Mockin' Bird Hill is a song, written in 3/4 time, by George Vaughn Horton, and perhaps best known through recordings by Patti Page, Donna Fargo, and by Les Paul and Mary Ford in 1951.
The music of "Mockin' Bird Hill" is based closely on a Swedish waltz called "Livet i Finnskogarna" ("Life in the Finnish Woods"), recorded by Karl Jularbo in 1915, which enjoyed some popularity in the U.S.
Several sources say this is a composition by Karl Jularbo (1893-1966).
Other sources say it is a composition by Herman Gellin (1895-1965).
A meeting with the Swedish STIM in 1962 resulted in an anouncement that Jularbo heard "Livet in Finnskogarna" around 1910 by a man, who had died in the meantime, and this Vals is actually a piece of Danish folkmusic.
Most likely Karl Jularbo was the first artist to make a recording of this song.
(o) Karl Karlsson Jularbo and Helge Erichsson (1915)
Karl Jularbo: accordion / Helge Erichsson: violin
Recorded 1915 in Stockholm
Matrix Sto 961
Released in 1915 on Odeon A 148 243
In February 1916 Herman Gellin recorded his version of the song on the Beka-label
(c) Herman Gellin (1916)
Recorded February 1916 in Berlin
Released on Beka 49796
(c) Vilgot Malmqvist & Sven Lindqvist (1920)
Recorded on June 10/11, 1920 in Berlin
Released on Beka # 51315
(c) Arvid Franzen and Eric Berg (1921)
Recorded November 21, 1921 in New York
Released on Victor 73175
Victor matrix B-25812. Livet i Finnskogarna / Eric Berg ; Arvid Franzen - Discography of American Historical Recordings
In 1922 Herman Gellin made another recording of the song on the Polyphon-label, this time with longtime collaborator Ernst Borgstrøm.
(c) Gellin and Borgstrøm (1922)
Recorded in May 1922 in Berlin
Released on Polyphon XS 49004
Re-released on Polyphon N.S99050
Gellin Og Borgstrøm* - Livet I Finnskogarna / Upsala Minder (Shellac) at Discogs
(c) E. Jahrl - Nyhetskvintetten (1927)
Recorded July 27, 1926 in New York
Released on Columbia 22038 F
78 RPM - E. Jahrl Nyhetskvintetten - Gök (Cuckoo Waltz) / Livet I Finnskogarna (Life In The Woods Of Finland) - Columbia - USA - 22038-F
(c) Ivar Lindeberg and Oscar Lundin (1927)
Recorded on May 11, 1927 in Stockholm
Released on His Master's Voice A.L. 825.
Ivar Lindeberg Och Oscar Lundin - Livet I Finnskogarna / Alte Kameraden (Shellac) at Discogs
78 RPM - Ivar Lindeberg Och Oscar Lundin - Livet I Finnskogarna / Alte Kameraden - His Master's Voice - Sweden - A.L. 825
(c) International Octette (1928)
Recorded April, 30, 1928 in New York Released on Victor 81456
Victor matrix BVE-43687. Livet i Finskogarna / Jahrl Instrumental Quintette - Discography of American Historical Recordings
(c) Jularbos Dragspelsorkester (1930)
Recorded November 6, 1930 in Stockholm
Matrix Sto 4501
Released on Odeon D-2193
Jularbos Dragspelsorkester* - Livet I Finnskogarna / Hammarforsens Brus (Shellac) at Discogs
In 1922 Anna Myrberg wrote lyrics to the music.
Livet i Finnskogarna
Only a few lines of these lyrics were sung by Hilmer Borgeling in 1934.
(c) Tore Svensson & Co (1934)
Lyrics by Svarta Masken = Anna Myrberg
Vocals by Hilmer Borgeling.
Recorded October 1934 in Stockholm
Released on Sonora 3014
78 RPM - Tore Svensson & Co - De' Kan Jag Inte Löva Dej / Livet I Finnskogarna - Sonora - Sweden - 3014
Tore Svensson & Co. - De' Kan Ja' Inte Lova Dej / Livet I Finnskogarna (Shellac) at Discogs
The son of Carl Jularbo, Eberhardt, recorded his father's composition in 1939 (released in 1941).
In this version the complete first verse and the last 4 lines of the Anna Myrberg lyrics were sung.
Livet i Finnskogarna
(c) Jularbo Jr & Nisse Lind (1940)
Lyrics by Svarta Masken = Anna Myrberg
Vocals by Sven-Olof Sandberg
Recorded August 26, 1939 in Stockholm
Released on Sonora 3580
78 RPM - Jularbo J:r And Nisse Lind - Livet I Finnskogarna / Norska Valsen / Lundby-valsen - Sonora - Sweden - 3580
Re-released on Sonora Elit # 7004
78 RPM - Jularbo J:r Och Nisse Lind - Livet I Finnskogarna / Norska Valsen/Lundby-valsen - Sonora Elit - Sweden - 7004
Jularbo J:r* & Nisse Lind / Andrew Walters Dragspelsorkester* - Livet I Finnskogarna / Norska Valsen = Lundby-Valsen (Shellac) at Discogs
And here's the composer himself with yet another version.
(c) Carl Jularbo med sin Stjärntrio (1942)
Recorded September 1937 in Stockholm
Released August 1942 on Sonora Elit 7172
»Mästarkvartetten»* / Carl Jularbo Med Sin Stjärntrio - Fäbodvalsen Går... / Livet I Finnskogarna / (Shellac) at Discogs
78 RPM - Mästarkvartetten - Fäbodvalsen Går / Livet I Finnskogarna - Sonora Elit - Sweden - 7172
Covers as "Life In The Finnish Woods" and "Woods of Finland" and "Life In The Finland Woods"
More versions here; see "Livet I Finnskogarna" : http://78-varvare.atspace.cc/titlar3.htm
As I said on top of this page "Mockin' Bird Hill" was derived from "Livet I Finnskogarna".
The first recording of "Mockin' Bird Hill" was made by The Pinetoppers, a group consisting of the composer George Vaughn Horton and his brother Roy Horton plus four other men: this recording, which featured a female duo billed as the Beaver Valley Sweethearts, was issued on Coral Records in October 1950. This was a # 3 C&W Hit.
(c) The Pinetoppers (1950) (as "Mockin' Bird Hill")
Colleen And Donna Wilson (vcl), Ray Smith (gt), Arrett Keefer (Mandolin), Roy Horton (bass), Phil Kraus (drums), Frank Signorelli (piano).Vaughn Horton : Contractor.
Recorded August 18, 1950 Decca Recording Studio, New York City
Praguefrank's Country Discography 2: Pinetoppers
Released on Coral 64061
78 RPM - The Pinetoppers - Mockin' Bird Hill / Big Parade Polka - Coral - USA - 64061
2 cover-versions of "Mockin' Bird Hill" became MILLIONSELLERS in the USA.
(c) Les Paul & Mary Ford (1951) (# 2 Hit USA)
Recorded January 1951 in Hollywood
Released on Capitol F 1373
78 RPM - Les Paul With Mary Ford - Mockin' Bird Hill / Chicken Reel - Capitol - USA - 1373
Les Paul With Mary Ford* / Les Paul - Mockin' Bird Hill / Chicken Reel (Shellac) at Discogs
(c) Patti Page (1951) (# 2 Hit USA)
Recorded January 27, 1951 in New York
Released on Mercury 5595
78 RPM - Patti Page - Mockin' Bird Hill / I Love You Because - Mercury - USA - 5595
Patti Page - Mockin' Bird Hill / I Love You Because (Shellac) at Discogs
There are two Swedish songs, which use the "Mocking Bird Hill" melody. The Swedish lyrics are not a direct translation of Horton's text.
The Swedish comedian Povel Ramel wrote a Swedish-language version of the song called "Småfoglarne" (The little birds), which contained a large number of puns on birds' names. It was performed and recorded by Ramel and Martin Ljung in 1951.
For the second version Gösta Carje wrote a Swedish-language version of the song, which was titled "Adress Rosenhill"
This was recorded by Alice Babs in 1951 on the Metronome-label. This was a # 1 Hit in Sweden
Alice Babs - Fröken Pippinette / Adress Rosenhill (Shellac) at Discogs
In the Netherlands it was covered as "Als De Spotvogel Fluit", with Dutch lyrics by Andre Meurs.
(c) De Spelbrekers (1951) (as "Als De Spotvogel Fluit")
Released on the Olympia-label (# 5657)
(c) Migil 5 (1964) (Top 10 Hit UK)
45cat - Migil 5 - Mockin' Bird Hill / Long Ago And Far Away - Pye - UK - 7N 15597
Migil 5* - Mockin' Bird Hill (Vinyl) at Discogs
(c) Claude Francois (1964) (as "La Ferme Du Bonheur")
Claude François - La Ferme Du Bonheur (Vinyl) at Discogs
45cat - Claude François - La Ferme Du Bonheur "Mockin' Bird Hill" / Dis Moi Quand? "Tell Me When" - Philips - France - B 373.392 F
(c) The Firebirds (1964) (as "Naar 't Strand")
45cat - The Firebirds [Netherlands] - Naar 't Strand (Twie De Le Die) / Gloria - Delta - Netherlands - DS 1091
(c) Donna Fargo (1977) (Top 10 C&W Hit)
45cat - Donna Fargo - Mockingbird Hill / Second Choice - Warner Bros. - USA - WBS 8305
- In 1993, Dutch group Roots Syndicate (nl:Roots Syndicate) released a reggae cover, which was featured on an advertisement for Centraal Beheer in 1992
45cat - Roots Syndicate - Mockin' Bird Hill / Rock And Groove - Polydor - Netherlands - 861 528-7
More cover versions here:
The Originals © by Arnold Rypens - LIVET I FINNSKOGARNA
Cover versions of Mockin' Bird Hill by The Pinetoppers | SecondHandSongs