“Cold Water Song”


"I asked a sweet robin one evening in May" what he sang about. "I am only a-singing the cold water song. Teetotal's the very first word of my lay ... All the birds to the cold water army belong"

Supplemental text

Cold Water Song
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Helen Creighton, Folksongs from Southern New Brunswick,
#78, pp. 166-168. Collected from Scott Stuart, St. Andrews, N.B.

I asked a sweet robin one evening in May
That sang in the apple trees over the way
What he was a-singing so sweetly about,
I tried a long time but I could not find out.
"Don't you know," she replied, "that you cannot guess wrong?
I am only a-singing the cold water song."

(2 additional stanzas)


Creighton-SNewBrunswick states that this song has been collected twice in the Maritimes as a lullaby, which is an interesting end for an anti-alcohol song. Creighton thinks it comes from Britain. - BS


  1. Creighton-SNewBrunswick 82, "Cold Water Song" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. ST CrSNB082 (Partial)
  3. Roud #2767
  4. BI, CrSNB082


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1960 (Creighton-SNewBrunswick)
Keywords: drink lullaby bird
Found in: Canada(Mar)