“Rosin the Beau”


"Old Rosin," who has travelled the whole country/world, is preparing to depart from this life. He hopes that future generations will emulate him, and asks to be remembered (usually with alcohol). Details vary widely


Although this song is only moderately popular, and has been heavily folk processed, songs which have borrowed its tune were very common, particularly in the nineteenth century (see, e.g. "Acres of Clams," "Lincoln and Liberty").

Cohen cites Dichter and Shapiro to the effect that sheet music of this song (author not listed) was published in 1838. Whether this is actually the origin of the song (especially the tune) is not clear. - RBW

Broadside LOCSinging as110360: J. Andrews dating per _Studying Nineteenth-Century Popular Song_ by Paul Charosh in American Music, Winter 1997, Vol 15.4, Table 1, available at FindArticles site. - BS

Same tune

  • Acres of Clams (The Old Settler's Song) (File: LxU055)
  • Lincoln and Liberty (File: San167)
  • Sherman's March to the Sea (File: SBoA248)
  • Just Tread on the Tail of Me Coat (File: R474)
  • The Mill-Boy of the Slashes (Spaeth-ReadWeep, pp. 39-40; cf. "Henry Clay Songs," File: SRW039)
  • Old Hal o' the West (Spaeth-ReadWeep, pp. 39-40; cf. "Henry Clay Songs," File: SRW039)
  • Straight-Out Democrat (File: SRW043)
  • The Men of the West (File: PGa030)
  • A Hayseed Like Me (File: Grnw060)
  • Tippecanoe (File: Br3397)
  • He's the Man for Me (File: RcHtMfM)

Cross references


  • LOCSinging, as110360, "Old Rosin the Beau," J. Andrews (New York), 1853-1859; also sb40517a, "Old Rosin the Beau"


  • The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, "Rosin the Bow" (on IRClancyMakem01)


  1. Belden, pp. 255-258, "Old Rosin the Beau" (2 texts)
  2. Randolph 846, "Old Rosin the Bow" (2 short texts plus a fragment, 2 tunes)
  3. Randolph/Cohen, pp. 386-387, "Old Rosin the Bow" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 846A)
  4. Warner 159, "Old Rosin the Beau" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. BrownIII 32, "Old Rosin the Beau" (1 text)
  6. Chappell-FSRA 64, "Old Rosin the Beau" (1 text)
  7. Hudson 77, pp. 203-205, "Rosin the Bow" (2 texts)
  8. RJackson-19CPop, pp. 171-175, "Old Rosin the Beau" (1 text, 1 tune)
  9. Fife-Cowboy/West 5, "Old Rosin the Beau" (1 text, 1 tune)
  10. Kennedy 281, "Rosin, the Beau" (1 text, 1 tune)
  11. SHenry H698, p. 51, "Old Rosin the Bow" (1 text, 1 tune)
  12. Spaeth-ReadWeep, pp. 37-39, "Old Rosin, the Beau" (1 text, 1 tune)
  13. LPound-ABS, 100, pp.209-211, "Rosin the Bow" (1 text)
  14. Silber-FSWB, p. 202, "Old Rosin The Beau" (1 text)
  16. Roud #1192
  17. BI, R846


Author: unknown
Earliest date: before 1860 (broadside, LOCSinging as110360)
Keywords: drink death party burial
Found in: Britain(England(South),Scotland(Aber)) US(MA,Ro,SE,So,SW) Ireland