Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Oh Shenandoah

Until the nineteenth century only adventurers who sought their fortunes as trappers and traders of beaver fur ventured as far west as the Missouri River. Most of these men were loners who became friendly with, and sometimes married, Native Americans.


Shenandoah is said to have originated with French voyageurs traveling down the Missouri River. The lyrics tell the story of a trader who fell in love with the daughter of an  Oneida chief, Skenandoa. American sailors heading down the Mississippi River picked up the song and made it a capstan shanty that they sang while hauling in the anchor. 

 Click on link lower right "Harp Demo" to watch youtube video of Oh Shenandoah.

There is a beautiful 2 harp arrangement of "Oh Shenandoah" by Beth Kolle in The Harp Ensemble Book: Duets and Trios for Lever Harp



Lyrics to Oh Shenandoah
O Shenandoah, I long to hear you 
Away, you rolling river
O Shenandoah, I long to hear you 
Away, I'm bound away 'Cross the wide Missouri

Missouri, she's a mighty river 
Away, you rolling river 
The Indians camp along her borders
 Away, I'm bound away 'Cross the wide Missouri

The white man loved an Indian maiden 
Away, you rolling river 
With notions his canoe was laden Away,
 I'm bound away 'Cross the wide Missouri

O Shenandoah, I love your daughter 
Away, you rolling river 
For her I've crossed the rolling water 
Away, I'm bound away 'Cross the wide Missouri


Seven long years I courted Sally 
Away, you rolling river 
Seven more I longed to have her 
Away, I'm bound away 'Cross the wide Missouri