lyrics text

Donkey Riding

Trad.
With additional lyrics by Richard Ridley

Was you ever in Quebec
Launchin' timber on the deck
Where ya break yer bleedin' neck
Riding on a donkey!
Was you ever 'round Cape Horn
Where the weather's never warm
You wish to God you'd never been born
Riding on a donkey

Chorus
Way hey and away we go
Donkey riding, donkey riding
Way hey and away we go
Riding on a donkey.
Way hey and away we go
Donkey riding, donkey riding
Way hey and away we go
Riding on a donkey

Was you ever in Miramichi
Was you tied up to a tree,
Did all the girls sit on your knee
Riding on a donkey
Was you ever in Runswick Bay
Where the girls will play all day
They’ll take your hard earned cash away
Riding on a donkey

Chorus

Was you ever in Vallipo
Where the girls put on a show
Wriggle their bums with a roll and go
Riding on a donkey.
Was you ever in Call-ee-o
Where the girls are never slow
Slap their cheeks and make them glow
Riding on a donkey

Chorus

Was you ever in Whitley Bay
See the girls all shout, "Hooray!"
Here comes dad with ten weeks’ pay
Riding on a donkey
Was you ever in Scarborough Town
See the girls in linen gowns
They’ll lift them up for half a crown
Riding on a donkey

Chorus

Donkey Riding is a traditional Canadian sea shanty. The "donkey" is a reference to the steam donkey, a general-purpose steam engine. The sailors would complain that the shipping companies would not buy the new donkeys, so they had to do the donkey work themselves.

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