“Little David, Play on Your Harp”


Recognized by the chorus, "Little David, play on your harp, Hallelu, hallelu." The rest can describe David's exploits, or almost anything else vaguely related to Biblical subjects


Spaeth lists a 1921 hit, "Little David, Play on Your Harp" as arranged by "Burleigh." I would assume that that is this song, and that it therefore is older than that date by some years. - RBW

The Courlander-NFM references certainly is composite, but the verses were compiled by the informant, Rich Amerson, not by Courlander. See his recording on NFMAla3 and DownHome. - PJS

Cross references


  • Rich Amerson & Earthy Anne Coleman, "King David" (on NFMAla4, DownHome)
  • Big Bethel Choir #1, "Little David Play Your Harp" (Columbia 14157-D, 1926)
  • Commonwealth Quartet, "Little David" (Domino 0173, 1927)
  • Brother Claude Ely, "Little David Play On Your Harp" (King 1375, 1954)
  • Fisk University Jubilee Quartet, "Little David, Play On Yo' Harp" (Victor 16448, 1909)
  • Fisk University Male Quartette (sic.), "Little David Play On Your Harp" (Columbia A2803, 1919)
  • Hampton Institute Quartette, "Little David, Play On Your Harp" (Musicraft 231, prob. 1939)
  • Joe Ramer Family, "Little David Play On Your Harp" (Broadway 8106, c. 1930)
  • Joe Reed Family, "Little David Play On Your Harp" (c. 1925; on CrowTold02)
  • Noble Sissle & Lt. Jim Europe's Singing Serenaders, "Little David Play On Your Harp" (Pathe 22084, 1919)
  • Southland Jubilee Singers, "Little David Play On Your Harp" (OKeh 4271/Phonola 4271, 1921)
  • Wood Bros. Quartet, "Little David Play On Your Harp" (Rainbow 1094, 1923)


  1. BrownIII 609, "Little David, Play on Your Harp" (1 text)
  2. Chappell-FSRA 81, "Little David, Play on Your Harp" (1 text, 1 tune, possibly mixed with "On My Journey Now")
  3. Courlander-NFM, pp. 46-49, (no title) (1 text, which appears composite); pp. 236-237, "King David"
  4. Silber-FSWB, p. 361, "Little David" (1 text)
  5. Roud #11831
  6. BI, CNFM046


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1909 (recording, Fisk University Male Quartet)
Keywords: nonballad Bible
Found in: US(SE)