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Origins: Michael Row the Boat Ashore

DigiTrad:
MICHAEL, ROW THE BOAT ASHORE


Related threads:
Lyr Add: Michael Row de Boat Ashore (1874) (5)
Lyr Req: Michael Row the Boat Ashore (answered) (4)


GUEST,Sheila 18 Feb 01 - 06:32 PM
artbrooks 18 Feb 01 - 07:28 PM
GUEST,Sheila 19 Feb 01 - 12:20 AM
GUEST, WYSIWYG 19 Feb 01 - 12:32 AM
raredance 19 Feb 01 - 12:34 AM
GUEST, WYSIWYG 19 Feb 01 - 12:39 AM
Joe Offer 19 Feb 01 - 01:39 AM
GUEST,Sheila 19 Feb 01 - 09:35 AM
raredance 19 Feb 01 - 10:11 AM
GUEST,Sheila 19 Feb 01 - 10:35 AM
Joe Offer 19 Feb 01 - 03:59 PM
raredance 19 Feb 01 - 04:19 PM
catspaw49 19 Feb 01 - 05:42 PM
Bill D 19 Feb 01 - 06:47 PM
Joe Offer 20 Feb 01 - 01:40 AM
raredance 20 Feb 01 - 07:54 AM
GUEST, Chords try it like this not too fast 06 Jun 10 - 04:01 PM
Stringsinger 07 Jun 10 - 09:40 AM
GUEST 25 Sep 12 - 11:03 AM
GUEST 16 Nov 15 - 12:44 PM
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Subject: Michael Row the Boat Ashore
From: GUEST,Sheila
Date: 18 Feb 01 - 06:32 PM

With Black History Month, this song came up and it was suggested that it was a "code song" in the days of slavery indicating a name (Michael, Sarah, etc.) and the mode of travel. Is this song that old? I associate it with the Weavers and/or Peter, Paul and Mary. Or are they just the performers? Thanks for any input. Sheila


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Subject: RE: Michael Row the Boat Ashore
From: artbrooks
Date: 18 Feb 01 - 07:28 PM

According to "Rise Up Singing", it is a traditional spiritual and was first collected in "Slave Songs of the US" on 1867. Hope that helps.


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Subject: RE: Michael Row the Boat Ashore
From: GUEST,Sheila
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 12:20 AM

Art, thanks a lot. Does the book give any information about it?


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Subject: RE: Michael Row the Boat Ashore
From: GUEST, WYSIWYG
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 12:32 AM

Hi, Sheila.

On the Forum page, up above the the top of the thread list, is a search box labeled "Digitrad and Forum Search." If you enter the song title there, you'll pull up a list of threads from the past that you can click into and see what people said about this song. A couple of them looked really interesting.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Michael Row the Boat Ashore
From: raredance
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 12:34 AM

Indeed Michael can be found in "Slave Songs of the United States" by William Francis Allen, Charles Pickard Ware, and Lucy McKim Garrison. They include two versions with a total of 29 "verses" . W. F. Allen wrote in the introductory text:

"The same songs are used for rowing as for shouting . I know only one pure boat-song, the fine lyric, "Michael row the boat ashore"; and this I have no doubt is a real spiritual - it being the archangel Michael that is addressed... "As I have written these tune," says Mr. Ware, "two measures are to be sung to each stroke,the first being accented by the beginning of the stroke, the second by the rattle of the oars in the row-locks. On the passenger boat at the [Beaufort] ferry, they rowed from sixteen to thirty strokes a minute; twenty-four was the average. Of the tunes I have heard....'Lay this body down', 'Religion so sweet', and 'Michael row', were used when the load was heavy or the tide was against us."

rich r


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Subject: RE: Michael Row the Boat Ashore
From: GUEST, WYSIWYG
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 12:39 AM

... sigh... lovely, Rich.

We do this in church sometimes for our acoustic Saturday night service. I'll tell this next time, and when I autoharp it the rhythm will have shifted a bit I think... thank you, Rich.

~Susan


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Subject: ADD: Michael Row the Boat Ashore^^
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 01:39 AM

I think I have the same book Rich has (I have the Dover edition), but I can't find where he's reading those notes. Clue me in, willya, Rich? Thanks to Mr. Scanner, I have the additional verses.
-Joe Offer-

MICHAEL ROW THE BOAT ASHORE (2)

1 Michael row de boat ashore, Hallelujah!

2 Michael boat a gospel boat...

3 I wonder where my mudder deh (there).

4 See my mudder on de rock gwine home.

5 On de rock gwine home in Jesus' name.

6 Michael boat a music boat.

7 Gabriel blow de trumpet horn.

8 O you mind your boastin' talk.

9 Boastin' talk will sink your soul.

10 Brudder, lend a helpin' hand.

11 Sister, help for trim dat boat.

12 Jordan stream is wide and deep.

13 Jesus stand on t' oder side.

14 I wonder if my maussa deh.

15 My fader gone to unknown land.

16 O de Lord he plant his garden deh.

17 He raise de fruit for you to eat.

18 He dat eat shall neber die.

19 When de riber overflow.

20 O poor sinner, how you land?

21 Riber run and darkness comin'.

22 Sinner row to save your soul.

Words from Hilton Head:

Michael haul the boat ashore.
Then you'll hear the horn they blow.
Then you'll hear the trumpet sound.
Trumpet sound the world around.
Trumpet sound for rich and poor.
Trumpet sound the jubilee.
Trumpet sound for you and me.

Source: "Slave Songs of the United States" (1867, Allen/Ware/Garrison)

@spiritual @sailor
filename[ MICHAEL2
Tune file : MICHAELR
JRO RR
Apr01

^^


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Subject: RE: Michael Row the Boat Ashore
From: GUEST,Sheila
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 09:35 AM

You are all incredible!! Thanks for my enlightenment. Happy President's Day. Sheila


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Subject: RE: Michael Row the Boat Ashore
From: raredance
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 10:11 AM

Joe, try page XVI if your copy follows the page layout of the original. I have the 1929 Peter Smith edition and the 60's Oak publication


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Subject: RE: Michael Row the Boat Ashore
From: GUEST,Sheila
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 10:35 AM

Susan, I did look for that Forum search box, but I keep getting the lyrics. What am I doing wrong or what am I not doing? Thanks. Sheila


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Subject: RE: Michael Row the Boat Ashore
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 03:59 PM

I know what you mean, Sheila. I searched and found too many references to "Michael," but none that gave substantial information. I think what Rich pointed out is the most substantial information I've seen (and now that Rich pointed me to it, I wonder why I couldn't find it on my own). Anybody know where we can findinformation about this song?

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Michael Row the Boat Ashore
From: raredance
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 04:19 PM

Joe you have to remember I'm two time zones ahead of you ;-)

rich r


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Subject: RE: Michael Row the Boat Ashore
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 05:42 PM

This song was addressed from a LOT of different angles including the underground railroad on this thread. Its long and it wanders (typical Mudcat) but really hits some points from the undergound code to sexism.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Michael Row the Boat Ashore
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 06:47 PM

"Michael, row the boat ashore,
Allelujah!
For I fear I've lost my oar..
Allelujah!


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Subject: RE: Michael Row the Boat Ashore
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 01:40 AM

Michael's boat is a sinkin' fast, Hallelujah!
See how fast he climbs that mast. Hallelujah!


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Subject: RE: Michael Row the Boat Ashore
From: raredance
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 07:54 AM

They threw Daniel in the lion's den, Hallelujah
Lion's threw Daniel back out again, Hallelujah

Reason the lion's they do that, Hallelujah
Was 'cause Daniel had no fat Hallelujah

from a Belafonte recording

rich r


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Subject: RE: Michael Row the Boat Ashore
From: GUEST, Chords try it like this not too fast
Date: 06 Jun 10 - 04:01 PM

capo 5(or to your liking) g,c,g,d/f#,am7,d,g,d,g sing somewhere between Pete Seeger and The Brothers Four. Don't bang on the guitar and try to get everyone to join in.


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Subject: RE: Michael Row the Boat Ashore
From: Stringsinger
Date: 07 Jun 10 - 09:40 AM

What's not known about the popularity of the song is that it was arranged and taught to Pete Seeger by Tony Saletan who discovered it in" Slave Songs of the United States".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Michael Row the Boat Ashore
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Sep 12 - 11:03 AM

This was a 1961 number 1 for the Highwaymen, and sung by myself in last years gigs to a warm reception! The words as sung by the Highwaymen were first recorded in 1957 by Bob Gibson and I sing them too.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Michael Row the Boat Ashore
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Nov 15 - 12:44 PM

I have sung and played this song loads of times...I know there are at least two songs to this tune (the other one I know of being 'Come And Praise The Lord Our King) but I would love to know which one came first. I often review songs and I find this website a valuable resource, would love to know any more about the history of Come And Praise.
Thanks :)


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