“Sail Away Ladies”


Dance tune with floating verses: "Ever I get my new house done/Sail away, ladies, sail away/Give the old one to my son/Sail away...." "Don't you worry, don't you cry... You'll be angels by and by" Etc. "Chorus: "Don't'ye rock 'em, di-de-o (x3 or x4)".

Long description

Dance tune with floating verses, and some that should be: "Ever I get my new house done/Sail away, ladies, sail away/Give the old one to my son/Sail away, ladies, sail away"; "Children, Don't You Grieve and Cry/You're gonna be angels by and by"; "Come along, girls and go with me/We'll go back to Tennessee". Chorus: "Don't'ye rock 'em, di-de-o (3-4x)". "Sail away, ladies, sail away" is the verse refrain.


This started out as a fiddle tune, to which Uncle Dave [Macon] added his own unique brand of nonsense--some original, some floating verses. -PJS

Not to be confused with the song sung by W.C. Handy: "Sail away, ladies, sail away; Sail away, ladies, sail away. Never mind what de sisters say, Just shake your Dolly Varden and sail away." - RBW

Cross references


  • Henry L. Bandy, "Sail Away Ladies" (Gennett test pressing GEx14361, 1928; unissued; on KMM)
  • Logan English, "Old Doc Jones" (on LEnglish01)
  • Uncle Dave Macon & his Fruit Jar Drinkers, "Sail Away Ladies" (Vocalion 5155, 1927; on TimesAint02)
  • New Lost City Ramblers, "Sail Away, Ladies" (on NLCR05)
  • Parker & Dodd "Sail Away Lady" (Banner 32817/Melotone 12745/Romeo 5250, 1933)
  • Uncle Bunt Stephens, "Sail Away Ladies" [instrumental version] (Columbia 15071-D, 1926; on AAFM2)


  1. Cohen/Seeger/Wood, p. 203, "Sail Away Ladies" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Darling-NAS, p. 251, "Sail Away Ladies" (1 text)
  3. MWheeler, p. 15-16, "Oh, When I Git My New House Done" (1 text, 1 tune -- a fragment with no chorus but verses similar to this)
  4. Silber-FSWB, p. 42, "Sail Away Ladies" (1 text)
  6. BI, CSW203


Author: Words assembled by Uncle Dave Macon
Earliest date: 1926 (recording, Uncle Bunt Stephens)
Found in: US(SE,So)