“Footprints in the Snow”


Singer goes to visit his girlfriend, but she's gone out for a walk. He follows her footprints in the snow, finds her, and proposes. She accepts, and he says he'll never "forget the day/When Mary (Lily) lost her way/I found her footprints in the snow"


This has become a bluegrass standard, and I suspect it was composed by one of the "brother acts" of the 1930s, possibly the Monroe Bros.? - PJS

Touched up, perhaps. But it's older, as the sundry recordings show (and that's not a complete list -- Vernon Dalhart also recorded the piece). - RBW

Broadside Bodleian Harding B 11(1660) states "This song is the sole Copyright of Mr. Geo. Lewis....,29,Quay Street, Manchester.

_Country Music Sources_ by Guthrie T Meade Jr with Dick Spottswood and Douglas S. Meade (Chapel Hill, 2002), p. 214 states "Harry Wright, w&m[words and music],1880s/Geo. Russell Jackson, wds, C.W.Bennett,m,1886; Ref: (1)WCS[Wehman's Collection of Songs(NYC:Henry J. Wehman,1884-94),42 issues](July, 1891);....." Steve Roud, in a BALLAD-L note: "A copy of the sheet music obviously came up on Amazon at some point in the past.... in fact it's there twice, as 1876 and 1878 [for Harry Wright]." In fact it's there [http://babynames.tk/cgi-bin/amazon_products_feed.cgi?mode=books_uk&page_num=1&search_type=AuthorSearch&input_string=Harry+Wright&locale=uk] three times: as "I traced her little footmarks in the snow. [Song, begins: 'Some lovers like'.]" in 1876, and as "Footmarks in the Snow ... for the Pianoforte" and as "I traced her little footmarks in the snow. [Song.]" in 1878.

Incidentally, the 1931 record by Bernice (Si) Coleman and the West Virginia Ramblers ("Footprints in the Snow" on _West Virginia Hills_ Old Homestead OHCS-141) uses words much closer to the broadsides than those on the later records I have heard by Bill Monroe (and, consequently, by Flatt and Scruggs).- BS


  • Bodleian, Johnson Ballads 2837, "Footprints in the Snow" ("Some lovers like the summer time, when they can stroll about"), unknown, n.d.; also Harding B 11(1660), Harding B 11(1661), "I Traced Her Little Footmarks in the Snow"


  • Big Slim Aliff, "Footprints in the Snow" (Decca 5316, 1937; rec. 1936)
  • Buckley & Skidmore "Footprints in the Snow" (Continental 8030, n.d.)
  • Cliff Carlisle, "Footprints in the Snow" (Decca 5720, n.d.; Decca 46105, 1947; rec. 1939)
  • Dusty Ellison & his Saddle Dusters, "Footprints in the Snow" (4-Star 1155, n.d. but post-World War II)
  • Rambling Red Foley, "I Traced Her Little Footprints in the Snow" (Conqueror 8304, 1934)
  • Bogue Ford, "Footprints in the snow" (AFS 4209 B1, 1939; in AMMEM/Cowell)
  • Clint Howard et al, "Footprints in the Snow" (on Ashley02, WatsonAshley01)
  • Bradley Kincaid, "Footprints in the Snow" (Varsity 8038, 1939) (Majestic 6011, 1947)
  • Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys, "Footprints in the Snow" (Columbia 37151 1946; Columbia 20080, n.d.,; rec. 1945) (Decca 28416, 1952)


  2. Roud #2660
  3. BI, DTftprin


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1876 (sheet music -- probably not the original)
Keywords: courting love marriage
Found in: US(MW)