“I'll Fire Dis Trip”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1952 (Brown); possibly first printed 1850 (see Notes)
Keywords: ship work fire
Found in: US(SE)


"I'll fire dis trip an' I'll fire no mo', fire down below! (x2)" "Miss Nancy Bell, I wish you well, fire down below! (x2)" "De bullies' boy is Uncle Gable, fire down below! Bring on day wood while you be's able! Fire down below."


Hugill suggests that this may be the original Negro song from which the tune of the verses of both "Ho for California" and "Camptown Races" stemmed. He found it in Sternvall's _Sang under Segel_ (1935) where the author cites a book called _Nigger Melodies, being the only entire and complete work of Ethiopian songs extant;_ Cornish Lamport & Co., NY, 1850. I found references to the book in WorldCat and other indexes, but haven't actually laid eyes on it. - SL


  1. BrownIII 222, "I'll Fire Dis Trip" (1 text)
  2. Hugill, p. 115, "The Sailor Fireman" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. BI, Br3222