“Goin' Cross the Mountain”


"Goin' 'cross the mountain, Oh, fare thee well, Goin' 'cross the mountain, Hear my banjo tell." The singer has his kit ready, and is going to join the Union army "to give Jeff's men a little taste of my rifle ball." He promises to return at the war's end

Supplemental text

Goin' Cross the Mountain
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Anne Warner, Traditional American Folk Songs from the Anne &
Frank Warner Collection, #121, pp. 293-294. From the singing of
Frank Proffitt, Watauga County, North Carolina, 1959.

Goin' 'cross the mountain,
Oh, fare thee well,
Goin' cross the mountain,
Hear my banjo tell.

Got my rations on my back,
My powder it is dry.
Goin' 'cross the mountain,
Chrissy, don't you cry.

(4 additional stanzas)


Although large parts of the Appalachians were in Confederate territory, the rough terrain did not encourage slaveholding, and most of the residents remained loyal to the Union. Kentucky stayed with the North, West Virginia seceded from Virginia, and eastern Tennessee welcomed Federal occupying troops. One suspects this song came from one of those regions. - RBW


  1. Warner 121, "Goin' Cross the Mountain" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. ST Wa121 (Partial)
  3. Roud #4624
  4. BI, Wa121


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1959 (Warner)
Keywords: Civilwar fight parting
Found in: US(SE)