I have some of the words to a song that my relatives sang. They lived in Middle Tennessee and learned it in school, in about 1910's. They called it the coo coo coo song.
“up yonder on the mountain there stands a house so high and from it every morning two turtle dove would fly.
and would coo, coo, coo, and would coo, coo, coo
and would coo oo oo oo oo oo oo.”
I was wondering if anyone else has ever heard it or knows it.
Up Yonder on the Mountain
There stands a house so high
And From it every morning
Two Turtle doves do fly.
Had I the wild dove's pinion
I'd fly through all the land
To seek my little brother
And take him by the hand
A pretty house I'd build me
All of the clover green
I'd roof it over the boxwood
And flowers of golden sheen
It could have been one of the myriad of songs published in the early 1900's to teach music to kids in schools. I found the words you gave in books from publishers in Chicago, Boston and London as songs under the titles “Up Yonder on the Mountain” and “Up Yonder Mountain”. Nothing about “coo-coo”, though that could easily have morphed into the song over time from one of the many “cuckoo” songs known from East TN into Western NC, and throughout the Appalachians. My guess is that the song is more 'book-learned' stuff, not really traditional music, as might have been known in Middle TN.
The words you give, with music and three verses, are in the song “Up Yonder Mountain” in the 1894 publication “Children's Songs and How to Sing Them (School Edition)” by Wm. L. Tomlins. (You can find it by searching online). No mention of “coo-coo”.
“Studies in Chaucer's Hous(e) of Fame”, 1907, The Chaucer Society, London, includes the words. They supposedly originated as a German folk song that was sung by children in schools.
“Excell's School Songs: No's 3 and 4 Combined for Day Schools, Singing Classes, Juvenile Classes and the Home Circle”, 1903, E.O. Excell (Chicago). “Up Yonder On the Mountain” attributed to a Carl Reinecke (German?) has music and four verses, the first verse being the words you gave. Again, no “coo-coo”.
It would probably make a good traditional song!
Above post was a goof on the website.
Do y'all know about the website called mudcatcafe.org. Check it out for questions like this and a great community of folks that love and KNOW their folk music