Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Go Tell it on the Mountain

over the hills and everywhere!

Maybe this is not on your list of songs that you sing every year, but it certainly has its own place in our Christmas caroling history. It is an African-American spiritual that can be traced back to at least 1865. It may not have started out as a Christmas song, but thanks to the chorus that declares the birth of Christ, it has gotten lumped in with all of the other Christmas songs.

It may have been penned by John Wesley Work, Jr. (now known as John Wesley Work II to avoid confusion with his son, the third),  who was a collector of folks songs and spirituals. He also was a choral director who had his choirs sing slave songs that he later collected and published in the New Jubilee Songs as Sung by the Fisk Jubilee Singers 1901.

The rumor says that he had a hand in writing the song, but there is no evidence of this.

This song has been transformed over the years, as most songs have been as they get passed down from generation to generation.

The most notable changes were from African Civil Rights leader, Fannie Lou Hamer who combined this song with another one titled Go Down Moses, and did a little substitution within the chorus to include the words, “let my people go”. It is not a documented change, but it was widely used within her civil rights works. She also used it as the Exodus story.

Another group who used the Exodus story in conjunction with this song are the folk singers Peter, Paul and Mary. They changed it up in 1963 to simply “Tell it on the Mountain”, but they were very specific in their telling of the Exodus story and also used the “let my people go” phrase. They were embroiled in the struggle for civil rights in the 1960s, and this was their protest song. It actually charted at number 33 in 1964.

All of this aside, it is a favorite for those who are caroling because it is joyous and tells of great news to be broadcast across the land.

A wide variety of  folks have sung this song as part of compilations everywhere, but here is one of my favorites. I think it captures the original intent of the song.



Mahalia Jackson was born in 1911 and died in 1972 and was considered the Queen of Gospel if anyone is interested. Henry Belfonte considered her the most powerful black woman in the United States, and she was a fierce civil rights activist.

Now that you got a little Christmas spirit in you, let’s go shopping! Start here with a glance at these gift ideas that will fit under anyone’s tree.

Wire Wrapped Pendant and Purple and Silver Necklace

Crafting Memories 1 

Amethyst Gemstone Earrings

Pretty Gonzo 

Bracelets for Women

Blue Morning Expressions 

Bright Purple Lupine and Hayseed

Postcards in the Attic

Snowman Ornament

Wyvern Designs Home

Purple Dangle Earrings

Resetar Glass Art 

Noah’s Ark Rainbow Water Bottle Labels

Adore by Nat 

Purple Flower Celtic Woven Mat - Irish Crochet Art Decor

RSS Designs in Fiber 

Genuine Amethyst and Chain with Niobium Ear Wire Handmade Earrings

Kats All That 

Victorian Beaded Bracelet

Treasures of Jewels 

Christmas Bell With Decorative Cross Ornament

Kevs Krafts 

Purple Lampwork Beads Etched Handmade Opaque Glass Silver

Covergirl Beads 

Lavender Swarovski Heart Earrings Radiant Orchid



Copper Daisy Flower and Pink Lampwork Earrings

Shadow Dog Designs 

Short Beaded Pendant Necklace Purple Pearl Mosaic Magnesite Gemstone

The Singing Beader 

Bunny Flip Purple Easter Scrunchie style Dog Bandana

Sew Amazin 

Pink Earrings for Women

Blonde Peach Jewelry 

Purple Infinity Scarf Graphic Mixed Print Fabric



These talented artists are available for special requests or orders, so don’t hesitate to contact them if you have any questions about these pieces.

Here are some more showcases for you to enjoy:
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5

Silent Night, Holy Night
We Wish You a Merry Christmas
White Christmas
Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Hurry because handmade sells out fast, and when they are gone, they are gone! Buy now.


  1. Loving all the purple and the song. Thanks for featuring my earrings.

  2. I love the purple. Great selections! Thank you for including my necklace. Shared.

  3. I started singing the song as soon as I saw the title. Hope the neighbors didn't hear me. lol Thanks so much, Julie. These purple items look so beautiful!

  4. Love to hear about the history of this beutiful song. Enjoyed your blog post and all the lovely items handmade with love. Thanks for including my lampwork beads.

  5. Enjoyed reading about this week's song! Thank you for including our purple dog bandana. Pinned all the lovely purple selections :-)

  6. This is another great song and one I don't get to hear often. Thank you so much Julie..and for the featured items. Will be sharing.

  7. Have always loved this song because it is so joyous and upbeat. Interesting history to it. You have also found so many handmade purple - anyone who loves purple will revel in the picks! Many thanks for including my earrings. Will share the post far and wide.

  8. Another favorite song of mine. Thank you for including my Noah's Water Bottle Labels. Off to share.

  9. I love this song and have been singing it all day. Thank you Julie and Blu for including my bracelet. Off to share.

  10. Thanks for this interesting extra promo, Julie and beautiful Blu! Great song - and fab picks. Thanks for including my amethyst dangles. Will be sharing!:)

  11. Purple is such a rich and regal colour! Thanks for including my purple infinity scarf! I look forward to your collections each week!

  12. Can't go wrong with any of these gift ideas. Thank you for including my dichroic glass earrings :) Have shared -