Go Tell It On The Mountain - Chords, Lyrics and Origins

Origins

The chords for 'Go Tell It On The Mountain' are rather more numerous than you might think.  The song is an African-American spiritual.  The version by Peter, Paul and Mary has a chorus that ends with 'Go Tell it on the mountain, to let my people go' - an allusion to the Jews' captivity in Egypt.  However, sometimes it is sung as, 'Go Tell it on the mountain, that Jesus Christ is born' - which effectively makes it into a Christmas Carol.

As well as the Peter, Paul and Mary version that you can hear on this page, Go Tell it on the Mountain has been performed by a wide variety of well know artists, including Simon and Garfunkel (on their album, 'Wednesday Morning, 3AM'), Aretha Franklin and Jewel.  There is a lovely version by Odetta that brings out the song's African-American heritage: 

Chords

Capo at 2nd Fret

Chorus

C                                    Am
Go tell it on the mountain,

Dm          G           C        G7
Over the hill and everywhere,

C    E7                 F         D7
Go tell it on the mountain,

       C        G7        C     G7
To let my people go.



Verse

C                                Am            C
Who's that yonder dressed in red?

F           G          C      G7
Let my people go;

C                                           Am      C
Must be the children that Moses led;

Dm       Dm7     G7
Let my people go.

C                               C7
Who's that yonder dressed in red?

F                                           Dm      D7
Must be the children that Moses led;

C                          F
Go tell it on the mountain,

     C         G7         C      G7
To let my people go.

Lyrics

Go tell it on the mountain,
Over the hill and everywhere,
Go tell it on the mountain,
To let my people go.

Who's that yonder dressed in red?
Let my people go;
Must be the children that Moses led;
Let my people go.
Who's that yonder dressed in red?
Must be the children that Moses led;
Go tell it on the mountain,
To let my people go.

Go tell it on the mountain,
Over the hill and everywhere,
Go tell it on the mountain,
To let my people go.

Who's that yonder dressed in white?
Let my people go;
Must be the people of the Israelites;
Let my people go.
Who's that yonder dressed in white?
Must be the people of the Israelites;
Go tell it on the mountain,
Let my people go.

Go tell it on the mountain,
Over the hill and everywhere,
Go tell it on the mountain,
To let my people go.

Who's that yonder dressed in black?
Let my people go;
Must be the hypocrites turning back
Let my people go;
Who's that yonder dressed in black?
Must be the hypocrites turning back
Go tell it on the mountain,
Let my people…

Go tell it on the mountain,
Over the hill and everywhere,
Go tell it on the mountain,
To let my people go.

Other American Folk Songs
Other Traditional Folk Songs