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Origin: Shenandoah

DigiTrad:
OH, MY ROLLING RIVER
SHENANDOAH


Related threads:
Lyr Add: Shenandoah (42)
'Shenandoah' rhythm/meter (63)
Singing 'Shenandoah' for Brits (84)
Lyr Add: 'Shenandoah' in the U.S. army (39)
Lyr Req: Shenandoah (Fisherman's Friends) (21)
Shenandoah Origin (29)
Lyr Req: Shenandoah en francais (7)
Help: Land of Misery (Shenandoah) (10)
Shenandoah (11) (closed)
Shenandoah and free melodies (8)
Origin: Shenandoah (8) (closed)
Lyr Req: Shenandoah (12) (closed)


GUEST,Dave 12 May 04 - 02:06 PM
GUEST,Les 14 Jan 05 - 01:53 AM
GUEST,Cookieless IanC 14 Jan 05 - 04:08 AM
GUEST,Les 14 Jan 05 - 12:00 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Jan 05 - 08:04 PM
goodbar 28 Jan 05 - 10:25 PM
Malcolm Douglas 28 Jan 05 - 11:00 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Jan 05 - 12:20 AM
Abby Sale 29 Jan 05 - 12:32 AM
LadyJean 29 Jan 05 - 12:36 AM
Malcolm Douglas 29 Jan 05 - 03:01 AM
GUEST,Lighter at work 29 Jan 05 - 08:29 AM
Lighter 29 Jan 05 - 01:09 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Jan 05 - 02:04 PM
Lighter 29 Jan 05 - 03:28 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Jan 05 - 04:21 PM
Lighter 29 Jan 05 - 05:31 PM
GUEST 16 Feb 05 - 11:23 PM
GUEST,Barrie Roberts 17 Feb 05 - 08:25 PM
Lighter 17 Feb 05 - 09:36 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Feb 05 - 09:55 PM
GUEST,Barrie Roberts 19 Feb 05 - 06:31 PM
GUEST,justmeabe 20 Feb 05 - 06:16 PM
Steve T. 20 Feb 05 - 07:06 PM
Steve T. 20 Feb 05 - 07:12 PM
Lighter 22 Feb 05 - 11:45 AM
GUEST,Gadaffi 22 Feb 05 - 11:49 AM
GUEST,coheeboy@earthlink.net 24 Feb 05 - 09:24 PM
GUEST,Lighter at work 25 Feb 05 - 07:58 AM
radriano 25 Feb 05 - 01:51 PM
GUEST,carol1211k 10 Mar 05 - 01:28 AM
GUEST,Obie 10 Mar 05 - 05:39 AM
GUEST,Lighter at work 10 Mar 05 - 08:05 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Jul 05 - 09:45 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 09 Jul 05 - 09:03 AM
GUEST,Lighter at work 09 Jul 05 - 12:22 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Jul 05 - 01:05 PM
John Minear 20 Jul 05 - 11:31 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 20 Jul 05 - 11:50 AM
GUEST,Clive Goodhead 22 Aug 05 - 10:37 AM
GUEST,heididoiron@msn.com 16 Dec 05 - 08:38 PM
masato sakurai 16 Dec 05 - 09:27 PM
GUEST,Lighter 17 Dec 05 - 09:35 AM
Charlie Baum 02 Mar 06 - 02:44 PM
GUEST 01 Aug 06 - 08:05 PM
GUEST,Jed on a borrowed PC 02 Aug 06 - 08:44 AM
Rex 02 Aug 06 - 02:55 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Aug 06 - 11:11 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Aug 06 - 11:29 PM
GUEST,Someinterest - Connecticut 19 Sep 06 - 12:25 AM
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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 12 May 04 - 02:06 PM

Oh, Shenandoah

I love your daughter, Away!

You mighty river!

Haiku origins?? Thanks for some interesting info everybody! :)


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Subject: Lyr Add: SHENANDOAH
From: GUEST,Les
Date: 14 Jan 05 - 01:53 AM

I just asked about this song in another forum, and was directed here. I never imagined this much info - I'm overwhelmed.

Anyhow, I remember this song and tune from my childhood, growing up in London, and have been trying to track down it's source and from where I remember it from. It may have been a theme, sung in a film?, but I seem to remember singing this old American folk song at school in early/mid 60's London.

I'm no nearer finding the answer, in fact I'm more confused and uncertain - what with other lyrics found here. I'm almost certain that the lyrics I remember went like this -

O Shenando' I long to hear you,
Away, you rolling river
O Shenando' I long to hear you
Away, we're bound away, across the wide Missouri

O Shenando' I long to see you
Away you rolling river
O Shenando' I long to see you
Away, we're bound away, across the wide Missouri

'Tis seven years since I have seen you
To hear your rolling river
O Shenando' I long to see you
Away, we're bound away, across the wide Missouri

O Shenando' I'll not forget you
I'll dream of your clear waters
O Shenando' you're in my mem'ry
Away, we're bound away, across the wide Missouri

Thanks for a confusing, but entertaining thread!
Les
London


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Cookieless IanC
Date: 14 Jan 05 - 04:08 AM

Yeah, Les - it was in Singing Together. Have a look at the entry in FolkInfo ... they're compiling songs from old Singing Togethers

:-)


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Les
Date: 14 Jan 05 - 12:00 PM

Thanks for the pointer. I'll go have a look.

Les


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 08:04 PM

Bruce O, post of 05 May 98, mentions that A. G. Gilchrist, in JFSS II, no. 9, 1906, says that Harper's Magazine, May, 1882, in an article by W. J. Alden, mentions the tune O' Shang-ga-dore with variants, and the line 'I love your daughters'.

I have searched that issue and there is no such article or note. No article or note by that author is listed for other issues of 1882, although I have not searched them page by page.

Does anyone have further information?

Any proof of the use of this song in the 19th c.,, except as a chantey?
Any credible mention of soldiers singing the song during the U. S. Civil War?


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: goodbar
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 10:25 PM

we sang this song in music class in fifth grade. when i started to see good traditional bands play i was just like "holy shit! i sang that in fifth grade with that ho of a lady!"

i remember her telling us it was a sea shanty deal and mentioning something about a river.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 11:00 PM

The Gilchrist reference to Harpers names only the year 1882, not the month. You may have to go through a whole years's worth. There was, I think, a separate European edition, printed in London, at that time; they seem to have had different volume numbers and quite possibly variant content. It isn't clear whether or not Miss Gilchrist was referring to the American or European version, so that adds to the uncertainty! Finally, Shangadore was the name given the song by Henry Burstow (who would only sing one verse to a lady); the name(s) given it in Alden's article may be different.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 12:20 AM

Thanks for the clarification. The American edition is on line, but unfortunately not the London edition.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Abby Sale
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 12:32 AM

Bruce was pretty careful. His citatations were often obscure but rarely wrong.

For what it may add, Roud gives
Whall, Ships, Sea Songs & Shanties (2nd edn., 1912) pp.1-3, collected in the 1860's.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: LadyJean
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 12:36 AM

Interesting. This thread has been around for 6 years, and nobody has mentioned that Eugene O'Neil's "Mourning Becomes Electra", begins with someone singing "Shenandoah".


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 03:01 AM

I should have said William Bolton, not Henry Burstow.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 08:29 AM

I have photocopy of the entire article, so it's real.

Alden's texts (with the melodies) are all brief, but the period he refers to seems to be (IIRC) just before the Civil War. I posted his "Shenandoah" text in another thread. Capt. John Robinson, writing in "The Bellman" about 1917, also recalled a version from the '50s or '60s.

There seems to be no truly contemporary record of the song during the Civil War, but neither can there be much doubt that it was sung at that time as a shanty.

I don't believe I've ever noticed any first-hand reference to the song being sung by soldiers during the Civil War. Carl Sandburg recalled that it was being sung in the army by 1898, when he was a soldier.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Lighter
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 01:09 PM

Here are Alden's 1882 texts of "Shenandoah." This important article laments the imminent end of the sea shanty with the burgeoning use of steam power. The examples he gives are said to be from "thirty years ago."

"One of the best known of the windlass songs was the 'Shanandore' :

You Shanandore, I long to hear you.
Hurrah, you rollin' river !
You Shanandore, I long to hear you.
Ah, ha, you Shanandore.

"This is clearly of negro origin, for the 'Shanandore' is evidently the river Shenandoah. In course of time...some shanty-man...changed the second chorus. Thus the...song...assumed the following form, in which it was known to the last generation of sailors :

For seven years I courted Sally.
Hurrah, you rollin' river !
I courted Sally down in yon valley.
Ah, ha ! I'm bound away on the wild Missouri."

Note that Alden, at least, believed that the reference to the " wild Missouri" was a later addition.

Another early version, never before reprinted, comes from the article "Songs the Sailors Sing," by John R. Spears, in an undated issue of "The Sun," New York City, about 1900. It was sent to Robert W. Gordon in 1925. I have modernized the spellings :

"A popular shantie among negro crews (negroes being about the only real American sailors afloat [nowadays]) runs thus (omitting [the repetition of each solo within each stanza]):

Shenando' is my native valley,
Whoa there, rollin' river.
Shenando' I love your daughters.
Whoa there, bound away 'cross the wild Missouri.

For seven long years I courted Sally,
Whoa there,rollin' river.
Seven more and I couldn't get her.
Whoa there, bound away 'cross the wild Missouri.

Seven long years I was a Frisco trader,
Who there, rollin' river.
For seven more was a Texas Ranger,
Whoa there, bound away 'cross the wild Missouri."


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 02:04 PM

Thanks Lighter, I appreciate your help.
Does your photocopy have the date and page numbers?, and was it the Harpers' American or London edition? Monthly Indexes for the American edition, 1882, do not show an article by Alden.
I would like to add the complete article to my notes, and if it is the American edition, I can copy from the website.

I have been looking for any evidence that the song was known to soldiers of the Civil War, but there seems to be none. That it was a chantey at the time is fairly well-established.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Lighter
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 03:28 PM

The article is from the July, 1882 issue of Harper's Monthly Magazine (65: 281-286). This should be the American ed. Alden's byline does not appear with the article - not terribly unusual for the 19th century, though I think by the '80s the practice was getting old. (It was so much more "romantic" and mysterious not to know the author's name!) It's been a long time, but I think Alden must be credited in the annual index.

*Some* Civil War soldiers (and a lot more Civil War sailors) undoubtedly knew a few verses to the shanty, but the idea that the song was a pop megahit like "Tramp Tramp Tramp" or "The Bonnie Blue Flag" is demonstrably wrong. I don't even know of any evidence that the melody alone was part of the usual repertoire.

Maybe the song entered the (western) army repertoire, at some point, through hearing sailors sing it in San Francisco Bay. Army versions, BTW, are mostly about "Sally Brown" - which is why Sandburg calls the song "The Wide Mizzourye."

It may have been mentioed above that Captain Whall, writing in 1910, claims to have heard an English school chum sing a song (not the shanty) about Shenandoah and his daughter before the Civil War. Whall always tries to be fussily accurate, so his recolection is proably correct. I don't believe this song has ever been recovered or solidly identified.

A search of American memory finds no relevant songs under "Shenandoah" or "wide" or "wild Missouri."


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 04:21 PM

Yep, American edition. Interesting article.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Lighter
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 05:31 PM

Now that I have everyone's attention, let me clarify what appears to have been the status of "Shenandoah" during the Civil War.

It's hard to imagine more than a tiny percentage of Civil War soldiers knowing anything about this shanty. Since the lyrics were, so far as we know, not in print till long after the war, the only way anyone could learn the song was from someone who already knew it. Any soldier who had served any length of time as an ocean-going sailor was likely to know a few verses, but the work-related context of a shanty makes it unlikely that even many of these men would, say, start a "Shenandoah" singalong around the campfire. Other soldiers, from maritime areas, undoubtedly picked up the melody and maybe a few words from overhearing it sung at the capstan when a ship was in harbor, and undoubtedly some more well-to-do soldiers had heard it sung on an ocean voyage. Some others may have learned a little from seafaring relatives. There is absolutely no primary evidence that anyone has produced to show that "Shenandoah" in any version was the "common property of all Americans" during the Civil War.

As for the melody, that would have surely stuck in more minds than any of the partly improvised "texts" that sailors were singing. I suppose that if the "makes water" stanza was in existence at the time it may have made the rounds as a "dirty ditty," but the better known it was, the less likely its tune would have been played in front of ladies. So the idea of Virginia troops marching off to war with a band playing "Shenandoah" is, with the possibility of in the inevitable weird exception, just fantasy.

So far as has been discovered, no version the fabulous melody was in print either, under any likely title. Once again, the only source was sailor singing.

As the above examples show, many versions of the song as sung by real 19th century shantymen had inspipid or incoherent lyrics. Theer was in fact no "established" text until collectors began publishing their findings in the 20th century. And as is well known, few shantymen - with the weird exception that somebody will always jump on - seem to have paid any attention to the coherence of a shanty. They sang what they knew or what popped into their heads.

So the likelihood of Civil War soldiers in the main knowing, singing, and loving a modern printed version of "Shenandoah" OR the Sandburg/ Dolph/ Lomax "army" version is as close to zero as you can get. Their loss, of course. And like today, the pop culture of the time was churning out new stuff for them to sing and play, much of it highly sucessful.

The most likely scenario I envision would be something like the following:

"Hey Sam! Silas! Hoss! Come over here! Sailor Jack knows a song!"

"Let's hear it, Sailor Jack!"

"Hell, it ain't much. Here goes, 'Aw, Shanadaw, I love yer daughter!'"

"Who's Shanadaw?" "She got another daughter?"

"Hoe the hell should I know. You want to hear this or not?"

"Sing it!"

"Oh ho, ye rollin' river!"

"What river?"

"I ****** the ****** where she *******!"

(Others dissolve in hysterical laughter, some gigglng, "You're a caution, Jack. I swan! Gotta remember that 'un!" Another mutters "filth!" and walks off.)

[Civil War continues as previously.]


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Feb 05 - 11:23 PM

Russia


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Subject: Lyr Add: SHENANDOAH
From: GUEST,Barrie Roberts
Date: 17 Feb 05 - 08:25 PM

I'd hate muddy the waters of somebody else's river, but.....

I learned a 'stock' version of 'Shenandoah' at school. In my late teens I heard a radio programme which included a partially different lyric. I recall these lines (or something like them):

Missourie she's a mighty water,
And away you rolling river,
The Yankees march along her border
And away I'm bound to go,
Cross the wide Missouri.

Oh Shenandoah, I love your daughter,
And away you rolling river,
Seven years ago I came to court her
But away I'm bound to go,
Cross the wide Missouri.

A few years now, the war'll be over,
And away you rolling river,
Then I'll come back to take my lover,
But away I'm bound to go,
Cross the wide Missouri.

Anyone know anything at all about this version?


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Feb 05 - 09:36 PM

Maybe it was written specially for the show? Otherwise I don't have a suggestion.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Feb 05 - 09:55 PM

Barrie, sounds like a variation, at least the first verse, on the one from Whall, posted above (April, '03), and this one in Lomax and Lomax, American Ballads and Folk Songs, p. 546. Both are sea songs.

Shenandoah, 1st verse of a version sent by Captain A. E. Dingle, Cave Cottage, West Bermuda, to the Lomaxes.

Missouri, she's a mighty river,
Away-ay, you rolling river.
The Indians camp along its borders,
Aha, I'm bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.

What the substitute line, 'the Yankees march along her borders' refers to, I don't know. And what war? Dunno. What was the program about?
Lighter is probably right.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Barrie Roberts
Date: 19 Feb 05 - 06:31 PM

My aging memory tells me that the programme was about the American Civil War, but what aspect I don't recall.
If nobody else has come across anything similar then it may well have been adapted for the programme.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,justmeabe
Date: 20 Feb 05 - 06:16 PM

This is ardent collector Abrahams. Thx for the kind words about Deep the Water. It is in print, incidentally, from the folks at the Mystic Museum.

Shenandoah, though both a river and a valley beautiful, nevertheless is the Indian chief, Skenandoah, an Iroquois (Seneca, I think) chief famed for being a great speaker during the Condolence Ceremony who sent Molly Cooper to the soldiers at Valley Forge with a load of Indian corn. You can google that many ways to get the Iroquois version of the story.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Steve T.
Date: 20 Feb 05 - 07:06 PM


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Steve T.
Date: 20 Feb 05 - 07:12 PM


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Lighter
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 11:45 AM

"In 1716 ... the colorful deputy governor of Virginia Colony, Alexander Spotswood, explored ... the Valley with his small but well-provisioned band of adventurers. They forded the South Fork of the Shenandoah River, which he named the Euphrates." -- Official website of the Town of Stanley, VA.

"O Yoofrateez,
I long to hear you!"


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Gadaffi
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 11:49 AM

Albert Richardson (1905-1976) of Burwash (best known for his rendition of 'the Old Sow') had Shenandoah in his repertoire. Probably learnt when he was in the Rover Scouts in 1928 - unless there is a latent Sussex singing tradition with it in I don't know about. Richardson also sung 'the Punch Bowl' - is this 'Fathom the Bowl', or is there something else with this as the title?


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,coheeboy@earthlink.net
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 09:24 PM

Folks from the Valley really love the song, regardless of its origins, and frankly there is enough alienation and loss in the "American Pageant" to let everyone have a piece (mixing metaphors, but). I'm just glad it wasn't a Tin Pan Alley contrivance.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 25 Feb 05 - 07:58 AM

Further investigation shows that by 1746, the Indian name "Shannandore" (so spelled) for the river had come to be used by white settlers. Excellent choice.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: radriano
Date: 25 Feb 05 - 01:51 PM

Shenandoah may have been an actual Indian chief but there are versions of the shanty (chantey) that are clearly not about an Indian chief. The singer in one version in particular is simply from the Shanandoah Valley and is singing about longing for home.

From Stan Hugill's book "Shanties from the Seven Seas":

SHENANDOAH

Oh, Shenandoah, my bully boys, how I long to hear you
Way ay, ay-ay-ay, Shenandoah
Oh, Shenandoah, my bully boys, how I long to hear you
Way ay, ay, ay, Shenandoah

Oh, Shenandoah, my bully boys, I took myself a notion
Oh, Shenandoah, my bully boys, to sail the stormy ocean

Oh, Shenandoah, my bully boys, I'm bound away to leave you
Oh, Shenandoah, my bully boys, I will not deceive you

Oh, Shenandoah, my bully boys, how I love yer daughters
Oh, Shenandoah, I love to hear the music of yer waters

'Tis seven years, oh Shenandoah, since I last seen you
Oh, Shenandoah, my bully boys, I will never grieve you

Oh, Shenandoah, my bully boys, she's my native valley
Oh, Shenandoah, beside her waters I do love to dally

Oh, Shenandoah, my bully boys, she's a lovely river
Oh, Shenandoah, my bully boys, I never will forget you


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,carol1211k
Date: 10 Mar 05 - 01:28 AM

I've been reading previous posts trying to get a handle on the origins of "Shenandoah", and I'm pretty well convinced that I'm not going to get back to the beginnings on this one.

Since it has become a theme song of western expansion, and a song possibly known to Thomas Jefferson, any possibility it would have been known to, and possibly performed by, members of the Lewis and Clark expedition as they traveled on the "wide Missouri"?


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Obie
Date: 10 Mar 05 - 05:39 AM


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 10 Mar 05 - 08:05 AM

It seems nearly impossible that Thomas Jefferson would have known the sea shanty "Shenandoah." Ditto for Lewis & Clark.

There's just no evidence that the song goes that far back.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 09:45 PM

Bruce O mentioned "Shanandore" in the article, "Sailor Songs," by W. L. Alden, Harpers New Monthly Magazine, July 1882. Alden said: "One of the best known of the windlass songs was the "Shannandore." Here is his version, with his intercalated remarks.

"Solo
You Shanandore, I long to hear you.
Chorus
Hurrah, you rollin' river!
Solo
You Shenandore, I long to hear you.
Chorus
Ah, ha, you Shenandore."

"This is clearly of negro origin, for the "Shanandore" is evidently the river Shenandoah. In course of time some shantyman of limited geographical knowledge, not comprehending that the "Shenandore" was a river, but conceiving that the first chorus required explanation, changed the second chorus. Thus the modified song soon lost all trace of the Shenandoah River, and assumed the following form, in which it was known to the last generation of sailors:"

"Solo
For seven long years, I courted Sally.
Chorus
Hurrah, you rollin' river!
Solo
I courted Sally down in yon valley.
Chorus
Ah ha! I'm bound away on the wild Missouri."

The music is the same as that used in most collections.

W. L. Alden previously wrote a short article titled "Sea Songs," 1869, in Chambers Journal, 11 Dec. 1869, pp. 794-796, which I haven't seen.

http://cdl.library.cornell.edu/gifcache/moa/harp/harp0065/00297.TIF6.gif


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 09:03 AM

From http://iroquoisindians.freeweb-hosting.com/webdoc71.htm It looks like the chief Skenandoah of the Iroquois nation lived in the late 18th century. Date mentioned was 1794. I suspect that the song would have been written either around that time or after.

So, to answer carol1211k, I don't think it likely the song would have been heard BEFORE the Lewis and Clark expedition, but more probably after it.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 12:22 PM

I dunno, George. Maybe the "Shenandoah" verse in the shanty was just taken over from an older sentimental song or poem.

Can a music historian comment on the melody ? Does it show characteristics typical of any particular era ?


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 01:05 PM

Several writers have commented that the form and melody are similar to those of Negro song. Except for the general call and response form of many simple songs, there doesn't seem to be any firm relationship and Negro origin is only a possibility. I don't recall any analysis by a modern musicologist, but I am not familiar with their journals.

The melody is an earworm, sticking in the mind. Perhaps it is like "Ashokan Farewell;" an original composition that reminds us of times past and half-remembered.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: John Minear
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 11:31 AM

I have gone back over all of the "Shenandoah" threads and discussions and I did not find this version anywhere. It is from W. Roy MacKenzie's BALLADS AND SEA SONGS FROM NOVA SCOTA,(Harvard University Press, 1928)p. 270, with the tune on p. 402. MacKenzie says it is "from the singing of Ephraim Langille, Tatamagouche, Colchester County, [Nova Scotia]."

             "Rolling River"

O if I had a dog I would call him Hunter,
Hooray, my rolling river!
O if I had a dog I would call him Hunter,
I'm bound away on the wild Missouri!

And every roll her topsails shiver,
Hooray, my rolling river!
And every roll her topsails shiver,
I'm bound away on the wild Missouri!

MacKenzie says that "this is a windlass and capstan shanty,..." T.O.M.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 11:50 AM

That's really a nice version.

Wish I had the MacKenzie book! Oh well!


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Clive Goodhead
Date: 22 Aug 05 - 10:37 AM

I have just picked up this fascinating thread, having sung the song itself last week at a concert in north Germany. The version I used came from The New National Song Book, published in the UK just after the second world war with the express purpose of providing cheering family entertainment. The book includes a range of Sea Shanties (sic) arranged by Sir R R Terry. Unfortunately it does not give references for the origins of any of the pieces or their words. But Terry's arrangements are beautiful and deserve wider hearing. My programme notes and introductions for future concerts will be a lot fuller now than they have been so far!


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,heididoiron@msn.com
Date: 16 Dec 05 - 08:38 PM

Hi I am looking for the Shenandoah version that sings about the wanting to see you and rolling river....and smiling valleys.....across the wide missouri.....can anyone help me??? my daughter knows part of it but we are having a very hard time finding the rest of it....please help!!!!!!!!!


from Canada


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: masato sakurai
Date: 16 Dec 05 - 09:27 PM

Listen to Jo Stafford's singing of this song here.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 17 Dec 05 - 09:35 AM

Terry published two "parts" (volumes) of _The Shanty Book_ during the 1920s. He was a prominent musician who had learned shanties in childhood from seafaring relatives and later from other sailor singers, at sea IIRC.

Despite the inevitable bowdlerization and collated texts, Terry's _Shanty Book_ remains an important source, with plentiful background notes.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 02 Mar 06 - 02:44 PM

State Song Search Hits Sour Note
House Panel Says 'Shenandoah' Is Out of Tune With the Times


By Chris L. Jenkins
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 2, 2006; B03

RICHMOND, March 1 -- The lone, angelic voice did a slow dance through the sixth-floor board room at the state Capitol, lulling the assembled group of Virginia delegates into silence.

"Oh Shenandoah, Virginia's beauty," sang Erin Merceruio, who, along with her college choir, was commissioned to help convince the House members that the lullaby she was singing, "Shenandoah," should be adopted, at least temporarily, as the Old Dominion's song.

"Away, you rolling river, from coast to mountains through the valleys," joined in the women in Shenandoah University's choir. Then the men chimed in: "Away, we're bound away, 'cross our fair Virginia."

"Wow!" House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) said, as the 13-member group, dubbed the Shenandoah Singers, finished their rendition of the song that many experts believe has been sung for more than 150 years.

But as sweet as the notes may have sounded, the effort to persuade delegates to bless the song landed with a thud in the House Rules Committee. The panel decided that the four-stanza tune, while certainly a pretty ditty, wasn't quite the right fit for the state and tabled Senate Bill 682, sponsored by Sen. Charles J. Colgan (D-Prince William).

"Although the words were beautiful . . . I'm not sure this is the best song to represent the entire commonwealth," said Del. R. Steven Landes (R-Augusta) whose district includes part of the Shenandoah Valley. "Fredericksburg is different from the Shenandoah Valley. Salem is different, Bedford is different. . . . I'm just not sure this song is as inclusive as it should be."

And there was that pesky point about the song's story line: The narrative is about a white trader who falls in love with the daughter of a Native American chief named Shenandoah, the same man for whom the Virginia valley and river were named, experts believe. Is that really about the state of Virginia?

And would-be historians on the committee also pointed out that the song evokes a period in Virginia that maybe shouldn't be celebrated through rhyme and verse.

"It's about a time in Virginia history when everyone was migrating out of the state because the conditions had gotten to the point economically that things were better in the West," said House Majority Leader H. Morgan Griffith (R-Salem). "I don't think it's appropriate to have a state song that's about folks leaving the state of Virginia."

None of this pleased Colgan, who this year took over the long, tedious process of finding a state song. Lawmakers retired the last state song, "Carry Me Back to Old Virginia," in 1997 because its lyrics were considered racist, leaving the state as one of only a few without one.

To assuage House members' concerns, Colgan had Shenandoah University Dean Charlotte Collins rewrite the original lyrics to make them more Virginia-friendly. For instance, the amended version mentioned the state several times and did not include the original's ode to the Missouri River.

The original goes:

"Oh Shenandoah, I love your daughter . . . Away I'm bound away, 'cross the wide Missouri."

Colgan remixed the song so that the line would have read: " Oh Shenandoah, I'm bound to leave you . . . 'Cross our fair Virginia ."

"The state song is for children," Colgan said. "This song can be sung in school by children . . . at graduations, inaugurations. It's a great song." In a follow-up interview, he remained hopeful: "I think one day it will be our state song." And even though delegates were not swayed by the siren call of the Shenandoah Singers, who traveled from Winchester to serenade them, the group, like Colgan, were convinced that one day the effort may succeed.

"Whether they took it or not it was worth the effort . . . it's a beautiful song," said Merceruio, 20. "It's really special."


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Aug 06 - 08:05 PM

Does anyone have the lyrics to Jo Stafford's rendition of Shenandoah?


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Jed on a borrowed PC
Date: 02 Aug 06 - 08:44 AM

I found some new and interesting verses in my Civil War research. Maybe OK or even AR will like this version.

It starts out with a typically first 2 verses, then:

At Talequah on the reservation
Far away you rolling river
I joined General Pike and the Cherokee Nation
Away I'm bound away
Across the wide Missouri

The Yankees came to Elkhorn Tavern
Far away you rolling river
The Southern hopes and nations shattered
Away I'm bound away
Across the wide Missouri

Oh Shenandoah I love your daughter
Far away you rolling river
The Cimmeron and Red Fork waters
Away I'm bound away
Across the wide Missouri


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Rex
Date: 02 Aug 06 - 02:55 PM

Hey Jed, this is most interesting. Would you tell us where you found it?

Rex


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Aug 06 - 11:11 PM

Perchance the Cimarron?

Brig. Gen. Albert Pike, Confederate States America, for a short time before The War Between the States, was an Indian Commissioner for the Confederacy. In the late 1850's, his law practice represented the Cherokees. He led a brigade of Cherokee Indians at the Battle of Pea Ridge (Elkhorn Tavern), 1862.

It seems he had no contact with the Cherokees after the War.
He edited the "Memphis Appeal," and then moved to Washington, D. C., where he practiced law. He was a Scottish Rite Mason and wrote extensively on Masonic ritual.

He also was a poet, and wrote "Ode to a Mocking Bird" among many others. He was supposed to be fluent in seventeen languages but this cannot be verified.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Aug 06 - 11:29 PM

Echo of Rex- Source?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Someinterest - Connecticut
Date: 19 Sep 06 - 12:25 AM

Tonight I Googled, disgruntled with a PBS rendition of Shenandoah that didn't sync with childhood versions from IL and MO. Hit this thread - what a banquet! And how much we've lost. I remember my great-grandmother (part Seminole) and she remembered her's. Three leaps and we are back to 1830's. Three generations with oral "common-history" opportunities to pass forward - not taken - lost facts & lost insights on their evolution in everyday thought and social adaptation.

Nice to think that data banks connected to the internet might retain knowledge captured in the millions of threads like this in cultures around the world - though unlike buried hordes of ancient clay tablets, these modern caches will more likely be erased to free up data space.

But in optimism, a memory of IL/MO Grandpa, who said movies & TV didn't depict towns like Hannibal and Qincey as they were in the 1800's - because they didn't show where the dirt streets sank half way to the knees in muck and horse manure all seasons but drought; where skirt hems sweept down those streets encrusted with said manure, spit, and chewing tobacco; and where every porch and boardwalk was lined with civil war amputees begging, singing, and strumming their war tunes for coins - one he hummed when he repeated the stories was "Shannendah".


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