Go Tell It On The Mountain


h1 December 1st, 2008

I bought a mandolin in Ft. Worth Texas on this tour and decided to use it here. I remember hearing this song on a vinyl two record set with a pop-up Christmas scene called “Home For Christmas,” sung by Mahalia Jackson. It has always been a favorite.

More From Wikipedia:

“Go Tell It on the Mountain” is an African-American spiritual dating back to at least 1865 that has been sung and recorded by many gospel and secular performers. It is considered a Christmas carol because its original lyric celebrates the Nativity: “Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere; go tell it on the mountain, that Jesus Christ is born.”

In 1963, Peter Yarrow, Noel “Paul” Stookey, and Mary Travers, along with their musical director, Milt Okun, adapted and rewrote “Go Tell It on the Mountain” as “Tell It on the Mountain”, their lyrics referring specifically to Exodus and employing the line “Let my people go,” but implicitly referring to the Civil Rights struggle of the early ’60s. The song was recorded by Yarrow, Stookey and Travers on their Peter, Paul and Mary album In the Wind and was also a moderate hit single for them. (US #33 pop, 1964). Civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer used this rewritten version of the song as an anthem during the mid-1960s.

Other artists, besides Peter, Paul and Mary, who have recorded the song (chiefly on either Christmas-themed music albums or collections of spirituals or folk songs) include:

* The New Christy Minstrels
* Simon & Garfunkel
* Bob Marley
* Mahalia Jackson
* Fred Hammond
* Kirk Franklin
* Candi Staton
* Frank Sinatra & Bing Crosby
* James Taylor
* Cece Winans
* Anne Murray
* Vanessa L. Williams
* Jewel
* Dustin Kensrue
* Bruce Cockburn
* Little Big Town
* Sherill Milnes
* John Rutter and the Cambridge Singers
* Sara Evans
* Jim Nabors
* Toby Keith
* Peter Tosh
* The Blind Boys of Alabama
* Oh Susanna – for the holiday compilation album, Maybe This Christmas Too? (2003)
* Dolly Parton
* Carola Häggkvist
* Bobby Darin
* Art Paul Schlosser (who rewrote the lyrics for kids with the title, “Go Tell it On the Swingset”)
* The Gas House Gang

Lyrics:

Refrain
[F] Go, tell it on the mountain,
[C] Over the hills and [F] everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain,
That [F] Jesus [C] Christ is [F] born.

[C] The shepherds feared and [F] trembled,
[C] When low above the [F] earth,
[C] Rang out the angels chorus
That [G7] hailed our Savior’s [C] bi–rth.
Refrain

While shepherds kept their watching
o’er silent flocks by night,
Behold, throughout the heavens
There shone a holy li–ght
Refrain

And lo! When they had heard it,
They all bowed down to pray,
Then travelled on together,
To where the Baby la–y.
Refrain

Down in a lowly manger
The humble Christ was born
And God sent us salvation
That blessed Christmas mo–rn.
Refrain

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