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Gum Tree Canoe

 

About Gum Tree Canoe

Gum Tree Canoe was published in 1847 in the book Plantation Melodies. The song is part of the blackface minstrel tradition in which performers (generally white) sang and danced in purported imitation of the music and dances of African Americans. The cover of the book indicates "Words by S.S. Steele, Esq. as sung by A.F. Winnemore and his band of Virginia Serenaders; Arranged for the Piano Forte by A. F. Winnemore."

Lyrics to Gum Tree Canoe

Gum Tree Canoe

chorus:

Singing row away, row o'er the waters so blue
Like a feather we'll float in my Gum Tree Canoe
Singing row away, row o'er the waters so blue
Like a feather we'll float in my Gum Tree Canoe

verses:

On the Tombigbee river so bright I was born
In a hut made of husks of the tall yellow corn
It was there I first met with my Julia so true
And I rowed her about in my Gum Tree Canoe

(chorus)

All day in the fields of soft cotton I'd hoe
I think of my Julia and sing as I go
Oh, I catch her a bird with a wing of true blue
And at night sail her ‘round in my Gum Tree Canoe

(chorus)

With my hands on the banjo and toe on the oar
I sing to the sound of the river's soft roar
While the stars they look down on my Julia so true
And dance in her eyes in my Gum Tree Canoe

(chorus)

One night the stream bore us so far away
That we couldn't come back, so we thought we'd just stay
Oh, we spied a tall ship with a flag of true blue
And it took us in tow in our Gum Tree Canoe

(chorus)

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