El-a-noy = Illinois

Written by an advertising person of the 1800s, known as a “booster,” this song makes the land out to be like the “Garden of Eden.” For those who travelled west through the Cumberland Gap on the Wilderness Road or on the Ohio River, they would cross into Illinois at Shawnee Ferry, which is now Shawneetown in the southeast of the state.


1.Way down upon the Wabash, Such land was never known;
If Adam had passed over it, The soil he’d surely own;
He’d think it was the garden He’d played in when a boy,
And straight pronounced it Eden, In the State of El-a-noy.

Then move your fam’ly westward.
Good health you will en-joy,
And rise to wealth and honor
In the state of El-a-Noy.

2. She’s bounded by the Wabash, The Ohio and the Lakes,
She’s crawfish in the swampy lands, The milk-sick and the shakes;
But these are slight diversions And take not from the joy
Of living in this garden land, The State of El-a-Noy. Refrain

3. Away up in the northward, Right on the borderline,
A great commercial city, Chicago you will find.
Her men are all like Abelard, Her women like Heloise;
All honest virtuous people, For they live in El-a-Noy. Refrain

Last refrain
Then move your family westward, Bring all your girls and boys,
And cross at Shawnee Ferry to the State of El-a-Noy.

See also

Extras for Plus Members

  • Song with chords (PDF)
  • MIDI file
  • Listen

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