Cindy (folk song)

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("Cindy, Cindy")
Form Folk song
Composer Traditional
Language English

"Cindy" ("Cindy, Cindy") is a popular American folk song. According to John Lomax, the song originated in North Carolina.[citation needed] In the early and middle 20th century, "Cindy" was included in the songbooks used in many elementary school music programs as an example of folk music. One of the earliest versions of "Cindy" is found in Anne Virginia Culbertson's collection of Negro folktales (At the Big House, where Aunt Nancy and Aunt 'Phrony Held Forth on the Animal Folks, Bobbs-Merrill, 1904) where one of her characters, Tim, "sang a plantation song named 'Cindy Ann'," the first verse and refrain of which are:

I'se gwine down ter Richmond,
I'll tell you w'a hit's for:
I'se gwine down ter Richmond,
Fer ter try an' end dis war.
An'-a you good-by, Cindy, Cindy
Good-by, Cindy Ann;
An'-a you good-by, Cindy, Cindy
I'se gwine ter Rappahan.[1]

As with many folk songs, each singer was free to add verses, and many did. In addition, as Byron Arnold and Bob Halli noted in An Alabama Songbook, performers could swap verses with those of other songs, including "Old Joe Clark" and "Boil Them Cabbage Down".[2]

The tune is taken from the spiritual The Gospel Train, also known as "Get on Board Little Children".


Benjamin Weisman, Dolores Fuller and Fred Wise wrote a version of "Cindy" called "Cindy, Cindy". This version is the familiar one recorded by such performers as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Ricky Nelson, Warren Zevon, Nick Cave (in a duet with Johnny Cash), and others. Dr. Mack Wilberg's choral arrangement of the piece was written for four-hand piano, double eight-part choirs, a string bass, xylophone, and a score of quintessential Americana instruments to supplement the melody during the arrangement's hoedown section. This arrangement is available for any choir to learn and perform, although Wilberg also wrote a special arrangement to be performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The choral parts are the same, but the accompaniment has been rewritten for full orchestra (specifically the Orchestra at Temple Square). Robert Plant featured an arrangement titled "Cindy, I'll Marry You Someday" on his 2010 album Band of Joy.

Some of the folk song verses[edit]

You ought to see my Cindy
She lives way down South
She's so sweet the honey bees,
Swarm around her mouth


Git along home Cindy, Cindy
Git along home Cindy, Cindy
Git along home Cindy, Cindy
I'll marry you some day


The first time that I saw her
She was standing in the door -
Her shoes and stockings in her hand
Her feet all over the floor



I wish I was an apple
Hanging on a tree
And every time my Cindy'd pass
She'd take a bite of me



In popular culture[edit]

Van Johnson sings part of it in the 1956 movie Miracle in the Rain.[3]

The song is performed in the 1957 episode of Maverick, "Hostage" by Don Durant.[4]

The song is performed in the 1959 John Wayne movie Rio Bravo.[5] It is performed by Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson and Walter Brennan.

Andy Griffith sings this song in season 2 episode 10 "Opie's Rival" of The Andy Griffith Show 1960.

On the "Lawrence Welk Show", episode: My blue heaven, Dick Dale and the Lennon Sisters perform this song. (1964)


  1. ^ Culbertson, "How Mr. Terrapin Lost His Beard", pp. 1329–133.
  2. ^ Arnold, Byron; Halli, Jr., Robert W. (2004). An Alabama Songbook: Ballads, Folksongs, and Spirituals Collected by Byron Arnold. U of Alabama P. p. 156. ISBN 9780817313067. 
  3. ^ Miracle In the Rain (1956) - IMDb
  4. ^ "Maverick" Hostage (TV episode 1957) – IMDb
  5. ^ Rio Bravo (1959) – IMDb


  • Culbertson, Anne Virginia. "How Mr. Terrapin Lost His Beard" from The Ten Books of the Merrymakers Volume VII, pp. 1328–1335, edited by Marshall P. Wilder. New York: The circle Publishing Company (1909).

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