Red River Valley

Another popular American folk song is Red River Valley. As with many folk songs the origin is unknown. The earliest known manuscript of the lyrics is titled “The Red River Valley” and has the notations “Nemaha 1879” and “Harlan 1885.”  “Nemaha and Harlan are the names of counties in Nebraska and are also the names Read More

On Top of Old Smokey

On Top of Old Smokeyis a song many of my residents enjoy singing. The song is an American folk song, which was passed down through the generations. Only when these songs began to be written down around the early 20th Century, was the song preserved for prosperity. Throughout the years of World War I, Cecil Read More

Let’s Start the New Year Right

Let’s Start the New Year Right is a song by Irving Berlin. The film was written for the movie Holiday Inn, which starred Bing Crosby, Virginia Dale, Marjorie Reynolds and Fred Astaire. The film features each of the holidays throughout the year and Berlin seems to have written this song specifically for the New Year’s Read More

The Wassail Songs

Here We Come A-wassailing is a traditional English Christmas Carol and New Year song. The song is believed to have been composed around 1850.  The song was very popular in the Victorian Era. In old English the world wassaling means to sing carols door to door wishing good health. Wassailing was an ancient rite that Read More

Wyoming

  The song, Wyoming ,is the state song of Wyoming. Judge Charles Edwin Winter wrote the words during the summer of 1903. Earle R. Clemens wrote the music soon after. Winter and Clemens copyrighted the song in 1913 with the Wyoming Publishing Company. The song then became the unofficial Wyoming state song. In 1920, George Edwin Read More

On, Wisconsin!

  On, Wisconsin! was composed by William T. Purdy in 1909 as “Minnesota, Minnesota”. He planned to enter it into a competition for a new fight song for the University of Minnesota. Carl Beck convinced him to withdraw the song from the contest at the last minute and allow his alma mater, the University of Read More

Do You Hear What I Hear?

“Do You Hear What I Hear? sounds as if it came from the 19th or early 20th Century.  So, I was surprised to discover the song was written in October 1962. The song was written as a plea for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis, by a married couple, Noël Regney and  Gloria Shayne Baker. Read More

Take Me Home, Country Roads

Take Me Home, Country Roads is a popular folk song about West Virginia. The song was written by Bill Danoff, Taff Nivert and John Denver. The trio received a letter from their friend John Albert Fitzgerald who was living in West Virginia at the time. The song was reportedly derived from a poem Fitzgerald wrote Read More

Jingle Bell Rock

Jingle Bell Rock was written by Joseph Carleton Beal and James Ross Boothe.  Both men worked in some form of public relations and advertising. Bobby Helms first released the song in 1957, whose version is still the best known.  Jingle Bell Rock is an expansion of the Christmas standard, Jingle Bells.  The song references the Read More

Roll On, Columbia, Roll On

“Roll On, Columbia, Roll On” is an American folk song written in 1941 by American folk singer Woody Guthrie. According to Wikipedia, “The song glamorized the harnessing of the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest. The 11 hydroelectric dams built on the American stretch of the Columbia helped farms and industry, but their construction also Read More