Over the Mountain (I) (Allanah Is Waiting for Me)

DESCRIPTION: "I'm always light-hearted and easy, Not a care in this world have I." The singer is joyful because he is so close to his love, even though she is over the (mountain/ocean). He is preparing for a reunion
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1922 (Dean); Caleb Johnson Burton apparently had a version in 1908
KEYWORDS: love home nonballad reunion
FOUND IN: US(MW)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Dean, p. 75, "Allanah Is Waiting For Me" (1 text)
Roud #7450
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Ila, My Darling
NOTES: This is an extremely mysterious song, because the versions are so diverse. The earliest version I've found was in an online manuscript of songs sung by Agnes Amelia Ransom Burton in 1957; the document claims she learned it in 1908 from her husband Caleb Johnson Burton. In that version, it's "Ila, My Darling," and it looks like an Irish emigration song, with the guy leaving the girl behind. Then comes Dean's text, in which the girl is "Eileen" (yes, the girl is "Allanah" in the title, but she's "Eileen" in the text. Wilgus thought the title an error); it's interesting to note that Dean knew many Irish and stage-Irish songs. Then Uncle Dave Macon had at it, and you can imagine the shape it was in after that!
Roud lumps this with Randolph's text "My Little One's Waiting for Me." There are a few similar words, but I don't see it. - RBW
RBW cites Wilgus. Anyone interested in this song should read D.K. Wilgus, "The Text Is The Thing" in The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. LXXXVI, No. 341 (Jul-Sep 1973 (available online by JSTOR)), pp. 241-252. Wilgus traces "Over the Mountain" and its derivatives through six texts, and lists the words for all of them:
Date........Source and Title
n.d.(19c?)..Nugent Songsters: My Mountain Molly
1905........Irish manuscript: My Eily
1922........Dean Flying Cloud: Allanah Is Waiting for Me
1925........Fiddlin' John Carson: The Grave of Little Mary Phagan
1927........Earl Johnson: Little Grave in Georgia
1929........Dave Macon: Over the Mountain
The Meade Spottswood Meade entry for I-C75b "Grave of Little Mary Phagan" -- not to the same song as "Mary Phagan" [Laws F20] -- notes "adapted from 'Over the Mountain' [see II-G28] by John Carson, ca. 1917" (p. 92); their note for II-G28 "Over the Mountain" has that song being printed in songsters, beginning with William J. Scanlon's Peek-A-Boo Songster (1882) (pp. 230,906) [Guthrie T Meade Jr with Dick Spottswood and Douglas S. Meade, Country Music Sources (Chapel Hill:Southern Folklife Collection University of North Carolina, 2002)].
The Carson, Johnson and Macon cuts are available from iTunes. I haven't seen the Scanlon songster so I can't vouch for it. - BS
Last updated in version 3.2
File: R850A

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