Shenandoah Lyrics – The Best Free PDF for Printouts

If you’ve been looking for Shenandoah lyrics, especially if you’d like to print them out, then you’re on the right page!

“‘Shenandoah” or “Oh Shenandoah” is a traditional American folk song, dating back to the early 19th century. It is at number 324 in the Roud Folk Song Index.

As is the case with traditional culture, there are many variations of the song to be found. Adding to that, in the early 19th century the song was adopted by sailors as a capstan shanty that they sang while hauling in the anchor. Today Shenandoah is one of the most familiar folk tunes of America, found in literally hundreds of covers, arrangements and recordings. While many performances stick to just two verses, there are a lot of extended versions as well.

On this page you’ll find the lyrics of the song in three of the countless existing variations that provide a representative example. You will also find a printable PDF file with lyrics for free download. Finally, we have selected for you four music videos – three corresponding sing-alongs plus an orchestral recording. Enjoy!

Table of Contents

Printable Shenandoah Lyrics PDF

Click on the button to download a PDF file with lyrics to this song for free.

Shenandoah lyrics printable PDF

Shenandoah Lyrics

Following you’ll see some of the most popular versions of the lyrics in chronological order.

P. A. Grainger Version (early 20th century)

  1. Oh Shenandoah I love your daughter
    Away you rolling river.
    Oh Shenandoah I love your daughter
    A ha, we are bound away, across the wide Missouri.
  1. Oh Shenandoah I long to hear you.
    Away you rolling river.
    Oh Shenandoah I long to be near you.
    A ha, we are bound away, across the wide Missouri.

Pete Seeger Version (1958)

  1. Oh Shenandoah, I love your daughter
    Away you rolling river
    Oh Shenandoah, I love your daughter
    Away, we’re bound away ‘cross the wide Missouri
  2. Oh Shenandoah, I long to see you
    Away you rolling river
    Oh Shenandoah, I’ll not deceive you
    Away, we’re bound away ‘cross the wide Missouri
  3. For seven years I’ve been a rover
    Away you rolling river
    For seven years I’ve been a rover
    Away, we’re bound away ‘cross the wide Missouri

Liam Clancy Version (2008)

  1. Oh Shenandoah, I long to see you,
    Away you rolling river.
    Oh Shenandoah, I long to hear you,
    Away, we’re bound away
    ‘Cross the wide Missouri.
  2. The old Missouri is a mighty water
    Away, you rollin’ river
    Indians camp along her border
    Away, we’re bound away
    ‘Cross the wide Missouri.
  3. A white man loved an Indian maiden
    Away, you rollin’ river
    With notions his canoe was laden
    Away, we’re bound away
    ‘Cross the wide Missouri.
  4. Oh Shenandoah, I love your daughter
    Away, you rollin’ river
    Oh Shenandoah, I love your daughter
    Away, we’re bound away
    ‘Cross the wide Missouri.
  5. Oh Shenandoah, I’m bound to leave you
    Away, you rollin’ river
    Oh Shenandoah, I ‘ll not deceive you
    Away, we’re bound away
    ‘Cross the wide Missouri.

Music Videos

Percy Aldridge Grainger Version

Pete Seeger Version

Liam Clansy Version

Instrumental Video

Shenandoah Lyrics Meaning

The song probably originated from the French Canadian voyageurs who travelled in their canoes along the Mississippi and the Missouri river, in the quest for furs. While there is a Shenandoah river in West Virginia, it’s a rather weak interpretation that the song praises the land which the singer has to leave travelling through Missouri river.

On the other hand, those fur hunters traded with Native Americans around the Great Lakes since the 16th century. A stronger interpretation is that “Shenandoah” stands for the Oneida Iroquois chief Oskanondonha. The story of the song is that of a white man who fell in love with the chief’s daughter but had to leave her to go back “across the wide Missouri”. This interpretation comes out strongly through the lines: “Oh Shenandoah I love your daughter” in all the versions of the song and “A white man loved an Indian maiden” in some of the extended versions.

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