"Brother, sister, here we art," and, as some of us have for the past 78 years, we perform 160 fun songs, tunes and dances from the folk tradition.SWe have a good ol' time, you will, too.

See all these songs on our special question menu.



Ken Arzarian, Mike Cohen, Lee McEnery, Darlene Wahl
U. S.National Park Service volunteers and staff, Snn Juan Island National Historical Park
5-string banjo, guitar, mandolin, accordion, harmonica, autoharp, fiddle

 Have fun, sing along, and learn fun skills, too

Appearances by appointment (360-378-6313) (360-378-4852)

and in sponsored programs (always call for appearance confirmations 360-378-6313)


"Sugar on the Floor"

The name of our group is the title of an rollicking old time song about making rough floors more danceable by throwing sugar on them so folks could slide around easily. The song combines snatches of two old dance tunes "The Eighth of January" and "Pigtown Fling."

The historical truths, lies, heros and hard cases in the songs we sing, come from folks dealing with hard times.

Humorous or sad, as the songs entertain, they also remind us of our folk heritage. They remind us that people are part of nature and that as contemporary society has taught us to exploit nature, we have learned to exploit each other. Listeners discover that too often we accept this as normal.

The songs involve us in how the oppressed and disenfranchised have used the spirit of music and song to celebrate that they are prevailing through adversity. Often the songs have become an important part of prevailing.

Some members of Sugar on the Floor have been singing, playing and peforming old time music since1946, as have other members of their family.


See our songs for you on our special question menu/playbill.
Pick some questions you want us to answer with songs when you visit us at our next appearance.

Ask your favorite questions from this playbill and enjoy our collection of musically rewarding responses. We will sing you homespun songs and stories from people who built America while living a simpler life.

This collection of songs conveys remote history through toe-tapping grassroots music. Take pleasure in their heartfelt traditions and justifiable irreverence to the dim parts of our society.

Folks tell us they want a change of pace from music that they find is too loud, commercial or stressful and carries stigmas of celebrities, stimulants or broken love. We sing ever-evolving provocative tales of heroes, hard cases, courting and complaining from the voices of many people and centuries. We show how the songs are fascinating variations of their original form and what made them change.

You can dance to this music at the twice monthly contra dances at the Friday Harbor Grange. It is in the Life and Times of George Pickett show and Senior Center birthday lunches, too.

Be sure to check our web site and get on our mailing list so you know when and where we will be appearing locally.

A sampling of the songs and their descriptions (from our concert at the Community Theater):

THE WILD ROVER: A lad leaves home but discovers that folks only welcome him when he has money. Disillusioned, this prodigal son returns to his parents

THE DIAMOND The crew of a whaling vessel salute themselves and their ship. A year later, they and their companion fleet (The Resolution, Elisa Swan, and Battle of Montrose) perished when the Arctic sea froze them in for the winter.

STORMALONG JOHN and DEEP BLUE SEA. Two of many songs that share the same verses about a funeral that takes place in vastly different settings. Join us in the chorus to help remember these otherwise unsung folk.

HAND ME DOWN MY WALKING CANE Jailed for unruly drunkenness, a prisoner celebrates his forthcoming release by singing a dance tune about prison hardships and his imminent ride to freedom on the midnight train.

FLY AWAY A rejoicing of death, the flight to heaven, the escape from this life's prison walls.

COTTON FIELDS How it might sound if they ever grow cotton in Kentucky and sang about it in the bluegrass.

LA BASTRANGE: The French translates into a woman saying, "You're wrong sir, I'm not too tired to continue dancing." He responds "OK, truth to tell, I can't go on because my corns hurt."

Also see our Menu of Folk Song Antiques


Appearances by appointment (360-378-6313) (360-378-4852)

and in programs for: (always call for appearance confirmations 360-378-6313)








 .Sugar on the Floor

 .P.O. Box 1605
 .Friday Harbor, WA 98250
 .360-378-6313 ...360-378-4852
 .email#1 ..