, Charles K. (1996)Kentucky Country: Folk and Country Music of Kentucky, University Press of Kentucky


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