Music You Can Read®

"On Top of Old Smoky"


"On Top of Old Smoky"
Additional Information

"On Top of Old Smoky," Lyrics, Text Format

Developing breath control for six measure phrases while singing a full ascending tonic arpeggio, and a subdominant arpeggio;
arpeggios suggest chord progressions.

Click to hear melody.

  • Grade: Fourth

  • Origin: USA - Folk Ballad

  • Key: D Major

  • Time: 3/4

  • Form: rhythm: ABAb - pitches: ABaC - song AB

  • Rhythm: beginners: | ta ta ta | ta ta/a_|_a/a ta |
    | ta/a/a_|_a/a ta | ta/a ti ti | (_=tie)

  • Pitches: intermediate: Do Re Mi Fa So La Do

  • Intervals: intermediate: Do/Mi/So/Do8 ascending tonic (I) arpeggio D, Do\La\Fa descending subdominant (IV) arpeggio G, So\Do (P5), So\Re (P4)

  • Musical Elements: notes: dotted half, half, quarter, eighth; pickup beat, tied notes, first and third staves end on the leading tone for the phrase ending pitch, distinguishing between a M3 Do\La and a m3 So\Re, tonic and subdominant arpeggios, song chord progression: I-IV-I-V7-I, six measure phrases

  • Key Words: USA history, mountain song, mountain ballad, snow covered, true love, courtin' (courting), pleasure, partin' (parting), false-hearted, worse, thief, rob, crave, lead, grave, decay, dust, boy, hundred, poor girl, trust, hug, kiss, lies, cross-ties, railroad, stars, sky


"On Top of Old Smoky"

    1. On top of Old Smoky
All covered with snow,
I lost my true lover,
For a courtin' too slow.
For courtin's a pleasure,
But partin' is grief,
And a false-hearted lover,
Is worse than a thief.
    3. A thief will just rob you,
And take what you crave
But a false-hearted lover,
Will lead you to your grave.
    4. The grave will decay you,
And turn you to dust,
Not one boy in a hundred
A poor girl can trust.
    5. They'll hug you and kiss you,
And tell you more lies,
Than crossties on a railroad,
Or stars in the sky.

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Additional Formats


"On Top of Old Smoky," Music Format
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Click to enlarge: "On Top of Old Smoky," Beats Format
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Click to Enlarge: "On Top of Old Smoky," Rhythm Format
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pitch numbers

Click to Enlarge: "On Top of Old Smoky," Pitch Number Format
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Click to Enlarge: "On Top of Old Smoky," Solfeggio Format
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letter names

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