Saturday 5 December 2015

Go Tell It on the Mountain

"Go tell it on the mountain
Over the hills and everywhere
Go tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born."

In 1907, John Wesley Work, a professor at Fisk University in Nashville, made an arrangement for the spiritual Go Tell it on the Mountain and had it published in Folk Songs of the American Negro.  Some people believe that John's father, Frederick Jerome Work was the composer of the song, but most believe that it was an old Negro spiritual handed down orally from plantation to plantation since 1865.  

In the 1960's, the song took off when it was recorded as "Tell it on the Mountain" by Peter, Paul & Mary.  The Negro spiritual became a Civil Rights anthem, belted out on protest marches as well as in churches, and concert halls.  Civil Rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer combined "Go Tell it on the Mountain" with the old spiritual "Go Down Moses" to create her own version of the song.  

To listen to the Peter, Paul & Mary version of the song in its entirety, visit

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the post. For more on John Wesley's namesake, I would like to invite you to the website for the book series, The Asbury Triptych Series. The trilogy based on the life of Francis Asbury, the young protégé of John Wesley and George Whitefield, opens with the book, Black Country. The opening novel in this three-book series details the amazing movement of Wesley and Whitefield in England and Ireland as well as its life-changing effect on a Great Britain sadly in need of transformation. Black Country also details the Wesleyan movement's effect on the future leader of Christianity in the American colonies, Francis Asbury. The website for the book series is Please enjoy the numerous articles on the website. Again, thank you, for the post.