Tuesday, September 17, 2013

An American Classic

Oh Shenandoah, I long to see you,
Away you rolling river.
Oh Shenandoah, I long to see you,
Away, I'm bound away, 'cross the wide Missouri.
--American Folk Song, "Oh Shenandoah" 

This shot above of the Nolichucky River in Greene County, TN reminded me of the song and video below. The song is done A-Capella -- all the sounds you'll hear were performed by Peter Hollens. The origin of the song is unknown. It's said to date to at least the early 1800s - but was not published until the 1880s. It has been recorded and performed by such diverse and legendary singers as Bing Crosby, Judy Garland, Harry Belafonte, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. More lyrics here. From the Library of Congress website:
"As unclear as is the song’s origin, so is the definitive interpretation of its text. Some believe that the song refers to the river of the same name. Others suggest that it is of Native American origin, for it tells the tale of Sally, the daughter of the Indian Chief Shenandoah, who is courted for seven years by a white Missouri river trader. Regardless of these textual discrepancies, 'Shenandoah' remains an American classic."


  1. From which bridge was this taken? I've tubed some of the Nolichucky, but most of it runs parallel to Greene Mountain. That's a great view.

  2. Thanks Eric. It was taken from Bailey Bridge Rd. http://goo.gl/maps/3tppC

  3. Hey Mark
    Thanks for sharing the video. It's one of my all time favorite songs and Peter Hollens does a great job with it.


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