AWAY IDAHO (We're Coming, Idaho) - Frank French, Collected by Frank Warner from Deac (C. T.) Martin, 1952. SheetMusic(pdf) Sung by Gary Oberbillig

Chorus: Away, Idaho!
We're coming Idaho;
Our four-horse team
Will soon be seen
Way out in Idaho!

They say there is a land,
Where the crystal waters flow
O'er beds of ore of purest gold
Way out in Idaho!

We'll leave old Tennessee,
Through Arkansas we'll go
Look back upon our dear old home
Way out in Idaho

We're bound to cross the plains,
And o'er the mountains go
We're bound to seek our fortunes there
Way out in Idaho

We'll need no sieve or spade,
No shovel, pan or hoe;
The largest chunks lay top of ground,
Way out in Idaho!

We'll face hard times no more,
And want we'll never know,
When we have filled our packs with gold,
Way out in Idaho!

Easterners hoped to find gold in other places than California. In this song Idaho is the goal at the end of the rainbow. Once there, all troubles will be over. Our good friend, the late Deac Martin of Cleveland, Ohio (author and compiler of a great book about popular songs and barbershop ballads, called Deac Martin's Musical Americana, Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1970), gave us this song in 1952. He learned it from his mother, Mary Virginia Gooch (Martin) who lived in Missouri and whose people came by way of Kentucky from Gooch's Landing in Virginia, near Jamestown. This song, with Frank French listed as its author, was published by H.M. Higgins in Chicago in 1864. A variant (with a different theme) may be found in John and Alan Lomax's Cowboy Songs. In Alan Lomax's Folk Songs of North America there is a song called Way Out in Arkansas that praises the healing properties of the hot springs there. Since Idaho is farther west than Arkansas, perhaps Frank French took a known song and rewrote it to fit a new interest -- Idaho's gold In 1958 Elektra Records published a Frank Warner album which included this song. Our good friend Holman J. (Jerry) Swinney was then Director of the Idaho Historical Society and Museum in Boise. There was an exhibition of state history just opening, and he immediately had this song put on tape and played over loudspeakers at intervals during the exhibition. As a result it became something of a state song. Notes from Frank Warner's recording "Come all You Good People."