“The Banks of the Don”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1958 (recording, O. J. Abbott)
Keywords: prison punishment drink humorous nonballad prisoner
Found in: Canada(Ont)


Singer pays sarcastic tribute to the "boarding-house" by the Don: rent and taxes are paid, food is free. Inmates must turn out and work in the stoneyard; knives and forks are counted after meals. To obtain residence, listeners can get publicly drunk


Abbott reported learning the song as a teenager in 1890 from an Irish farmer in the Ottawa valley. - PJS

Historical references

Cross references



  1. Roud #3846
  2. BI, RcTBOTDo