Oh, Shenandoah

Episode Air Date: November 30, 2016
Artist: Paul Robeson
Recording Title: Shenandoah

 “Shenandoah” or “Oh, Shenandoah” as it is sometimes referred to, is an early American folk song and sea shanty. Popular with sailors as early as the 1880s, the song is an ode to the Shenandoah River Valley, and its river. It’s a tributary of the Potomac, and runs through Virginia and West Virginia. The valley’s fertile lands made it a top-notch settling place, and, apparently, a swell spot for a folk tune. Now, according to which version of the song you’re listening to, the narrator is a Confederate soldier pining for home, a roving trader in love with an Indian chief’s daughter, or, well, someone else.  For a more detailed look at the song check out our blog.

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