Gum Tree Canoe, The

DESCRIPTION: "On Tom Big Bee river so bright I was born In a hut made of husks of the tall yellow corn, And there I first met with my Julia so true And I rowed her about in my gum tree canoe." The singer describes his work -- and the happy times courting in the canoe
AUTHOR: S.S. Steele ?
EARLIEST DATE: 1847 (broadside, LOCSheet sm1847 420770)
KEYWORDS: courting home love river
FOUND IN: US(MA,Ro,SE,So) Australia
REFERENCES (11 citations):
Thompson-Pioneer 69, "My Gum Tree Canoe" (1 text)
Randolph 787, "The Gum Tree Canoe" (1 text)
BrownIII 269, "The Gumtree Canoe" (1 short text plus a fragment)
Hubbard, #69, "My Gum Tree Canoe" (1 text)
Hugill, p. 473, "The Gumtree Canoe" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fahey-Eureka, pp. 172-173, "The Gumtree Canoe" (1 text, 1 tune)
Paterson/Fahey/Seal, pp. 168-170, "The Gumtree Canoe" (1 text)
Browne 34, "On the Tombigbee River So Bright" (1 text plus a part of the S. S. Steel version)
cf. Gardner/Chickering, p. 481, "My Gum Tree Canoe" (source notes only)
ADDITIONAL: Henry Randall Waite, _Carmina Collegensia: A Complete Collection of the Songs of the American Colleges_ first edition 1868, expanded edition, Oliver Ditson, 1876, p. 21, "Tom-big-bee River" (1 text. 1 tune)

Roud #759
LOCSheet, sm1847 420770, "The Gum Tree Canoe," G. P. Reed (Boston), 1847; also sm1885 18094, "The Gum Tree Canoe" (tune) [both attribute words to S.S. Steele and music to A.F. Winnemore]
LOCSinging, as104990, "The Gum Tree Canoe," J. Andrews (New York), 1853-1859; also as104980, as105000, as201240, "The Gum Tree Canoe"
NLScotland, RB.m.143(143), "The Gum-Tree Canoe," Poet's Box (Dundee), c.1890

cf. "The Indian Hunter" (theme)
cf. "Give Me a Hut" (tune)
Our Gallant Yankee Boys! ("From the banks of the Potomac, our army so grand") (WolfAmericanSongSheets p. 120)
Hurrah for Jeff. Davis ("Our country now calls, we'll up and away") (WolfAmericanSongSheets, p. 190)
On Tom Big Bee River
The Tombigbee River
NOTES [99 words]: The 1847 sheet music credits this to S. S. Steele, an attribution accepted by Patterson/Fahey/Seal -- but we all know that such attributions were less than utterly reliable. It is reported to have been sung by "A.F. WINNEMORE and his band of VIRGINIA SERENADERS." It does seem likely that the song did originate with this group; the earliest outside collection that I know of comes from 1909. - RBW
Broadside LOCSinging as104990: J. Andrews dating per Studying Nineteenth-Century Popular Song by Paul Charosh in American Music, Winter 1997, Vol 15.4, Table 1, available at FindArticles site. - BS
Last updated in version 4.3
File: R787

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