“Hilo, Boys, Hilo”


Halyard shanty. "The blackbird sang unto the crow, Ch: Hi-lo boys Hi-lo! I'll soon be takin' you in tow, Ch: Oh! Hilo somebody below." Other verses have the birds talking to each other or to the crew.


Both [of Hugill's] versions are of Negro origin and likely began as cotton-hoosier's songs. - SL

Several verses, indeed, appear to be derived from "The Crow Song (I)." One suspects that this is an adaption of that for use at sea -- or perhaps the reverse. - RBW

Same tune

  • Shallow Brown (II) (File: Hugi257)

Cross references


  1. Hugill, pp. 254-255, "Hilo, Boys, Hilo," "Hilo, Come Down Below" (2 texts, 2 tunes) [AbEd, pp. 185-186]
  2. Roud #8291
  3. BI, Hugi254


Alternate titles: “Hilo Somebody Below”; “Hilo Somebody Hilo”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1961 (Hugill)
Keywords: shanty worksong bird
Found in: US