“Rio Grande”


Shanty. Characteristic line: "[Heave] away, Rio... And we're bound for the Rio Grande." Most versions revolve about a sailor preparing to leave port, and the girl (or girls) he is about to leave behind (with or without regret)


The "Rio Grande" of this song is almost certainly not the river of southwestern North America, but rather the province Rio Grande do Sul of southern Brazil. - RBW


  • Almanac Singers, "Away, Rio" (General 5017A, 1941; on Almanac02, Almanac03, AlmanacCD1)
  • Fishermen's Group, Cadgwith, "Rio Grande" (on LastDays)
  • Joseph Hyson, "Rio Grande" (on NovaScotia1)
  • Minster Singers, "Rio Grande" [medley w. "Blow the Man Down"] (Victor 61148, n.d.; prob. c. 1903)
  • Capt. Leighton Robinson w. Alex Barr, Arthur Brodeur & Leighton McKenzie, "Away Rio" (AFS 4232 A, 1939; on LC27 as "Rio Grande"; in AMMEM/Cowell)


  1. Doerflinger, pp. 64-66, "Rio Grande" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
  2. Bone, pp. 114-115, "The Rio Grande" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Colcord, pp. 86-87, "Rio Grande" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Harlow, pp. 111-112, "Rio Grande" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Hugill, pp. 87-96, "Rio Grande" (8 texts plus several fragments, 2 tunes; the 5th text is a Norwegian version, "Opsang for 'Preciosa'") [AbEd, pp. 80-87]
  6. Sharp-EFC, XXI, p.24, "Rio Grand" (1 text, 1 tune)
  7. Linscott, pp. 146-148, "Rio Grande" (1 short text, 1 tune)
  8. Shay-SeaSongs, pp. 21-23, "Away, Rio!" (1 text, 1 tune)
  9. Lomax-ABFS, pp. 488-489, "The Rio Grande" (1 text+floating verses, 1 tune)
  10. Smith/Hatt, p. 20, "Bound to Rio" (1 text)
  11. Mackenzie 104, "The Rio Grande" (2 texts, 2 tunes); "I'm Bound For the Rio Grande" (1 text, 1 tune)
  12. Silber-FSWB, p. 93, "Rio Grande" (1 text)
  14. ADDITIONAL: Captain John Robinson, "Songs of the Chantey Man," a series published July-August 1917 in the periodical _The Bellman_ (Minneapolis, MN, 1906-1919). "Rio Grande" is in Part 2, 7/21/1917.
  15. Roud #317
  16. BI, Doe064


Alternate titles: “Away for Rio,”; “Bound for the Rio Grande”; “Oh, Aye, Rio”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1906
Keywords: shanty sailor parting
Found in: US(MA,NE) Canada(Mar) Britain(England)