“Roll the Cotton Down”


Shanty. Characteristic line: "Roll the cotton down." The young man (from Alabama) joined the (Black Ball) line (and now looks back and describes the curious doings on a Black Ball vessel)

Cross references


  • Capt. Leighton Robinson w. Alex Barr, Arthur Brodeur & Leighton McKenzie, "Roll the Cotton Down" (AFS 4232 B2, 1939; on LC27, in AMMEM/Cowell)


  1. Doerflinger, pp. 33-34, "Roll the Cotton Down" (3 texts, 1 tune)
  2. Bone, pp. 84-86, "Roll th' Cotton Down" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Colcord, p. 62, "Roll the Cotton Down" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Harlow, pp. 144-145, "Roll the Cotton Down" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Hugill, pp. 152-158, "Roll the Cotton Down," "De Runer Von Hamborg (The Runners of Hamburg)" (9 texts-2 in German, 1 tune. The fifth version is basically "Paddy Works on the Railway," sixth is "A Long Time Ago." In the German versions the characteristic line "roll the cotton down" is frequently replaced with "Oh, come, a beer for me.") [AbEd, pp. 123-126]
  7. Roud #2627
  8. BI, Doe033


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1923
Found in: US(MA)