Forever Site Access Membership for $149 and never worry about a subscription again! Annual plan also available.

Live Streaming, Learning Ukulele with Curt on YouTube Every Thursday at 1100 EDT (USA) (-4UTC)

News

Ukulele

More Uke

Jammin'

Jazz

Chords

Lessons

Series

Songs

Books

Videos

Glossary

Ukes

Calendar

Access

Search

About

Red River Valley

A folk song and cowboy music standard of controversial origins that has gone by different names.

PUBLISHED: Oct 1, 2011 • UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020 • VIEWS: 280 • LESSON CODE: UL514

Instruments: ukulele leadsheet Subjects: repertoirebeginnerfolk

View the Download section below to download the song files for the complete and most up-to-date versions.

Red River Valley

<img class="float-left m-2" src="/images/UL514_sheet_music.png"> <b>Red River Valley</b> is a folk song and cowboy music standard of controversial origins that has gone by different names—e.g., "Cowboy Love Song", "Bright Sherman Valley", "Bright Laurel Valley", "In the Bright Mohawk Valley", and "Bright Little Valley"— depending on where it has been sung.

Edith Fowke offers anecdotal evidence that the song was known in at least five Canadian provinces before 1896. This finding led to speculation that the song was composed at the time of the Wolseley Expedition to the northern Red River Valley of 1870 in Manitoba. It expresses the sorrow of a local woman (possibly a Métis) as her soldier lover prepares to return to the east.

The earliest known written manuscript of the lyrics, titled The Red River Valley, bears the notations "Nemaha 1879" and "Harlan 1885." Nemaha and Harlan are the names of counties in Nebraska, and are also the names of towns in Iowa.

The song appears in sheet music, titled In the Bright Mohawk Valley, printed in New York in 1896 with James J. Kerrigan as the writer. The tune and lyrics were collected and published in Carl Sandburg's 1927 American Songbag.

Common Keys: G:
First Melodic Interval: P5P4 ( starts on the perfect fight of the key and the next melody more if up a perfect fourth. In the key of G major this would be: D to G )

Web Resources

Main Song Download(s)

The main downloads for this Song.

Red River Valley - Chord Lead Sheet, Keys of G and C
Updated: Mar 6, 2020

There is anecdotal evidence that the song was known in at least five Canadian provinces before 1896.[2] This finding led to speculation that the song was composed at the time of the 1870 Wolseley Expedition to Manitoba's northern Red River Valley. It expresses the sorrow of a local woman (possibly a Métis) as her soldier lover prepares to return to the east.

Red River Valley - Lyrics
Updated: Dec 31, 2016

Song Road Map

Tips and tricks for remembering a song.

Remembering songs is all about the form and harmonic content and movement with taking in the similarities between songs. And, just like a road map they're landmarks that will trigger memories of how to get through various sections, changes or parts of a song.

This section of a song's page presents some tips on how I try and remember a particular song.

No Road Map for Red River Valley check back soon.

Related Books

Related Books for Red River Valley at this time.

A Guide to Ukulele Chords, 2nd Edition
Updated: Jan 10, 2020

A Guide to Ukulele Chords, Second Edition is designed as a guide to ukulele chords. Covering the basic ukulele chords that ALL ukulele players SHOULD know. A Guide to Ukulele Chords covers movable chord forms, rock chords, how to transpose chords, learning the ukulele fingerboard and includes an introduction to 4-part, a.k.a jazz chords and more...

Ukulele Chords - C Tuning
Updated: Aug 31, 2019

This mini (1/2 size) chord book is the perfect size for every ukulele gig bag or case and a great addition to you music book library. Ukulele Chords covers basic open position and basic movable form chords.[OUT OF PRINT]

Related Songs

Related Songs for Red River Valley at this time.

Bingo Updated: Dec 6, 2015

Bingo, also known as Bingo Was His Name-Oand There Was a Farmer Who Had a Dog, is an English language children's song of obscure origin. In most modern forms, the song involves spelling the name of a dog, and with increasing letters replaced with handclaps on each repetition.

Danny Boy Updated: Oct 1, 2011

Danny Boy is a ballad written by Frederic Weatherly and usually set to the tune of the "Londonderry Air". It is most closely associated with Irish communities. The words to "Danny Boy" were written by English lawyer and lyricist Frederic Weatherly in 1910.

This Train Updated: Nov 28, 2017

This Train (is Bound for Glory) by Woody Guthrie.

The Lion Sleeps Tonight Updated: Jan 26, 2016

The Lion Sleeps Tonight, also known as "Wimoweh", "Wimba Way" or "Awimbawe", is a song written and recorded originally by Solomon Linda with the Evening Birds for the South African Gallo Record Company in 1939, under the title "Mbube". Composed in Zulu, it was adapted and covered internationally by many 1950s pop and folk revival artists, including Pete Seeger, the Weavers, Jimmy Dorsey, Yma Sumac, Miriam Makeba and the Kingston Trio.

Site Access Plans for LearningUkulele.com

Forever Access - With Forever Premium Access, you get Unlimited 24/7 access to ALL lessons, downloads, songs, play-along jam tracks, videos, email access to Curt, resources, related assets, and ALL books by Curt as FREE downloads. Pretty much everything on the site and NEVER worry about a subscription or surprise payment again. And jump the queue for responding to any questions.

If your anything like me (Curt) and getting Subscription overloaded with everything on-line wanting money from you once a month — I'm with you. For like-minded individuals, this forever plan is a pay once and your done.

The price for Unlimited Forever access is right around the cost of a few months of private lessons. I can guarantee that is more material on-line to keep you busy for a long, long time. And, you get all of my books for FREE. That along is more than the cost of this plan.

Premium Access - This premium gives you Unlimited 24/7 access to ALL lessons, downloads, songs, play-along jam tracks, videos, email access to Curt, resources and related assets. As well as ALL books by Curt Sheller as FREE downloads.

Basic Access - A limited selection of basic lessons — ( currently over 140 ) and 100+ songs for ukulele as well as basic general music reference material — Completely FREE — Simply Register/Signup. HOWEVER - I've been doing ukulele and LearningUkulele.com since 2003 and probably have given too much away already - as reflected in my income from the site in relationship to the time spent on the site. So help support this site and its continued development by signing up for one of the below Premium Access Plans or buy a few of my books. - Thanks, Curt

NOTE: Each higher access level includes ALL the benefits of the lower levels. Private Lessons include all the benefits of a Premium Access Plans as long as you remain a student on the schedule.


Just browsing over both books, they look fantastic! I'm a guitarist and uke player for over 25 years and was thinking about writing a ukulele book but you've already written what I think are the best, most comprehensive and thorough books I've ever seen for the instrument. I just might end up buying every book you've written and I'll be giving my highest recommendation for your books to my friends and students. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such great books!Peter Rhee

Aloha, Curt, All I can say is WOW! What you have accomplished is simply incredible! All the bestGlen Hirabayashi, The Aloha Boys

Folks, if you haven't stopped by Curt's site, do so right now! ..And get his books, they are fantastic. This guy knows his stuff and is able to pass it along too.Alan Johnson Proprietor, The 4th Peg

I can highly recommend Curt's Uke books — I have four of them and they are excellent.fatveg — Portland

Thanks for visiting and checking out the site!

curtieAnim.gif rw.vg.gif

Original Curtie Animation from 1987 for my first web site on a Macintosh II. 34 years ago. Man, does time fly.

“Built for myself (Curt), and sharing with the `Ukulele community!”

LearningUkulele.com has one of the largest collections of lessons, songs, and TABS, luthiers, ukulele builders, ukulele festival and club information, and, ukulele links on the web. I’ve been on the ®Internet since the early 1990's and This site just never stops growing!!!

Content is added and updated almost daily - so check back often. I really do need to get out more ;-)