“Dakota Land”


"We've reached the land of desert sweet Where nothing grows for man to eat." "O Dakota land, sweet Dakota land, As on thy fiery soil I stand, I look across the plains And wonder why it never rains." Settlers stay only because "we are too poor to get away"


Although the "Dakota Land" form seems to be the most common in tradition, local versions have sprouted for much of the West. Thus the Fifes lists texts for "Dakota Land," "Nebraska Land," and "Missouri Land." "Saskatchewan" also follows this form, but it has been adapted enough that I think it qualifies as a separate song. - RBW

The Pankakes report this to the tune of "O Tannenbaum." I don't recall any other version to that tune. - RBW

Cross references


  1. Sandburg, pp. 280-281, "Dakota Land" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Fife-Cowboy/West 23, "Dakota Land" (3 texts, 1 tune)
  3. Ohrlin-HBT 9, "Dakota Land" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. LPound-ABS, 86, p. 185, "Dakota Land" (1 text)
  5. Pankake-PHCFSB, p. 155, "Dakotaland" (1 text, tune referenced); pp. 248-249, "Sweet Dakotaland" (1 text, 1 tune, perhaps a parody of this parody!)
  6. Silber-FSWB, p. 119, "Dakota Land" (1 text)
  8. Roud #4899
  9. BI, San280


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1914
Found in: US(Ro)