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Origins: Zebby Pike

Rex 08 Mar 11 - 03:04 PM
Rex 16 Mar 11 - 05:52 PM
GUEST 05 May 11 - 01:52 PM
GUEST,Jim Dixon 06 May 11 - 06:34 PM
GUEST,Rob 01 Feb 16 - 04:02 AM
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Subject: ADD: Zebby Pike song
From: Rex
Date: 08 Mar 11 - 03:04 PM

A friend in England recalls singing this song as a child in school. It is about the first steamship to dock at St. Louis in 1817 and there were several "Zebulon M. Pike" ships to follow. While I have an interest in steamships on the Mississippi and the explorer, Zebulon Pike, I have never heard anything about this song. I'm hoping someone can help with this. Here are the words that she can remember.


Gonna tell you about an old steamboat
Whose name was Zebby Pike.
Well, not just one but eight there were,
And all eight looked alike.

They weren't all there together,
But one by one they came
A-steaming up the Mississip'
In search of lasting fame.

Now the first one back in '17
Alas was soon a wreck.
Some sparks fell from the smoke-stack
And they soon burnt up the deck.

All the folks along Ol' Muddy,
As they stood along the shore,
Cried 'Oh Lord a-mercy, neighbour look,
The Zebby Pike's no more

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Subject: RE: Origins: Zebby Pike
From: Rex
Date: 16 Mar 11 - 05:52 PM

So far nothing has come up about this song among my musical pals in the U.S. But I was hoping our English Catters might have something. Bill Sables? Anyone?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Zebby Pike
Date: 05 May 11 - 01:52 PM

I sang this too (in England about 8 years ago in a music festival about the Mississippi):


Gonna tell you 'bout an old steamboat, her name was zebby pike
Well not just one but 8 there were, and all 8 looked alike
They weren't all there together, but one by one they came
A steaming up the mississip in search of lasting fame

Now the first one back in seventeen, blew up in clouds of smoke
The fumes from the explosion, were enough to make you choke
All the folks who heard it thunder, as they stood upon the shore
Cried oh lord o' mercy neighbour look !
The zebby pike's no more

Zebby pike, zebby pike, the zebby pikes no more

Gonna tell you 'bout the zebby 2, Some 3 or 4 years on
No sooner was that vessel launched, than it was sunk and gone
Some say it hit a sandbank, some say it struck a rock
But though we don't know why it went,
The captain had a shock!

Now the zebby 3 came round the bend, one dark and stormy night
It rammed a barge of cotton, and it disappeared from sight
All the folks along old muddy, were kept busy by the score
As day after day they stood and watched,
For zebby number 4

Zebby pike, zebby pike, for zebby number 4

It's sad to tell, a steamboat race brought zebby 4 to grief
Its boiler burst while leading, its time in front was brief
So bow your head in sorrow, for a victor lost that way
And spare a thought for 5 and 6
Both sunk the self-same way

Gonna tell you 'bout the next in line
Her skipper's name was Don (or Dom, or tom, or john, we disagree !)
He said this ship she's the best afloat, as I'll show everyone
Full steam ahead for Memphis, that's where the ship was bound
But long before it got that far,
Poor mister don (or etc) was drowned

Now the last of all the zebby pikes, alas was soon a wreck
Some sparks fell from its smoke stacks, and they quickly burnt the deck
All the folks who watched it blazing, were appalled a zebby's fate
Cried oh lord o' mercy neighbour say
Goodbye to number eight

Say good bye, say good bye, good bye to number 8
Say good bye (bye bye), say good bye (bye bye), good bye to number eight

Do do do, zebby pike!

don't know anything about the origins though, sorry !

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Subject: RE: Origins: Zebby Pike
From: GUEST,Jim Dixon
Date: 06 May 11 - 06:34 PM

Someone logs in at the Huffington Post by the name "Zebby Pike." You might ask him!

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Subject: RE: Origins: Zebby Pike
From: GUEST,Rob
Date: 01 Feb 16 - 04:02 AM

The song is from a mini musical / cantata called Mighty Mississippi. It is one of six, the full list being:

Mighty Mississippi
In New Orleans
Zebby Pike
Lament for a Slave

It was written by Pat Rooke and Gwyn Arch and published by EMI in 1980. Hope this helps.

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