Old Smoky, Lyric Variant 02


“Old Smoky, Lyric Variant 02,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed June 17, 2024, https://omeka.library.appstate.edu/items/show/31766.

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Old Smoky, Lyric Variant 02


This item is part of the I. G. Greer Folksong Collection which consists of more than 300 individual song titles and their variants as collected by Isaac Garfield Greer (1881-1967) from informants, primarily in Ashe, Wilkes and Watauga counties. The collection includes manuscripts, typescript transcriptions produced by Dr. Greer’s clerical staff, and handwritten musical notations. Songs range from traditional Child Ballads, traditional English and Scottish ballads as well as their American variants, to 19th century popular music to musical compositions of local origin.


Folk songs--United States
Unrequited love--Songs and music
Mountains--Songs and music
Courtship--Songs and music

Alternative Title

Old Smokey, On Top of Old Smokie, On Top of the Smokies All Covered with Snow, On Top of Old Smokies, Advice to Girls, Pretty Polly, Pretty Polly, I'm Going Away


W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University


Greer, I. G. (Isaac Garfield), 1881-1967








Old Smoky

On top of Old Smoky, all covered with snow
I lost my true lover, by sparking too slow.

Sparking is pleasure, parting is grief
And a false-hearted lover is worse than a thief.

A thief can rob you and take what you have
But a false hearted lover will take you to your grave.

The grave will decay you and turn you to dust
There ain’t one girl out of twenty that a poor boy can trust.

They will tell you they love you to give your heart ease
But as soon as your back’s turned they’ll court whom they please.

It’s a rainin’, it’s a hailing, the moon gives no light
Your horses can’t travel this dark lonesome night.

Go put up your horses and feed them some hay
Come sit you down by me as long as you stay

My horses ain’t hungry, they won’t eat your hay
So farewell my little darling, I’ll feed on my way.

I will drive on to Georgia and write you my mind,
My mind is to marry and leave you behind

Your parents are against me, mine are the same
If I’m down on your book, love, please rub off my name.

I go up on Old Smoky, on the mountain so high
Where the wild birds and the turtle doves can hear my sad cry.

As soon as the dew drops grow on the green lawn
Last night she was with me tonight she is gone.

I can love little or I can love long
I can love an old sweetheart till a new one comes on.

I can hug, I can kiss them, and prove to them kind
I can turn my back upon them and also my mind

_Author Unknown

Scholarly Classification

Brown, Folk Lyric - 253

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