“The TVA”


"My name is William Edwards, I live down Cove Creek Way, I'm working on the project They call the TVA." The government is upgrading the valley. The singer writes to Sal to say, "The government has saved us; just name our wedding day."


The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), founded in 1933, is one of the most enduring of all the New Deal programs. Founded to create jobs and at the same provide electrical power to a primitive part of the country, it is still in existence today, generating power and managing the river. - RBW

Botkin quotes his source, Jean Thomas's _Ballad Makin' in the Mountains of Kentucky_, as saying the song was written by a Preston, and "first sung at the American Folk Festival with a kinsman of the composer giving the explanation of its origin." She also says it had indeed become traditional in Kentucky, at least. - NR

Reading Thomas's account, I'm not convinced of this; it's properly a folk revival song, if a very early one. But the number of citations perhaps justifies its presence here.


  1. Thomas-Makin', pp. 232-234, (no title) (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Arnett, p. 172, "The TVA" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Botkin-SoFolklr, p. 732, "T.V.A. Song" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Roud #4910
  5. BI, Arn172


Author: Buddy Preston
Earliest date: 1939 (Thomas)
Found in: US(Ap)