"On Top of Old Smokey" is from the 1840's in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. The Smokey Mountains, or Smokies, are a mountain range that runs along the border of Tennessee and North Carolina. They're a part of the Appalachian Mountains. Old Smokey is one of the peaks a few miles from Asheville, North Carolina*.

The English, Irish and Scottish people who had immigrated to the Appalachians created this song. The song has similarities to the old New England song "The Wagoner's Lad".

"On Top of Old Smokey" can also be spelled "On Top of Old Smoky".

On Top of Old Smokey - American Children's Songs - The USA - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image


*According to "The Songs We Sang" by Theodore Raph (1964).


A famous parody of "On Top of Old Smokey" is "On Top of Spaghetti" (copyright 1961) by Tom Glazer (1914 - 2003).

Here's the first verse of "On Top of Spaghetti":

On top of spaghetti,
All covered with cheese,
I lost my poor meatball,
When somebody sneezed…




Many thanks to Corrina D. for singing this for us!

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Sheet Music

Sheet Music - On Top of Old Smokey