“A-Rolling Down the River (The Saucy Arabella)”


Shanty. "Arabella set her main top-s'l (x3) ... a rollin' down the river." Verses list a full-rigged ship's sails: "The Arabella set her main gans'l/main royal/main skys'l, etc." Second chorus: "Oh, a pumpkin pudden an' a bulgine pie, aboard the Arabella"


Hugill says the tune is similar to a minstrel song "So Early in the Morning." - SL

Cross references

  • cf. "So Early in the Morning" (tune)


  1. Hugill, pp. 178-179, "A-Rolling Down the River" (1 text, 1 tune) [AbrEd pp. 144-145]
  2. Roud #8343
  3. BI, Hug178


Alternate titles: “The Arabella”; “Shenandoah”; “Dave Crockett”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1961 (Hugill)
Keywords: sailor ship shanty
Found in: US