Shenandoah

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

Oh Shenandoah,
I love your daughter,
Away you rolling river,
I'll take her
'cross your rollin' water,
Away, I'm bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.

'Tis seven years
since last I saw you.
Away you rolling river,
'Tis seven years
since last I saw you.
Away, I'm bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.

Oh Shenandoah,
I love your daughter,
Away you rolling river,
Oh Shenandoah,
I'll come to claim her.
Away, I'm bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.

In all these years,
Whene'er I saw her,
We have kept
Our love a secret,
Oh! Shenandoah,
I do adore her,
Away, I'm bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.

Oh Shenandoah,
She's bound to leave you.
Away you rolling river,
Oh Shenandoah,
I'll not deceive you.
Away, I'm bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.

by Anonymous Americas

Comments (3)

It is beautifully sung by the soprano Sissel Kyrkjebø.. in her interpretation, the rover tells the chief of his intent to take the girl with him far to the west, across the Missouri River.
Since Shenandoah was a riverman's and then sailor's song and went through numerous changes and versions over the years and centuries, there are no set lyrics. Other interpretations tell of a pioneer's nostalgia for the Shenandoah River Valley in Virginia, and a young woman who is its daughter; or of a Union soldier in the American Civil War, dreaming of his country home to the west of the Missouri river, in Shenandoah, Iowa (though the town lies some 50 miles east of the river) . The provenance of the song is unclear. The song is also associated with escaped slaves. They were said to sing the song in gratitude because the river allowed their scent to be lost. The Shenandoah area made many parts like wheels and seats for wagons going west. These parts were assembled in Conestoga Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and settlers set out in Conestoga wagons down the Ohio River, on the Mississippi and west up the Missouri River. Lyrics were undoubtedly added by rivermen, settlers, and the millions who went west. With possible origins in Virginia, noting that its title is also the name of a Virginia river, the song has been considered for Virginia's official state song.
this is a traditional American folk song of uncertain origin, dating at least to the early 19th century. The song appears to have originated with Canadian and American voyageurs or fur traders traveling down the Missouri River in canoes, and has developed several different sets of lyrics. Some lyrics refer to the Native American chief Shenandoah (Oskanondonha) and a canoe-going trader who wants to marry his daughter. (Wikipedia) Shenandoah was a celebrated Indian chief in American history, and several towns in the States are named after him.