Oh Shenandoah

Written by Jonathan Estabrooks


In category: Song of the Day

Published January 26, 2017

I have always loved this melody, and in particular this version by superstar baritone Bryn Terfel. “Oh Shenandoah” (also called simply “Shenandoah” or “Across the Wide Missouri”) is a traditional American folk song dating to the early 19th century. The song is thought to have originated with Canadian and American voyagers or fur traders traveling down the Missouri River in canoes, but has developed several different sets of lyrics. Some lyrics refer to the American Indian chief Shenandoah and a canoe-going trader who wants to marry his daughter. By the mid 1800s versions of the song had become a sea shanty heard or sung by sailors in various parts of the world.

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Canadian baritone Jonathan Estabrooks has a vibrant and diverse musical career in classical, crossover and musical theatre repertoire and has been hailed as “a robust baritone” by The New York Times. Most recently on tour in Australia and New Zealand, he will next compete in the American Traditions Competition in Savannah, Georgia. Jonathan has made debuts at Carnegie Hall and with the Seattle, Toronto and Vancouver Symphonies and with NYFOS on numerous occasions. He is an alumnus of the prestigious Juilliard School.


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