Mudcat Café message #2665649 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #13562   Message #2665649
Posted By: Joe Offer
26-Jun-09 - 08:48 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Row On [original versions]
Subject: DT Correction: Row On
Until Jim Dixon posted the 1844 lyrics above, I had thought the only source of this song was Songs the Whalemen Sang, a book by Gale Huntington that was published in 1964. All the versions of the song posted here are slightly different from what's in the book, so I thought I'd post the lyrics that are in Huntington's book. The first line of the DT version should be corrected - it says "Row on, row no," and it transposes the date of the song. Otherwise, the DT version is an accurate transcription from the Huntington book - but the version Jim posted is earlier than Huntington's, and makes more sense.

ROW ON

Row on, row on, another day
May shine with brighter light;
Ply, ply the oars and pull away,
Thou must not come tonight.

Clouds are upon the summer sky,
There's thunder on the wind;
Pull on, pull on, and homeward hie,
Nor give one look behind.

Bear where thou goest the words of love,
Say all that words can say.
Changeless affections strength to prove,
But speed upon the way.

Oh, like yon river would I glide
To where my heart would be.
My barque should soon outsail the tide
That hurries to the sea.

But yet a star shines constant still
Through yonder cloudy sky;
And hope as bright my bosom stills
From faith that can not die.

Row on, row on, God speed the way,
Thou must not linger here;
Storms hang about the closing day,
Tomorrow may be clear.

Words from the log of the ship, Three Brothers, 1846
Set to music by Tim Laycock, England

often sung with this chorus:
   Row on, row on, another day
   May shine with brighter light;
   Ply, ply the oars and pull away,
   There's dawn beyond the night.

From Songs the Whalemen Sang, by Gale Huntington (1964), page 290.
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Filename[ ROWON
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(transcription verified)