She came rollin’ down the mountain

Posted by | April 8, 2011

Some know the song as “Nancy Brown,” others as “The West Virginia Hills,” but according to The Frank Gullo Music Sheet (sic) Collection at Millersville University, “She Came Rollin’ down the Mountain” was written by Arthur Lippmann, Manning Sherwin, and Harry Richman and published by Crawford Music Corporation in 1932.

A six-stanza parody of "She Came Rollin' down the Mountain" was published in 1952 by textile tycoon Elliot Springs, to advertise his Spring Maid bedsheets.  Here's an illustration from that campaign.

A six-stanza parody of "She Came Rollin' down the Mountain" was published in 1952 by textile tycoon Elliot Springs, to advertise his Spring Maid bedsheets. Here's an illustration from that campaign.

The ditty tells the tale of Nancy Brown, who throws over one suitor after another until she finds the man she’s been waiting for: “A city slicker with hundred dollar bills.” They live happily ever after, until…

In the hills of West Virginia
There’s a gal named Nancy Brown
She was the fairest maiden
in city or in town
Now Nancy and the Deacon
climbed the mountainside one noon
they climbed up to the summit
but very very soon
She came rollin’ down the Mountain,
rollin’ down the mountain
Rollin’ down the mountain mighty wide
No, she didn’t give the Deacon
not a thing that he was seekin’
She remained just as pure
as the West Virginia sky.

Then there came that ol’ cowboy
came a cowboy with his song
took Nancy up the mountain
but she still knew right from wrong
She came rollin’ down the Mountain
rollin’ down the mountain
Rollin’ down the mountain by the Dam
and despite that cowboys urgin’
she remained the village virgin
she remained just as pure
as the West Virginia sand

Then there came that Old trapper
with his words so soft and kind
took Nancy up the mountain
but when she read his mind
She came rollin’ down the Mountain
rollin’ down the mountain
Rollin’ down the mountain by the shack
She remained as I have stated
not the least contaminated
she remained just as pure
as Satin’s apple jack

Then there came a city slicker
with a hundred dollar bill
took Nancy and his Packard
way up on the hill
Oh, she stayed up on that mountain
stayed up on that mountain
she stayed up on that mountain all that night
She came down next morning early
more a woman than a girly
and her pappy kicked that hussy out of sight

And now she’s livin’ in the city,
she’s living in the city
livin’ in the city mighty swell
Now her life’s all beer and skiddles
and she lives on fancy viddles
and those West Virginia hills can go to hell.

Well there came a big depression,
and the slicker lost his pants;
First he lost his Cadillac,
and then he lost his Nance.
And she came back to the mountain,
She came back to the mountain,
She came back to the mountain mighty sore,
And the cowboy and the deacon
Got that thing that they were seekin’
And she’s known as West Virginia’s biggest…used car dealer.

Recorded versions:
Blue Ridge Mountain Girls, “She Came Rollin’ Down the Mountain” (Champion 16743, 1934)
The Sons of the Pioneers’ “Songs of the Prairie” (Bear Family 5-CD box set #15710, 1998)
The Callahan Brothes: ‘The Callahan Brothers’ Old Homestead (OHCD-4013, 1936)
The Aaron Sisters: Various Artists ‘Flowers in the Wildwood: Women in Early Country Music 1923-1939′ (Trikont US-1310)
Tex Morton’s “Regal Zonophone Collection V.2″ (EMI CD 8142052, 1997)

sources: http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=308390
www.csufresno.edu/folklore/drinkingsongs/mp3s/field-work/other-collections/ed-cray-collection/american/westvirg150.txt
www.library.millersville.edu/sc/manuscripts/manus/scoreS.htm
www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/folk-song-lyrics/Nancy_Brown.htm

She+came+rollin’+down+the+mountain Nancy+Brown The+West+Virginia+Hills Appalachian+ballads appalachia appalachian+humor appalachian+history appalachian+mountains+history

One Response

  • Al Waren says:

    In the hills of West Virginia
    Lived a girl named Nancy Brown.
    You’ve never seen such beauty
    In village or in town.

    Now Nancy and the deacon
    Climbed the highest peak one day.
    But when they reached the summit
    Up there they did not stay.

    She came rollin’ down the mountain,
    She came rollin’ down the mountain,
    She came rollin’ down the mountain
    By the mill.

    She remained as I have stated
    Not one bit contaminated,
    Just as pure as a West Virginia hill.

    Then came the cowboy
    With his guitar and his song.
    Took Nance up in the mountains
    But they did not stay there long.

    She came rollin’ down the mountain,
    She came rollin’ down the mountain,
    She came rollin’ down the mountain
    By the dam.

    And despite that villains urgin’
    She remained the village virgin
    Just as pure as a West Virginia ham.

    Then came the city slicker
    With his hundred dollar bills.
    Took Nance up in the mountains
    Way up in them there hills.

    And they stayed up in the mountains,
    And they stayed up in the mountains,
    And they stayed up in the mountains
    All that night.

    She came down next mornin’ early,
    More a woman than a girley
    And her pappy kicked that hussy out of sight.

    Now they’re livin’ in the city,
    Now they’re livin’ in the city,
    Now they’re livin’ in the city
    Mighty swell.

    And instead of beer and skittles,
    Why they’re eatin’ fancy vittles
    And the West Virginia hills can go to hell.

    Then came the recession,
    Kicked the slicker in the pants.
    He lost his great big Caddy
    and he’s all washed up with Nance.

    She came rollin’ back to the mountains,
    She came rollin’ back to the mountains,
    She came rollin’ back to the mountains
    Mighty sore.

    Now the cowboy and the deacon
    Why they’re gettin’ what they’re seekin’
    And she’s known as a West Virginai whore.

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