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“On Top of Old Smoky” by The Weavers

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“On Top of Old Smoky” by The Weavers

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“On Top of Old Smoky” by The Weavers


song info

    “On Top of Old Smoky” by The Weavers is a classic pop song.

    Song Title: On Top of Old Smoky
    Artist: the Weavers
    Genre: classic pop, folk
    Date: 1951
    Label: Decca records #27515
    Number of listens: 10047
    Current rank: 1301 (updated weekly)
    Highest rank: 1106 (play the video all the way through to register a vote for this song)


    Summary quotation from Wikipedia:

    “On Top of Old Smoky” is a traditional folk song and a well-known ballad of the United States. As recorded by The Weavers, the song reached the pop music charts in 1951.

    On top of Old Smoky, all covered with snow
    I lost my true lover, for courtin’ too slow…

    Old Smoky may be a high mountain somewhere in the Ozarks or the central Appalachians, as the tune 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.

    It is unclear when, where and by whom the song was first recorded. Pete Seeger modified a version that he learned in the Appalachians, writing new words and banjo music. He said that he thought that “certain verses go back to Elizabethan times.” The sheet music for the song credited Seeger for “new words and music arrangement”. The liner notes identify an early recording as the first, saying, “It was first recorded by George Reneau, “The Blind Musician of the Smoky Mountains,” for Vocalion (Vo 15366) in 1925.”


    The Weavers, using Seeger’s arrangement, recorded a very popular version of the song on February 21, 1951. It was released by Decca Records as catalog number 27515. It reached #2 on the Billboard chart and #1 on the Cash Box chart, and sold over a million copies. The song also became one of Burl Ives’ signature songs, with his recording reaching #10 on the Billboard chart in 1951.

Notable usage in popular culture

    In 1964 during Beatlemania, Al Fisher & Lou Marks had “Paul George John And Ringo (All The Way To The Bank)” sung to the tune of Old Smokey (Swan LP-514).

—from Wikipedia (the Wikipedia:Text of Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License applies to Wikipedia’s block of text and possible accompanying picture, along with any alterations, transformations, and/or building upon Wikipedia’s original text that applied to this block of text)

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most recent comment

    Taylor: On Top of Old Smoky is Esther’s favorite song.

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