Sowing on the Mountain

DESCRIPTION: "Sowing on the mountain, reaping in the valley (x3), You're gonna reap just what you so." "God gave Noah the rainbow sign...." "Won't be water, but fire next time."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1930 (recording, Carter Family)
KEYWORDS: religious nonballad floatingverses
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Darling-NAS, pp. 263-264, "Sowing on the Mountain" (1 text)
Silber-FSWB, p. 363, "Sowing on the Mountain" (1 text)

Roud #11554
Carter Family, "Sow 'em on the Mountain" (Victor 23585, 1931; Bluebird B-5468, 1934; Montgomery Ward M-4744, 1935; rec. 1930)
A. P. Carter Camily, "Sow 'em on the Mountain" (Acme 997, n.d. but probably 1950s)
Coon Creek Girls, "Sowing on the Mountain" (Vocalion 04278/OKeh 04278/Conqueror 9113, 1938)
Cisco Houston and Woody Guthrie, "Sowing on the Mountain" (1950, "Lonesome Valley," Folkways Records LP FA2010)

cf. "You're Going To Reap Just What You Sow" (theme, some chorus lines)
NOTES [171 words]: The Darling text is a slightly edited version of the Cisco Houston(?) and Woody Guthrie version. Silber's seems to be from the same source. The other recordings we have so far -- Carter Family, Coon Creek Girls -- have different verses, but the same tune and chorus. That chorus seems anachronistic to me: "Sowing on the mountain, Reaping in the valley, You're going to reap just what you sow." I expect that "to reap what you sow," you would reap and sow in the same place (as in Job 4:8, "... they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same." (King James)).
A hymn with a tune close to the tunes on the recordings for "Sowing on the Mountain" is "You're Going To Reap Just What You Sow." The verses are not shared with the versions of "Sowing on the Mountain" indexed so far, but the chorus is "You're going to reap just what you sow (2x), Up on the mountain, Down in the valley, You're going to reap just what you sow." That is, wherever you sow, you'll face the consequences.
I assume the hymns are related. - BS
Last updated in version 4.3
File: FSWB363

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.