Chatter and Chitter Christmas Music

Go Tell It On The Mountain

christmas in the new house

Steve and Tipper 

Go Tell It On The Mountain is one of my favorite Christmas songs. As a child I had a Christmas record with the song on it. I’d play Go Tell It On The Mountain over and over on my Holly Hobby Record Player during the Christmas Season. The song has an unusually powerful feel to it.

Chitter and Chatter sang Go Tell It On The Mountain in a Christmas Play last year-and are singing it again in a play this year.

I discovered Go Tell It On The Mountain is an old African American Spiritual. After learning where the song originated-I can see why there is such power and emotion in the song-the words and melody are straight out of a slave’s life. A few other details about Go Tell It On The Mountain:

  • The song was discovered by John Wesley Work-who is thought to be the first African American collector of Black Folk songs
  • Few African American Spirituals were written about Christmas-this one being the most famous
  • The song was first performed on a national scale by the Fisk Jubilee Singers in the 1880s
  • In 1909 the song was first published in the book Religious Folk Songs of the Negro as Sung on the Plantations 

Amazing how the old spirituals survived the passage of time. The songs were truly spread by word of mouth- it was very rare for a slave to read or write. My all time favorite Negro Spiritual is Jesus Won’t You Stop By Here. Pap sings it-truly a song with such despair, hope, and longing-if you hear it you’ll never forget it.

For this week’s Pickin’ & Grinnin’ In The Kitchen Spot we have the same guitar, a different picker, a different kitchen and different singers. Chitter, Chatter, and Uncle Henry performing Go Tell It On The Mountain.

Hope you enjoyed the song and the history!

Tipper

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21 Comments

  • Reply
    dana
    December 30, 2008 at 9:24 am

    I think I told you this in an email but in case I didn’t . . . those girls are sooo talented. 🙂

  • Reply
    petra michelle
    December 23, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    A fascinating and interesting post, Tipper!
    Chitter and Chatter were wonderful! Do they Christmas carol? What a treat that would be around here!
    I’ve been playing and singing carols continuously and am still not tired of them. I completely forgot about “Go Tell It on the Mountain”. But you don’t want to hear me sing! :)) I’ll leave the singing for your family!
    Blessings to you!

  • Reply
    warren
    December 23, 2008 at 8:29 am

    That is a great song…and well done!
    It’s hard to not be moved by songs like that esp when you know the history

  • Reply
    Joan J
    December 23, 2008 at 8:29 am

    Love the girls singing! I wanted to stop by and wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season, Tipper. Merry, merry Christmas from my home to yours.

  • Reply
    Osagebluffquilter
    December 23, 2008 at 8:29 am

    Chitter and Chatter did an awesome job. Your family is so talented. Speaking of talent BT and I got a very cute homemade card from someone your way too….thank you Tipper. Happy holiday to you and yours
    Friends Patti and BT

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    December 23, 2008 at 8:29 am

    I love it!! The girls are fabulous, beautiful, talented, clever, and smart! They are the best Christmas Gift ever! And Henry is good too!

  • Reply
    Glenda Beall
    December 23, 2008 at 8:29 am

    I didn’t know Chitter and Chatter sang also. Delightful to hear them and Uncle Henry. Much talent in your family.
    And that is one of my favorite songs also.

  • Reply
    Julie at Elisharose
    December 21, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    That is one of my favorite Christmas songs. Thanks for the lesson.

  • Reply
    Janet
    December 21, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    A beautiful song and I enjoyed your girls singing of it.

  • Reply
    Lisa
    December 21, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    This is one of my favorites too.
    I can’t get my computer to play it from your video so I’m hoping that you’ll put it on your blog music list. That seems to work ok for me.

  • Reply
    christina
    December 21, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    I also love this song. The girls rendition brought tears to my eyes. Tell them how beautiful they are to me will ya!

  • Reply
    TOni
    December 21, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    Tipper – this is also one of my favorite songs. When I was in a Catholic grammer school (way back when)we had an anual Christmas show for parents and community. One year we sang Go Tell it to the Mountain. Each of us in the choir put on white cotton gloves that were previously painted with a flourescent paint and dried until a light bulb to allow the gloves to glow in the dark. When it came time for us to perform the song – the lights were turned off, we put on our gloves, the music and singing began. The audience only saw the clapping and rythmic movements of our hands in the darkened auditorium. I remember it vividly as the entire audience rose to their feet with cheer. It was absolutely fantastic!

  • Reply
    SandyCarlson
    December 21, 2008 at 8:18 am

    I love it, Tipper! That is a favorite of mine, too. It is amazing how things endured without pen and paper. Or maybe it’s amazing they survive with it since paper becomes an alternative to memory.
    This song has a lot of heart and hope.

  • Reply
    yolanda
    December 21, 2008 at 8:18 am

    I enjoyed the history of this . One of my favorites from the country churches of my youth is O beautiful star of bethlehem.

  • Reply
    Dawn Dee
    December 21, 2008 at 8:18 am

    I love the postcard of the cottonfield near Houston. My husband’s grandfather was an overseer for a cotton field near Houston, so it was great to see it! We have his journal as an overseer dated 1875-1930!

  • Reply
    Leslie
    December 21, 2008 at 8:18 am

    What a beautiful performance. The girls have gorgeous voices. Thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas!

  • Reply
    Jan
    December 20, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Tipper, I throughly enjoyed the history behind one of my favorite songs. Your girls are lovely and what wonderful voices! This has to be my favorite video that you have posted and I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

  • Reply
    Dee from Tennessee
    December 20, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Wow…what a way to start my Saturday! The girls are great, just great.

  • Reply
    Nancy Simpson
    December 20, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Go Tell It on The Mountain is one of my favorite
    Christmas songs. I enjoyed hearing Chitter and Chatter singing it, Merry Christmas.

  • Reply
    Farmchick
    December 20, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    You have two talented daughters. Glad to hear that you are getting some use out of that pink shirt! I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas.

  • Reply
    Becky
    December 20, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Uncle Henry, too! You have talent all over the place in your family!
    I loved the girls rendition of “Go Tell It On The Mountain”.
    They are quite the little song birds. But how could they not be, with all that pickin’ and grinnin’ going on around them?!

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