Oh, Shenandoah is a folk song with unknown origins.
The song is believed to date back to the early 19th Century, originating with the Canadian and American fur traders traveling down the Missouri River in canoes.
The earliest versions of the song refer to a trader falling in love with a daughter of one of the Iroquois pine tree chief, Shenandoah.
By the early 19th Century, sailors on the Mississippi River picked up the song and turned it into a shanty, or sea work song, to sing while hauling up the anchor. By the mid 19th Century
In April 1876, a version of the song was mentioned in The New Dominion Monthly and three years later in Capt. Robert Chamblet Adams’ book On Board the “Rocket”.
The song has undergone numerous changes and versions over the centuries.
“The song is popular in local organizations
The song has been recorded by a variety of performers including Glen Campbell, Celtic Woman, Bing Crosby, The Corries, Bob Dylan, the Harvard Glee Club, the Mormon Tabernacle Singers, Pete Seeger, BruceSpringsteen, and Michael Holliday.
“Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.”
The song is featured in the movies Shenandoah and How the West Was Won.
Oh, Shenandoah is often known as Shenandoah or Across the Wide Missouri.