“She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1924 (recording, Henry Whitter)
Keywords: travel nonballad
Found in: US(SE)


"She'll coming round the mountain when she comes." The unidentified "she" arrives with great pomp and ceremony, and is greeted with celebration (e.g. the killing and cooking of the old red rooster). The song often is supplemented by summer camp nonsense


Fuld reports that "substantially this melody" was in print in 1899 in "Old Plantation Hymns," but the text was "When the Chariot Comes." Fuld assumes the "Round the Mountain" lyrics are more recent (he knows of no printing before Sandburg).

The notes in Brown list it as a "parody or secularization of 'The Old Ship of Zion'" (included in the index as "The Old Ship of Zion (I), but note that the phrase is not found in Sandburg's spiritual version); Roud goes so far as to lump them. The Brown text does mention Mary, though it's not clear that this is the mother of Jesus. - RBW

The anonymous singer on Unexp1 sings "There's a 'skeeter on my peter, sweet Marie." Folk process. - PJS

Same tune

Cross references



  1. BrownIII 460, "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain" (1 text)
  2. Sandburg, pp. 372-373, "She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain" (1 text, 1 tune plus a spiritual Sandburg describes as the source of the song)
  3. Lomax-FSNA 214 "She'll Be Comin' Around the Mountain" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Pankake-PHCFSB, p. 276, "She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain" (1 text)
  5. Fuld-WFM, pp. 496-497, "She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain"
  6. DT, COMRND2*
  7. Roud #4204
  8. BI, San372