Who Built the Ark?
DESCRIPTION: Amalgamation of floating verses about Noah, the ark, the animals, etc.. Noah builds the ark from hickory (hemlock, gopherwood), leads the animals two-by-two. Chorus: "Who built the ark? Noah, Noah," sometimes "The old ark's a movin', a-movin', a movin'"
EARLIEST DATE: 1893 (Edwards)
KEYWORDS: travel sea ship flood Bible religious floatingverses humorous gods
FOUND IN: US(Ap) West Indies(Bahamas)
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Scarborough-NegroFS, pp. 222-223, "Norah" (1 text, 1 tune)
SharpAp 158, "No-e in the Ark" (1 text, 1 tune)
Edwards 6, "Who Built De Ark?" (1 text, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: Harold Courlander, _A Treasury of Afro-American Folklore_, Crown Publishers, 1976, p. 309, "(no title)" (1 text)
The Four Wanderers, "Animals Coming In" (Victor 23370, 1932; rec. 1929; on CrowTold01)
A. A. Gray & Seven Foot Dilly, "The Old Ark's a-Moving"(Vocalion 5458, 1930; on CrowTold02, Babylon)
Norfolk Jubilee Four [or Quartet] "Who Built the Ark?" (OKeh 4400, 1921; Parlophone [Australia] A2062, n.d.)
Governor Alf Taylor & his Old Limber Quartet, "Brother Noah Built an Ark" (Victor 19451, 1924)
cf. "Old Uncle Noah" (subject)
cf. "One More River to Cross" (floating lyrics)
cf. "The Old Ark's A-Moverin'" (floating lyrics)
NOTES: This shares verses and choruses with so many other Noah songs that it's hard to parse it out, but the distinguishing mark of the "Who built the ark?" chorus is a useful delineator. The Gray-Dilly version, despite the title, is not "The Old Ark's A-Moverin'"; the verses are quite different, and so is the overall tone. As a final note, it's only appropriate that a song about Noah should be composed entirely of floating verses. - PJS
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