“Old Uncle Noah”


"Old Uncle Noah built him an ark / He built it out of hemlock bark... The animals went in two by two / The elephant and the kangaroo... Mrs. Noah she got drunk / She kicked old Noah out of his bunk..."

Supplemental text

Old Uncle Noah
  Partial text(s)

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From Mary O. Eddy, Ballads and Songs from Ohio, #75, p. 191.
From Benjamin Bourland, Cleveland, Ohio.

Oh, Uncle Noah built him an ark,
  Hurrah, hurrah!
Oh, Uncle Noah built him an ark,
  Hurrah, hurrah!
Oh, Uncle Noah built him an ark,
He built it out of hemlock bark,
And we all felt gay when Noah went into the ark.

(3 additional stanzas)


The account of Noah and the ark occupies Genesis 6-8. One should perhaps note that, while Genesis 6:20 records that Noah took two of every animal, 7:2 tells Noah to take SEVEN pairs of all clean animals.

The Bible also records that Noah "was the first to plant a vineyard" (Gen. 9:20 -- after the flood, one might note). 9:21 records his first episode of drunkenness -- but there is no record of his wife ever drinking; indeed, she is never mentioned in the Bible except in references to Noah's whole family.

The "Gideon's Band" subfamily (marked by the chorus "Do you belong to Gideon's Band, Here's my heart and here's my hand") is quite distinct and may contain verses not about Noah (as, e.g., in the Buckle Busters recording), but since it seems always to include the Noah's Ark verses also, it can't really be split off. - RBW

Cross references


  • Al Hopkins & His Buckle Busters, "Gideon's Band" (Brunswick 295, 1929; rec. 1928)


  1. Scarborough-NegroFS, p. 181, (no title) (1 text)
  2. BrownIII 544, "Noah's Ark" (2 short texts, both of the "Gideon's Band" type)
  3. Eddy 75, "Old Uncle Noah" (1 text)
  4. Courlander-NFM, pp. 44-45, (no title) (partial text, which may go here or elsewhere); pp. 246-247, "Noah, Noah" (1 tune, partial text, same as the reference on p. 44)
  5. ST E075 (Partial)
  6. Roud #5355
  7. BI, E075


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1925 (Scarborough)
Found in: US(MW,SE)