Roll On, Columbia, Roll On

“Roll On, Columbia, Roll On” is an American folk song written in 1941 by American folk singer Woody Guthrie.

Seattle, Washington

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 permanently altered the character of the river.”

Roll On, Columbia, Roll On is a set of twenty-six songs commissioned by the Bonneville Power Administration and written by Guthrie. Guthrie was driven around Washington and Oregon and various sites of the Columbia River to get a feel of the area.

The song is set to a modified version of “Goodnight, Irene” by Huddie Ledbeter.

The song became famous as an anthem about American public works projects arising out of the New Deal in the Great Depression.

Mount Saint Helens, Washington

In 1987, it was adopted as the official folk song of the State of Washington.


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