She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain

Performer and production credits:
Karol Bennett, soprano; Leone Buyse, flute; Hannah Holman, cello; Susan Oltsman Koozin, narrator; Tricia Park, violin; Rod Waters, piano; Michael Webster, clarinet; Blake Wilkins, percussion.
Bill Klemm, videographer and editor; Kate Dawson, director.


TEXT
She'll be coming round the mountain when she comes. (Toot, toot!)
She'll be coming round the mountain when she comes. (Toot, toot!)A star in heaven is a new moon
She'll be coming round the mountain, she'll be coming round the mountain,
She'll be coming round the mountain when she comes.
 
She'll be driving six white horses when she comes. (Whoa back!)
She'll be driving six white horses when she comes. (Whoa back!)
She'll be driving six white horses, she'll be driving six white horses,
She'll be driving six white horses when she comes.
 
Oh, we'll all go out to meet her when she comes (Hi, Babe)
Oh, we'll all go out to meet her when she comes (Hi, Babe)
Oh, we'll all go out to meet her, we'll all go out to meet her,
We'll all go out to meet her when she comes.
 
She'll be wearing red pajamas when she comes. (Scratch, scratch!)
She'll be wearing red pajamas when she comes. (Scratch, scratch!)
She'll be wearing red pajamas, she'll be wearing red pajamas,
She'll be wearing red pajamas when she comes.
 
She will have to sleep with Grandma when she comes. (Snore)
She will have to sleep with Grandma when she comes. (Snore)
She will have to sleep with Grandma, she will have to sleep with Grandma,
She will have to sleep with Grandma when she comes.
 
We will all have chicken and dumplings when she comes. (Yum, yum!)
We will all have chicken and dumplings when she comes. (Yum, yum!)
We will all have chicken and dumplings, we'll all have chicken and dumplings.
We will all have chicken and dumplings when she comes.

The source of the popular American Folksong She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain is not known, though it probably originated in the second half of the nineteenth century. It has been recorded countless times by folk singers ranging from Pete Seeger to Buffy Saint-Marie and is a perennial favorite children's song. The simple lyrics refer to the arrival of a train ("toot, toot") or covered wagon ("she'll be driving six white horses"), an exciting and important event in small town, rural America. The occasion would mean the arrival of visitors and special deliveries. In The Music Man, composer Meredith Wilson uses a similar conceit when the River City townsfolk sing "Oh-o, the Wells Fargo Wagon is a-comin' down the street. Oh please let it be for me!" She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain is a particularly good example of a folksong since its simple lyrics (only a single short sentence) permit easy, spontaneous invention. The lyrics given above are only a small sampling of the most popular ones.

Ruth Crawford Seeger (1901-1953) was born in Liverpool, Ohio. She was one of the first American composers to be influenced by the revolutionary teachings of the Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg, one of the pioneers of 20th-century music. Seeger's own concert works are considered important landmarks of American music. However, after the birth of her children, she largely gave up composing, and focused instead on transcribing and publishing a rich body of folk song. Her children —most notably her stepson Pete Seeger— followed in her footsteps, and popularized American indigenous music.

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