“Red River Valley” is a folk song and cowboy music standard of uncertain origins that has gone by different names (such as “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. It is listed as Roud Folk Song Index 756 and by Edith Fowke as FO 13. It is recognizable by its chorus (with several variations):
From this valley they say you are going.
We will miss your bright eyes and sweet smile,
For they say you are taking the sunshine
That has brightened our pathway a while.
So come sit by my side if you love me.
Do not hasten to bid me adieu.
Just remember the Red River Valley,
And the cowboy that has loved you so true.
Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time, ranked #10
1926 Kelly Harrell “Bright Sherman Valley”
1927 Hugh Cross and Riley Puckett “Red River Valley”
1928 Jimmie Rodgers “Dear Old Sunny South by the Sea”.
1944 Woody Guthrie for Asch Recordings 19 April 1944. G
1946 Gene Autry recorded “Red River Valley” for Columbia
1947–50 Bill Haley and the Four Aces of Western Swing – vocal by Tex King.
1950s Jack Arthur for Peter Pan Records (453B).