“De Boatman Dance”

Author: Daniel Decatur Emmett
Earliest date: 1843 (copyright)
Keywords: dancing river minstrel ship sailor
Found in: US(SE)


A minstrel song about a boatman's life, observing that there is no one like a boatman. "O dance, de boatman, dance all night 'till broad daylight, And go home wid de gals in de morning. Hi, ho, de boatman row, Floating down de ribber on de Ohio"

Cross references



  1. Hugill, pp. 492-493, "Dance the Boatman" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. BrownIII 223, "Hi You Boat Row" (1 fragment)
  3. Botkin-MRFolklr, p. 566, "De Boatman Dance" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Silber-FSWB, p. 39, "Boatman's Dance" (1 text)
  6. ADDITIONAL: Captain John Robinson, "Songs of the Chantey Man," a series published July-August 1917 in the periodical _The Bellman_ (Minneapolis, MN, 1906-1919). "Dance the Boatman Dance" is in Part 1, 7/14/1917.
  7. Roud #5898
  8. BI, BMRF566