ON TOP OF OLD SMOKEY

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs
  • On Top of Old Smoky” is a traditional folk song and a well-known ballad of the United
    States which, as recorded by The Weavers, reached the pop music charts in 1951. Old
    Smoky may be a high mountain somewhere in the Ozarks or the central
    Appalachians( Appalachians- east Tennessee! it is), as the tune (as does much ‘bluegrass’
    music) bears the stylistic hallmarks of the Scottish and Irish people who settled the
    region. Possibilities include Clingmans Dome, named “Smoky Dome” by local Scots-
    Irish inhabitants, but exactly which mountain it is may be lost to antiquity.
    The song is parodied often, sometimes with violent lyrics. One example begins “On top
    of Old Smokey, all covered in blood/I found my true lover, face down in the mud”.
    Teachers are often used by children as targets in the song. One well-known parody
    version, On Top of Spaghetti“, deals with the loss of a meatball “when somebody
    sneezed”.
    On top of old Smokey
    All covered with snow
    I lost my true lover
    For courtin’ so slow
    For courting’s a pleasure (for courting’s a pleasure)
    But parting is grief (but parting is grief)
    And the false hearted lover (and the false hearted lover)
    Is worse than a thief (is worse than a thief)
    A thief will just rob you (a thief will just rob you)
    And take what you have (and take what you have)
    But a false hearted lover (but a false hearted lover)
    Will lead you to the grave (will lead you to the grave)
    And the grave will decay you (and the grave will decay you)
    Turn you to dust (and turn you to dust)
    Not one boy in a hundred (not one boy in a hundred)
    A poor girl can trust (a poor girl can trust)
    How do!
    They’ll hug you and kiss you (they’ll hug you and kiss you)
    Tell you more lies (and tell you more lies)
    Than cross ties on a railroad (than cross ties on a railroad)
    Or the stars in the sky (or stars in the sky)
    So come all you young maidens (come all you young maidens)
    And listen to me (and listen to me)
    Never place your affection (never place your affection)

    On a green willow tree (on a green willow tree)

  • For the leaves they will wither (the leaves they will wither)
    And roots they will die (the roots they will die)
    You’ll all be forsaken (you’ll all be forsaken)
    And never know why (and never know why)