Robert T. Hutchison SA1974.12.3
A song once well known in many parts of the central and southern USA (see Roud index no. 759) and even in the island of Tristan da Cunha. A few verses were published in a broadsheet priced one penny by William Shepherd at The Poet’s Box, 182 The Overgate, Dundee (see the National Library of Scotland’s site for this. Roud Index no. 759.
Robbie got this from his uncle Peter who had learned it while somewhere in American waters. The Tombigbee river is a large navigable river flowing through the south-east of the USA merging with the Mobile River to flow into the Gulf of Mexico.
Oh ‘twas on the Bigbee river that’s where I was born,
In an old fashioned cottage thatched with sheafs of white corn;
It was there that I met in with my Julia so true
As we flowed down the river in my gum-tree canoe.
Chorus : For we’ll row, yes we’ll row o’er the waters so blue,
Like a feather we will float in my gum-tree canoe.
One day as we sailed down the river so wide,
We floated so far we got caught by the tide;
Till we sighted a sea-boat flying colours of blue,
And she took me in tow in my gum-tree canoe.
Chorus. Oh we’ll row,…
With her hand on her banjo and mine on me oar,
I’ll sing to my Juliet while the stormy winds blow,
I’ll sing to my Juliet, my sweetheart so true
As we flow down the river in my gum-tree canoe.
Chorus. For we’ll row…
An’ now that we’re landed an safe on the shore
I’ll ne’er go to sea in my canoe any more,
But I’ll sit by the side of my Juliet so true
And we’ll talk of our adventures in our gum-tree canoe.
Chorus: For we’ll row,