You know, I don't think we gave Max a straight answer to his question. I think the least I can do is post the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index.
All the best to you, Max.
Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Row, Row, Row Your BoatDESCRIPTION: "Row, row, row your boat, Gently down the stream, Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, Life is but a dream."
EARLIEST DATE: 1852 (sheet music)
FOUND IN: US
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Silber-FSWB, p. 412, "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" (1 text)
Fuld-WFM, pp. 475-476, "Row, Row, Row Your Boat"
Row, Row, Row Your Boat (Throw Your Teacher Overboard) (Pankake-PHCFSB, p. 93)
Propel, Propel, Propel Your Craft (Pankake-PHCFSB, p. 208)
Glub, Glub, Glub Your Boat (Pankake-PHCFSB, p. 213)
Notes: Fuld reports that this text, with a different tune, was published in sheet music form in 1852; this version had music by R. Sinclair, but the words were unattributed (said to be sung by "Master Adams of Kunkels Nightingale Opera Troupe").
Another melody was published in 1854; the common melody was first published in 1881, with a credit (not necessarily of authorship) to E. O. Lyte. - RBW
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The Ballad Index Copyright 2003 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.