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Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat

DigiTrad:
ROW, ROW, ROW YOUR BOAT


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Row, Row, Row Your Boat (in French) (27)
Lyr Req: Row Row Row Your Boat (parodies) (52)


Max 23 May 00 - 03:22 PM
Vixen 23 May 00 - 03:31 PM
MMario 23 May 00 - 04:16 PM
Max 24 May 00 - 01:17 AM
Callie 24 May 00 - 02:33 AM
Mark Cohen 24 May 00 - 02:40 AM
IanC 24 May 00 - 06:29 AM
MMario 24 May 00 - 09:13 AM
jeffp 24 May 00 - 09:28 AM
MMario 24 May 00 - 09:32 AM
IanC 24 May 00 - 09:40 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 24 May 00 - 10:24 AM
GUEST,me 24 May 00 - 11:49 AM
catspaw49 24 May 00 - 12:00 PM
MMario 24 May 00 - 12:03 PM
GUEST,me 24 May 00 - 01:14 PM
Mrrzy 24 May 00 - 01:22 PM
Jacob B 24 May 00 - 03:24 PM
sophocleese 24 May 00 - 09:02 PM
Chocolate Pi 24 May 00 - 11:01 PM
Song Dog 25 May 00 - 03:57 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 25 May 00 - 04:10 AM
Mrs.Duck 25 May 00 - 07:08 PM
Cap't Bob 25 May 00 - 08:01 PM
Mark Cohen 26 May 00 - 01:08 AM
GUEST,Mrr 26 May 00 - 01:00 PM
SINSULL 26 May 00 - 01:07 PM
Joe Offer 15 Apr 03 - 12:28 AM
Joe Offer 15 Apr 03 - 12:35 AM
Joe Offer 15 Apr 03 - 12:55 AM
masato sakurai 15 Apr 03 - 02:20 AM
harpgirl 21 Apr 04 - 10:32 PM
JennieG 22 Apr 04 - 02:18 AM
Jim Dixon 05 Nov 06 - 04:24 PM
Max 11 Nov 11 - 03:23 AM
Max 11 Nov 11 - 03:50 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Nov 11 - 03:20 PM
Max 11 Nov 11 - 04:22 PM
Jim McLean 12 Nov 11 - 03:47 PM
Paul Burke 13 Nov 11 - 07:00 AM
GUEST,miguel castro 19 May 14 - 09:23 PM
Don Firth 19 May 14 - 11:33 PM
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Subject: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: Max
Date: 23 May 00 - 03:22 PM

Anyone know where Row, Row, Row Your Boat came from originally or any other neat details about it? I find it to be one of the most important songs in history and can find little about it.

- Life is but a dream


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: Vixen
Date: 23 May 00 - 03:31 PM

I have it on good authority that it dates back to Rome.

Barcam remiga lente in aqua
Hilare Hilare Hilare Hilare
Somne est vita!

V


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: MMario
Date: 23 May 00 - 04:16 PM

Levy Sheet music has two sets of lyrics whose choruses are similair lyrically -


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: Max
Date: 24 May 00 - 01:17 AM

I want more here.

Doesn't anyone think it odd that one of the most widely known songs ever sung has so little known about it? So little discussion about it? So simple, so common, so universally known, so deep within our musical selves, the first thing that pops in our heads when someone asks for an example of a song sung in the round... so meaningful, so true, and this is all we have to say about it?

I am beginning to think that this song was planted by aliens and we were programmed to reject the introspection and research to wonder why.

CONSPIRACY!


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: Callie
Date: 24 May 00 - 02:33 AM

Oh no! Our attempt to infiltrate the earthlings' psyches has been thwarted! -Zoot (from Mars)

The Australian version of "Row Your Boat" is called "Kookaburra Sits" - a little longer than "Row" but the melody is similar, and it's the best known Australian round.

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree Merry merry king of the bush is he Laugh kookaburra laugh kookaburra Gay your life must be.

I am seeing two dear friends tonight who store all kinds of musical miscellany in their brains, so I will ask about "Row".


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 24 May 00 - 02:40 AM

Max, you're absolutely right. Somebody somewhere must know something about the history of this song. My money is on Bruce O. Don't give up, though. I asked the same question about Pop Goes the Weasel and a fantastic thread resulted--one that should be in the thread hall of fame.
By the way, have you ever sung it backwards?

Dream a but is life
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Stream the down gently
Boat your row, row, row.
You do the melody backwards, too. It's a little difficult to conceptualize. Remind me at the next HearMe and I'll demonstrate. Never sung it that way as a round, though...

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: IanC
Date: 24 May 00 - 06:29 AM

Best I can find so far, it's by that well known writer "anonymous". If you want some comment on it, however, how about this.

Row, Row, Row Your Boat:

A Buddhist Commentary
by Todd Barton

The Mantra

Row, row, row1 your boat,2
Gently,3 down the stream,4

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,5
Life is but a dream.6

The Commentary

1. Row, row, row. In form and structure this triple repetition of the imperative, row parallels the daily Buddhist invocation of the Three Jewels: "Homage to the Buddha, Homage to the Dharma, and Homage to the Sangha." One could, for example, say

"Row for the Buddha, Row for the Dharma, and Row for the Sangha."

Texturally, however, the word row is more closely linked to the Sanskrit word gate, which means "to go", and which begins the famous Heart Sutra Mantra:

gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha

which translates as "Go, go, go perfectly and completely to build the path for enlightenment." Thus, the word row in our text is a shorthand for the Heart Sutra Mantra and may be construed as "I row towards enlightenment."

2. your boat. It is your boat. You built this boat with your karma. It is nobody else's boat. It is nobody else's karma. You are rowing this boat toward enlightenment. It is your karmic stream.

3. Gently. This is a call to go toward enlightenment gently, without force. It is like the gentle observation of your breath in meditation. Furthermore, it beckons us to undertake all actions, thoughts and deeds in gentleness and pure awareness. It should also be mentioned that some Buddhist scholars believe this word to refer to the Taoist/Buddhist concept of wu-wei, "nondoing." 4. Down the stream. The "stream of Life." The daily dharma. The seemingly endless stream of death and rebirth. Your karmic stream.

5. Merrily, merrily… This is a reference to the "merry" or "happy" state experienced in meditation. As Thich Nhat Hanh says, "This happiness arises when we become free of incessant worrying and preoccupation, and from the fact that the body and mind are at ease".1 Thus, a direct result of meditation is the ability to row down the Stream of Life gently and merrily.

6. Life is but a dream. Of course, poetically, "dream" rhymes with "stream". But we might also say that spiritually "dream" and "stream" rhyme. Stream, as we have seen, refers to this life, which is Maya – impermanent and illusory – which is ultimately a Dream. Meditate on the impermanence of all Dharmas.

The Paraphrase

(Homage to the Buddha, Homage to the Dharma, Homage to the Sangha.)

Aware of your karmic stream,
Go along easily, completely and perfectly
Toward enlightenment in you daily life.

Happily, happily, happily,
Meditate on the impermanence
Of all Dharmas.

When chanted, this mantra is cyclical, its beginning and end are One. In form, it is like the Wheel of Samsara. In practice, it can be chanted endlessly until you boat reaches the Other Shore, the Shore of Enlightenment.

from Breathe! You Are Alive: Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing by Thich Nhat Hanh, Parallax Press, 1990.

Copyright Todd Barton 1993

Cheers!IanC


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: MMario
Date: 24 May 00 - 09:13 AM

Max the songs in Levy are both from the 1850's. I don't know if "row,row,row" was around then and they were taken FROM it, or whether it was derived from them. I haven't been able to find a date on anything regarding "row, row, row"


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: jeffp
Date: 24 May 00 - 09:28 AM

Harry Fox will probably tell you that copyright is held by one of their clients and everybody in the world owes them $10,000 in penalties for singing it without paying royalties.

jeffp


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: MMario
Date: 24 May 00 - 09:32 AM

actually - two of the sites I looked at they had copyright notices on the song. however I doubt it would hold up in court.


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: IanC
Date: 24 May 00 - 09:40 AM

Thanks, Mmario

The choruses here are certainly the stuff. I'm wondering, though if they have not been included in the song because they're already well known. This is the case with a number of modern songs I've found over the internet whilst looking for info today.

What I can say is that Lewis Carroll was obviously familiar with the rhyme in 1872 since he refers to it, in his usual slightly oblique way in the epilogue to "Through The Looking Glass (and What Alice Found There). The reference is in the last verse.

EPILOGUE TO "THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS" Lewis Carroll

A BOAT, beneath a sunny sky
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July –

Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear
Pleased a simple tale to hear –

Long has paled that sunny sky:
Echoes fade and memories die:
Autumn frosts have slain July.

Still she haunts me, phantomwise
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.

Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.

In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:

Ever drifting down the stream --
Lingering in the golden gleam --
Life what is it but a dream?

Cheers!IanC


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 24 May 00 - 10:24 AM

I have it on good authority (he means he's making it up for the sake of a feeble joke) that it was known to the ancient Greeks who used to float their soldiers across rivers on inflated goatskins. Hence "Row, row, row your goat" which was misheard when song collectors came around...
RtS


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: GUEST,me
Date: 24 May 00 - 11:49 AM

rounds being what they are, and songs so ingrained that they last nearly forever (sumer is acumen in, e.g)

but, did you know that you can sing "amazing grace" to the gilligan's island theme? (and vice versa)


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: catspaw49
Date: 24 May 00 - 12:00 PM

Takes on a whole diffent meaning doesn't it? try the reverse....Gilligan to Grace.........The thing sounds almost tragic and legit!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: MMario
Date: 24 May 00 - 12:03 PM

I have no way to prove it, but "sumer is a cumin in", by virtue of the way it is spelled, by *MY* belief fell out of usage for a long time....or else we would be singing "SUMMER IS A-COMIN'IN" - the language just hasn't updated, yet most other rounds and nursery songs seem to have a gazillion variants.


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: GUEST,me
Date: 24 May 00 - 01:14 PM

of course there's Ezra Pound's parody... first line sings

winter is acumen in, lludhe sing goddamn straineth mush and raineth slush and how the wind doth slam

..grins mischievously..


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: Mrrzy
Date: 24 May 00 - 01:22 PM

I always thought my sister made that up! The Loud Sing Goddamn, I mean. Hah! I can hardly wait for this info, sounds fascinating. The idea of it must be aliens and we are also programmed not to think about it reminds me of a sci-fi short story I read somewhere (Niven?) about chocolate manhole covers, where there is a guy whose only goal seemed to be to foment interesting conversations (like this one) as a means of selecting humans bright enough to go do outer space stuff... and one of the things he gets people thinking about is chocolate manhole covers. Anyway, if we all disappear after solving this one, we'll know why!


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: Jacob B
Date: 24 May 00 - 03:24 PM

Not chocolate manhole covers - chocolate covered manhole covers. Get a really big pan, melt the chocolate in it, carefully put in the manhole cover, turn once, and let cool. I never read the Niven story, but I was in an amateur press association for a while with the guy that story was about. He was talking about Coin-Operated Vampires at the time.


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: sophocleese
Date: 24 May 00 - 09:02 PM

There's also "Plumber is icumen in, bloody big to do...."

Without wanting to be too much of a killjoy I think "Row, row, row your chocolate covered manhole cover" lacks the snap and zing of "Row row row your boat". Just my personal opinion of course for what its worth. I think Roger the skiffler was closest to the origins of the song when he mentioned the greeks floating their soldiers on inflated goatskins. They had learned the song of course from Charon who sang "Row row row your ghost gently down the stream, drearily, drearily, drearily, dreaily life was but a dream."


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: Chocolate Pi
Date: 24 May 00 - 11:01 PM

and does it tie in to "La Vida es un Sueno" by Pedro Calderon de la Barca, major play in the siglo de oro of Spanish drama? there's a speech in there that goes, (with accent marks that won't show up here)
Que es la vida? Un frensi.
Que es la vida? un ilusion.

And re: chocolatecovered manhole covers: yeah, it's a Niven story. The title is simply "What do you do with a Chocolate-Covered Manhole Cover?" It came up recently a few years ago when the April 1st edition of TechTalk, the MIT student newspaper, pubilshed an article stating that the campus was switching over from the People's Republic of Cambridge Ruble to the MIT $UNIT, which was any circular object more than 1 ft in diameter, and was broken up into 2 pi subunits of radians.

Chocolate Pi (calclating couloumbic potential for hydrogen flouride)


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: Song Dog
Date: 25 May 00 - 03:57 AM

I respect all the opinions I've read here. But, if you really want to know. The very first time that the words " Row, Row, Row, your boat", were uttered, was during the early exploration of the Upper Niagra River By two european explorers. While rowing gently down the stream, Herman, who was in the bow, suddenly stood up when he thought the water vanished ahead of them. Then as he franticly spun the boat around, he shouted to his companion, Horus, Who owned the boat, "ROW, ROW, ROW, YOUR BOAT" *BG* from *BD*


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 25 May 00 - 04:10 AM

Soph, love the Charon version ,wish I'd said that (I will now!)
RtS
:oD


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 25 May 00 - 07:08 PM

My son is very round . At the age of about 5 hours and considerably less round he earnt the nickname Boats due to the fact that being called Rowan I began singing "Row row row" looked at him and said "You're boats mate!"


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: Cap't Bob
Date: 25 May 00 - 08:01 PM

Arther Godfrey ~ years ago, did an interesting take on this song. I had it on a 78 back in the 50's. It went something like this:

Row, Row, Row your boat up the river St. Lawrence
Hollering, hollering, hollering, hollering,
Hollering for Florence

Left the one I love on one of those thousand islands
row, row, row your boat
But unfortunatly, I can't remember which one
So I row, row, row, row up ther river St Lawrence
and I'm hollering Florence, oh where can you be

That's about all the words I can remember.

Cap't Bob


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 26 May 00 - 01:08 AM

So, Max, is this thread creepy enough for you? And we still don't have an answer. Me, I'll go with the alien theory. If you listened really carefully in the scene at the end of the final X-Files episode where Mulder meets his fellow abductees, you could hear coming out of the pure white light an odd voice softly singing "Row, row, row your boat" (Or maybe it was "Paul, Paul, Paul is Dead"...)

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 26 May 00 - 01:00 PM

The only versions I knew as a child were Row Row Row your boat gently down the stream, putt putt putt putt out of gasoline - and - Row row row your boat gently down the stream, ha ha fooled you I'm a submarine. Nothing even vaguely scatological - maybe that's why I still live on this planet...


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: SINSULL
Date: 26 May 00 - 01:07 PM

We had a second verse:

Hoe, hoe, hoe your row
Through the summer heat
Corn and tomatoes and rice and potatoes
Are might good to eat

Also had a different Kookaburra;

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
Eating all the gumdrops he can see
Laugh, kookaburra, laugh kookaburra
Save some gum for me.

Suspect the third grade teacher took some liberties with both. Folk process, no?


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Apr 03 - 12:28 AM

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.
-Joe Offer-
Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

DESCRIPTION: "Row, row, row your boat, Gently down the stream, Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, Life is but a dream."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1852 (sheet music)
KEYWORDS: nonballad
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"

SAME TUNE:
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
File: FSWB412C

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2003 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Apr 03 - 12:35 AM

Here's the entry from Fuld's Book of World-Famous Music (1966, 1971)

This song is apparently American, and perhaps of minstrel origin. Almost the common words, but to a different melody, appear in Row, Row Your Boat, or The Old Log Hut, copyrighted Oct. 4, 1852, by Firth, Pond & Co., 1 Franklin Square, New York, N.Y. First edition: Engraved. Front cover states that the song was sung by Master Adams of Kunkels Nightingale Opera Troupe, ascribes the music to R. Sinclair, the price is 25cents and there are two agents. m. on pp. 2—5. p.n. 1768. Back cover blank. LC(CDC— deposited Oct. 12, 1852, at the Clerk's Office, Southern District, New York, and Dec. 3, 1852, at Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.) and JF. The same words to a different but unfamiliar melody were copyrighted Dec. 13, 1854, under the title Gently down the Stream by Berry & Gordon, New York, N.Y., referring to Ceo. Christy and Wood's Minstrels; LC(CDC) and JF.
The common music, and the common words, appear for the first time in The Franklin Square Song Collection, selected by J. P. McCaskey, published in New York, N.Y., in 1851. The music and words are at p. 69; E. 0. Lyte's name is given as the composer or adapter of the music and words. In the first edition of this work, deposited at LC on Aug. 27, 1881, vol. I is not mentioned on the covers or title page, and there is no reference to 1884 on the verso of the title page. Also at JF.
The song is a round or canon.


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Apr 03 - 12:55 AM

Look what I found at the Levy Sheet Music Collection:

Title: Gently Down the Stream
Composer, Lyricist, Arranger: Words & Music by Nelson Kneass.
Publication: New York: Berry & Gordon, 297 Broadway, 1854.
Performer: Songs composed by & for Geo. Christy and Wood's Minstrels & Sung by them at their Hall, 444 Broadway

Down by the river our log hut stands,
Where father and mother once dwelt
And the old door latch that was worn by our hands
And the church where in prayer we knelt
Years, years have passed since that happy time
And the river is rolling along
And the rippling sound on the mossy bank
Is singing the same old song:

Chorus:
Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream
All that's past is gone, you know, the future's but a dream
Row, row, row, gently down the stream
Row, row, row, gently down the stream


There stands the tree we used to climb,
And the mill with its rolling din;
And the old wharf boat, there it used to float,
Where the school boys used to swim.
Still the old hut is standing there,
And the river is rolling along;
And the birds and the bees, the blossoms, the trees,
Are singing the same old song.
CHORUS

There is a version from 1852, with the same first verse and chorus, different tune, and no second verse. The 1852 song is attributed to R. Sinclair. The title of the 1852 song was "Row, Row, Your Boat, or, the Old Log Hut." Note that according to Fuld, the common lyrics and tune were first published in 1851 - you'll find those common lyrics in the Digital Tradition and in the Folksinger's Wordbook (silber & Silber).

Yes, MMario, I know you alluded to the 1850's songs way up top - but you didn't post them. Gonna post the tunes?
-Joe Offer-

Lots of parodies on this page (click).
Click here for more legible sheet music at the American Memory Collection, Library of Congress.


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: masato sakurai
Date: 15 Apr 03 - 02:20 AM

"Lyte, a teacher at Millersville, Pa., was born in Lancaster County, Pa., in 1842 and died there in 1913." (Fuld, 5th ed., 2000, p. 476)
This round was introduced into Japan as "Funako" [boatman], and was contained in a school song book (1884) edited by the Ministry of Education.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: harpgirl
Date: 21 Apr 04 - 10:32 PM

Here is the song from recent SingOUt. It is beautiful and easy to singa and play:

Row your boat
Sing Out! The Folk Song Magazine, Winter, 2004, by R. Sinclair, Debby McClatchy

"Row Your Boat" is a sentimental mid-19th century parlor song that eventually gave way to the popular round with the similar title and chorus. (The round appeared for the first time in The Franklin Square Song Collection in 1881.) Also, known as "The Old Log Hut," the song was first published in 1852 with R. Sinclair cited as the composer. In 1854 the same words to a different melody were copyrighted by Berry and Gordon under the title "The Future's But a Dream." Debby McClatchy learned "Row Your Boat" from the singing of original Coon Creek Girl Lily May Ledford. In his song notes to Lily May's Gems: Rare Concert and Studio Recordings 1968-1983, Ron Pen writes that Lily probably learned the song from sheet music in Renfro Valley Barndance producer John Lair's extensive music library. The version printed here includes Debby's original third verse ("Our Children ...") and is on her newest album, Chestnut Ridge (Trails End #2003; available from R.R. 1, Box 74, Roaring Spring, PA 16673; Ph: 530-389-2120).


   Down by the river, the old log hut stands
   Where Mamma and Daddy once dwelt
   And the old oak latch that was
   worn by the hands
   And the church where in prayer
   they knelt

   CHORUS:

   Row, row, row your boat
   Gently down the stream
   For all that is past is over,
   you know,
   And the future is but a dream

   Time and its rapid remorsefulless plan
   Has furrowed our brows with care
   And the icy touch of its withered hand
   Has slivered our locks of hair

   CHORUS

   Our children have grown and have
   children of their own
   I hear their voices echo still
   And the old rocking horse sits
   quiet on the porch
   As we listen to the wishful
   whippoorwill

   CHORUS

   Tall grass is growing over the
   master's grave
   But the river keeps rolling on
   And the birds and the bees from
   the blossoms and the trees
   Keep singing this same old song

   CHORUS

   For all that is past is over, you know,
   And the future is but a dream


COPYRIGHT 2004 Sing Out Corporation
COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group
1

Click to Play tune from Sing Out!


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: JennieG
Date: 22 Apr 04 - 02:18 AM

There was a humorous TV ad here a year or 2 back - imagine Olympic Games athletics running track, unknown sprinter from tiny country blitzes everyone else on the track and wins - commentator turns to gofer and says "fetch the tape for the national anthem for Robota" and guess what song comes over the loudspeaker! I can remember the ad but not the product being advertised.
Cheers
JennieG


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Nov 06 - 04:24 PM

The Library of Congress American Memory Collection has this, dated 1852, a bit older than the version posted by Joe Offer. I put the differences in boldface.

Row, Row Your Boat
OR THE
OLD LOG HUT
AS SUNG BY
MASTER ADAMS
OF
KUNKELS NIGHTINGALE OPERA TROUPE
Music by
R. SINCLAIR.
Composer of BEN BOLT etc.


Down by the river our log hut stands,
Where father and mother once dwelt,
And the old door latch that was worn by our hands,
And the church where in prayer we knelt.
Years, years have passed since that happy time,
And the river is rolling along,
And the rippling sound on the mossy bank
Is singing the same old song:

CHORUS: Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream.
All that's past is gone, you know; the future's but a dream.
Row, row, row, your boat, gently down the stream.
All that's past is gone, you know; the future's but a dream.

There stands the tree we used to climb,
And the mill with its rolling din;
And the old wharf boat, there it used to float,
Where the school boys used to swim.
High grass grows on the master's grave
And the river keeps rolling along;
And the birds and the bees, the blossoms, the trees,
Are singing the same old song: CHORUS


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: Max
Date: 11 Nov 11 - 03:23 AM

I'm still working on this now almost 12 years later... here's some translations:

Czech   
Pluj, pluj, loďko pluj
dál po proudu jen
vesele, vesele, vesele, vesele
život je jen sen.

Danish  
Ro, ro, ro din båd
Tag din åre fat
Vuggende, vuggende, vuggende, vuggende
Over Kattegat

Danish
(Drinking version) 
Drik, drik, drik din øl
Ta' ved flasken fast
Hvis du ser en autonom
Så sku du ta og kast

Dutch    
Roei, roei, roei je boot
zachtjes door de stroom
vrolijk, vrolijk, vrolijk, vrolijk
`t leven is maar een droom 

Persian
رو رو با قایق
در مسیر آب
پارو زن شادی کن پارو زن شادی کن
زندگی زیباست     

French  
Rame, rame, rame sur ton bateau
Doucement, dans le courant
Gaiement, gaiement, gaiement, gaiement
La vie n'est qu'un rêve charmant

German
Fahr, fahr, fahr dein Boot
Durch Wasser und durch Schaum
lass dich treiben, treiben, treiben, treiben
Das Leben ist ein Traum.

Greek    
Τράβα το κουπί
σκίσε το νερό
ήρεμα ήρεμα ήρεμα
κύλα στον αφρό

Hungarian           
Szaladj, szaladj csónakom
túl a kis tavon
vígan, vígan, vígan
az élet egy álom

Italian    
Va, va, lenta va
La barchetta va
Passan le ochette, salutano e seguono
Lentamente va     

Korean  
리 리 리자로 끝나는말은
괴나리 보따리 댑싸리 소쿠리 유리항아리        

Latin      
Flumen placide naviga tuum
laetulae laetulae laetulae latulae
vita somnium        

Norwegian           
Ro, ro, ro din båt
Ta din åre fatt
Vuggeti, vuggeti, vuggeti, vuggeti
Over Kattegat       

Spanish
Vamos a pasear
en un botecito
rápido,rápido,rápido,rápido,
en un botecito       

Spanish
(Plaza Sésamo version)      
Rema, rema, rema tu bote
Rema por la calle
Muy felices y contentos
Vamos por el valle

Turkish 
Sür, sür arabanı
Gez sokakları
Neşeli, keyifli, tasasız
Çıkar hayatın tadını              

Polish   
Płyń,płyń,łódko płyń
W dół strumienia hen!
Na,na,na,na,na,na,na,na
Życie jest jak sen

Japanese
陽気に、楽しく、陽気に、陽気に、
そっと通りダウン
tドライブ、ドライブ、あなたの車を運転
人生は御馳走ですが。

Klingon
ro' ro' ro' yIbot
jItlheD Daw' nguSDI'
marI'lI' marI'lI'
marI'lI' marI'lI'
law' veS bang DaghIm

King Friday XIII's version (Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood)
Propel, propel, propel your craft,
Unforcefully down the liquid solution.
Ecstatically, ecstatically, ecstatically, ecstatically,
Existence is merely an illusion.



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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: Max
Date: 11 Nov 11 - 03:50 AM

Here's my take:

Row = The effort you exert on the motion of your life. Don't just float around, go get what you want.

Boat = Your life. It's got a rudder, choose a direction. If you don't grab hold of it, you just go in circles.

Row Your Boat = have a purpose-driven life. What do you want? Yes, it's a tough question, because you actually can have whatever it is.

Gently Down the stream = DOWN stream. go with the flow, be gentle, don't force it, no rush, no race (but there are losers). The Universe loves you and wants you to be happy. It's willing to work with you.

Merrily = HAVE FUN - Take it easy, allow for pleasure, don't be so serious. Relax.

Life is but a dream = Take it literally, yeah just like the sleeping, dreaming, fantastical, make-it-up-yourself, crazy crazy things happening... because it is. Yes, Really. So just don't worry because it turns out the same whether you worry or not. Worry is where all that energy you don't think have to do what you really want to do is going. And the worry is actually worse than what you are worrying about.


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Nov 11 - 03:20 PM

So who was first with that "merrily, merrily," line ?


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: Max
Date: 11 Nov 11 - 04:22 PM

Dr. EverythingIsGoingToBeAllRight aka Buddha


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: Jim McLean
Date: 12 Nov 11 - 03:47 PM

My wife always sings the last couple of lines: ...If you see an alligator, don't forget to scream.


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: Paul Burke
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 07:00 AM

Disharmony repeatedly pusues your vessel-
Brook feathers without violence,
For thrice-enjoyably, existence exists-
Except for one ambition.


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: GUEST,miguel castro
Date: 19 May 14 - 09:23 PM

actually its about how dead people in hell or limbo are in charon( a boat to transport souls ) and life its all a dream because they wish to be alive


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Subject: RE: Origins of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 May 14 - 11:33 PM

. . . Don't forget your life jacket. . . .

Don Firth


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