MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Rollin' River
Tom Cornelly NFLD 2 Tape 23 Track 6
(St. Shott's ?) Audio:
Ballad

Oh l thought l heard our Captain say
Away you rollin river
Oh come my boys and get underway
To cross the Western ocean

Oh the western ocean dark and dreary
Oh the western ocean's a sailor's delight
Aha and we're bound away
For to cross the wild Missouri

Oh every roll our topmast quivers
Away you rollin river
Oh every roll she roIls all under
Aha and we re bound away
For to cross the wild Missouri


Notes


Sources: (All listed as Shenendoah) Hugill from "Shanties for the Seven Seas"; Doerflinger p.77-78; Linscott p.148-150; Colcord p.78-80; Botkin p.560; Emrich p.445-446; Fowke 87; Roud 324. 

History: Doerflinger claims this song originates as a cavalry song called "Wild Mizzourye" (p.173) The oldest verifiable record comes from England in 1906. Other versions are found in Newfoundland, Massachussets, New York & California.

Text: The singer thinks the captain says they are headed across the "dark and dreary" western ocean. He finds out they are headed across the wild Missouri. The top mast quivers when the waves roll against the ship.

All material on this webpage is copyright © 2004, Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive, Memorial University of Newfoundland. No unauthorized copying or use is permitted. For more information, follow this link.