Sourwood Mountain - Folk Song Lyrics

A classic among traditional mountain folk songs of the southern Appalachians. Text for this song varies considerably as does the refrain lines. It appears in most all the many collections & books written on the music of the southern mountains. Variants of the song was collected by the great folksong collectors like Cecil Sharp, Frank Brown, Bascomb Lunsford and other folklorists in the early 1900s across North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia & Missouri. Commonly it is classed as dance music or with play-party songs, or may be just a singing song unaccompanied by music. Some folks tend to think the variation in the refrain lines is due to the individual singers attempt to imitate the banjo sound.

Chickens a crowin' in the Sourwood Mountains
Hi-ho doodle-um a-day
So many pretty girls you can't count em
Hi-ho diddle-um a-day

Say old man I want your daughter
Hi-ho doodle-um a-day
Bake some bread carry in the water
Hi-ho diddle-um a-day

Big dog bark, little dog bite you
Hi-ho doodle-um a-day
Big girl courts, little ones spite you
Hi-ho diddle-um a-day

My true love lives up the hollow
Hi-ho doodle-um a-day
She won't come and I won't follow
Hi-ho diddle-um a-day

My true love lives up on the river
Hi-ho doodle-um a-day
A few more miles and I'll be with her
Hi-ho diddle-um a-day

Ducks in the mill pond, geese in the clover
Hi-ho doodle-um a-day
Tell them pretty girls, I'am comin over
Hi-ho diddle-all day

7 comments:

  1. Anonymous2:59 PM

    This song is pretty awesome. My choir sung it with a different variation but I wasn't at the concert so I am writing a report about it when I came across your website. Go Sourwood Mountain!

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  2. Anonymous1:12 PM

    You can almost imagion what is going on in the song as your singing it! It's almost like you're there...Sort of...

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  3. While interesting, these are NOT the lyrics I grew up singing at Banner Elk Elementary, Avery County. North Carolina (1947-56, including kindergarten). THESE are more like it:

    Chickens a-crowin' on SOurwood Mountain,
    Hey, de-ding-dang, diddle daddle doe!
    So may hens that I can't count 'em,
    Hey, de-ding-dang, diddle daddle doe!
    My True Love, she lives in Fletcher,
    Hey, de-ding-dang, diddle daddle doe!
    She won't come and I won't fetch her,
    Hey, de-ding-dang, diddle daddle doe!
    Best,
    Chuck

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous8:48 PM

      Yes I grew up with a combination of the two.
      Chickens a crowin' on Sourwood Mountain,
      Hey, de-de ling-dang diddle-ally day
      So many pretty girl I can't count 'em,
      Hey, de-de ling-dang diddle-ally day
      My true love, she lives in Fletchem
      Hey, de-de ling-dang diddle-ally day
      She won't come and I won't fetch her,
      Hey, de-de ling-dang diddle-ally day

      Delete
  4. Anonymous6:57 PM

    HI you got a nice music site that ya going here !!
    Keep up the good work, I love it AAAA++++ , I am going to tell all my friends about this site !!

    Thanks GW Williams
    P.S. if you get time stop by my website and say hi anytime at.........GW Williams Rock,Blues Guitar

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  5. Anonymous3:23 PM

    i love robert pattinson he need to sing this song

    ReplyDelete