“Old Mountain Dew”


The praises of mountain dew are sung. "Oh, they call it that good old mountain dew, And those who refuse it are few...." Doctor, preacher, conductor, lawyer (and, in some versions, Uncle Nort, Aunt June, Brother Bill) derive various benefits from it.


Botkin's text is from a 1949 field recording. He says Lunsford composed and recorded it in the twenties, but that it has already changed substantially in oral tradition. - NR

Some have thought that Lunsford took a traditional song and made it his own. His recording, however, remains the first known version -- and there is no evidence that Lunsford did this with any other song. - RBW

Lunsford himself said he wrote it in the early years of this century, and that it was made up out of whole cloth, not adapted. It should not be confused with the traditional Irish song usually called "Real Old Mountain Dew" [or "Good Old Mountain Dew"]. - PJS


  • Delmore Brothers, "Old Mountain Dew" (Decca 5890, 1940)
  • John Griffin, "Real Old Mountain Dew" (Columbia 33145-F, n.d.)
  • Grandpa Jones, "Mountain Dew" (King 624, 1947)
  • Lulu Belle & Scotty, "Mountain Dew" (Conqueror 9249, 1939) (on CrowTold02; this may be the reissue of the Conqueror recording, but it's not certain)
  • Bascom Lamar Lunsford, "Mountain Dew" (Brunswick 219, 1928); "Old Mountain Dew" (on BLLunsford01)


  1. Botkin-SoFolklr, p. 736, "Good Old Mountain Dew" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Darling-NAS, p. 289, "Good Old Mountain Dew" (1 text, filed with "Real Old Mountain Dew"="Good Old Mountain Dew")
  3. Silber-FSWB, p. 236, "Mountain Dew" (1 text)
  4. DT, MTDEW3*
  5. Roud #9133
  6. BI, BSoF736


Author: Bascom Lamar Lunsford
Earliest date: 1928 (recording, Bascom Lamar Lunsford)
Keywords: drink family
Found in: US(SE)