• MUSIC NOTES, INC. | 404-790-1110

"Sourwood Mountain" Lyrics, Text Format

Extending the vocal range with the pentatonic scale.



  • Grade: Third
  • Origin: USA, New England, Appalachia – Traditional
  • Key: E flat Major
  • Time: C – common time (4/4)
  • Form: rhythm ABAB – pitches: ABCD – song AB
  • Rhythm: beginners: | ta ti ti ti ti ta | ta ta ta ta |
    | ta/a ta/a | ti ti ta ta/a |
  • Pitches: intermediate: So La Do Re Mi So La Do – pentatonic scale
  • Intervals: intermediate: Do8\So\Mi descending tonic arpeggio, Mi/So, Do\La, So/Do, Do/La
  • Musical Elements: notes: half, quarter, eighth, common time (4/4), tonic arpeggio, extending the vocal range
  • Key Words: USA geography, New England, Appalachia, courting song, chickens, nonsense phrase/words, pretty, count, darling, daisy, crazy, swimming, across, river, winter, shiver, river, step; colloquial words: holler (down in the valley), foller (follow); contractions: can’t (cannot), I’ll (I will), won’t (will not); abbreviations: a-crowin’ (a crowing), ’em (them)


“Sourwood Mountain” 

1. Chickens a-crowin’ on Sourwood Mountain,
Hey, hey, diddle um day.
So many pretty girls, I can’t count ’em,
Hey, hey, diddle um day.
I call my darling a blue-eyed daisy,
Hey, hey, diddle um day.
If she won’t have me, I’ll go crazy,
Hey, hey, diddle um day.
3. My true love lives at the head of the holler,
Hey, hey, diddle um day.
She won’t come and I won’t foller,
Hey, hey, diddle um day.
4. Ducks go a-swimming across the river,
Hey, hey, diddle um day.
And in the winter, we sure do shiver,

Hey, hey, diddle um day.
5. My true love lives over the river,
Hey, hey, diddle um day.
A few more steps and I’ll be with her,

Hey, hey, diddle um day.
Additional Formats (click to enlarge)
"Sourwood Mountain" Music Format
Click to enlarge: "Sourwood Mountain" Beats Format
Click to Enlarge: "Sourwood Mountain" Rhythm Format
pitch numbers
Click to Enlarge: "Sourwood Mountain" Pitch Number Format
Click to Enlarge: "Sourwood Mountain" Solfeggio Format
letter names
Click to Enlarge: "Sourwood Mountain" Letter Names Format