Down in the Valley (folk song)
|"Down in the Valley"|
"Down in the Valley", also known as "Birmingham Jail", is a traditional American folk song. It has been recorded by many artists, and is included in the Songs of Expanding America recordings in the Burl Ives six-album set Historical America in Song.
It is a ballad played in the 3/4 time signature. Lyrics vary, as with most folk songs. For example, sometimes the line "Hang your head over, hear the wind blow" is replaced by "Late in the evening, hear the train blow". In 1927, Darby and Tarlton sang "down in the levee" in place of "down in the valley"; the version sung by Lead Belly in 1934 substitutes "Shreveport jail" for "Birmingham jail".
- Darby and Tarleton (1927, Columbia 15212D) – sold over 200,000 copies, one of Columbia's best-sellers at the time
- Jerry Garcia and David Grisman, on the 1996 album Shady Grove
In other media
The author/songwriter David M. Pierce used selected lyrics from the song as titles for a series of detective novels written between 1989 and 1996: Down in the Valley, Hear the Wind Blow, Dear, Roses Love Sunshine, Angels in Heaven, Write Me a Letter and As She Rides By. The first four verses are featured in Catherine Marshall's novel, Christy, before the prologue.
- Ken Tate; Janice Tate (2004). Favorite Songs of the Good Old Days. DRG Wholesale. p. 29. ISBN 978-1-59217-034-0.
- Henry M. Belden; Arthur P. Hudson, eds. (1952). Folk Songs from North Carolina. The Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore 3. Duke University Press.
- "The Shreveport Jail/Leadbelly". Traditional Music and Spoken Word Catalog. Library of Congress. Retrieved 2015-03-06.
- Charles K. Wolfe (2002). Classic Country: Legends of Country Music. Routledge. p. 90. ISBN 978-1-135-95734-6.
- Whitburn, Joel (2008). Joel Whitburn Presents Across the Charts: The 1960s. Record Research. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-89820-175-8.
- Kittredge, G. L. (July–September 1917). "Ballads and Songs". The Journal of American Folk-Lore XXX (117): 283–369. JSTOR 534379.