“Christopher Columbo”

Author: A (clean) version was copyrighted by Francis J. Bryant
Earliest date: 1893 and the Columbian Exposition in Chicago
Keywords: bawdy sex humorous whore exploration
Found in: Australia Canada US(MW,Ro,So,SW)


Columbo, that navigating, masturbating son-of-a-bitch, sails the world round-o, master and crew engaging in a variety of sexual practices on land and sea.


This song frequently borrows verses -- identifiable by their internal rhyme in the third line or "limerick form" -- from "The Good Ship Venus."

This would not pass muster as a history of Christopher Columbus' voyage of 1492. - EC

A distinct understatement.

Incidentally, it is not clear whether this was originally clean or dirty. The 1893 date cited above is for a clean version, of which John Garst writes, "We all know 'Christofo Columbo' as a bawdy ballad, but in the Robert W. Gordon papers at the University of Oregon there is a 'clean' version, 'Written and Composed by Francis J. Bryant,' 'Copyright, 1893, by M. Witmark and Sons. Entered at Stationers' Hall, London.... If you wonder how the chorus could be 'clean,' here it is:

He knew the earth was round, ho! that land it could be found, ho!

The geographic, hard and hoary navigator, gyratory Christofo Columbo."

Shay's clean version has the chorus

Oh, Christofo Columbo,

He thought the world was round-o;

That pioneering, buccaneering,

Son-of-a-gun, Columbo! - RBW

Cross references



  1. Harlow, pp. 55-58, "Christopher Columbus" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Cray, pp. 308-315, "Christopher Columbo" (3 texts, 1 tune)
  3. Randolph-Legman I, pp. 502-505, "Christopher Columbo" (2 texts, 1 tune)
  4. Shay-SeaSongs, pp. 207-212, "Christofo Columbo" (1 text, 1 tune)
  6. Roud #4843
  7. BI, EM308