I'll Build Me a Boat
DESCRIPTION: "I'll make me a boat and I'll down the river float... I'll see Mona, fair Mona, pretty Mona I'll see." Using his shirt for a sail, he arrives at Mona's -- but her four brothers break in, kill him, and throw him in the sea. She throws herself in after him
EARLIEST DATE: 1952 (Brown)
KEYWORDS: homicide brother ship river love courting suicide drowning sea
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
BrownIII 499, "Raise a Ruckus Tonight" (4 texts, of which "A" is this piece)
cf. "Raise a Ruckus" (lyrics)
NOTES: The editors of Brown, seemingly followed by Roud, threw this in with "Raise a Ruckus Tonight" because it contains that key line, and other hints (e.g. the girl's name Mona) that it is related to that song.
Related, but assuredly not a version. The overwhelming majority of the text is a murder ballad -- and, by the looks of it, a very old and possibly very good one that somehow was mixed up with "Raise a Ruckus." Unfortunately, it's short enough that it can't be identified by its lyrics -- and the plot doesn't exactly match any others I know. The murderous brothers are common -- but throwing the body in the sea certainly isn't, and the use of a shirt for a sail is most intriguing. - RBW
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