“The Donkey”


The singer's donkey is smart but, best of all, he is fast. The singer races him in the Derby. "The signal it was given me boys and off the horses flew." His donkey is "the last one out but the first one in"


Why do I get the feeling this isn't really about a donkey? - RBW

Rabbett's version on USBallinsloeFair, as well as Upton's on Voice14, and the Bodleian broadsides, name the donkey "Jerusalem Cuckoo." Yates, Musical Traditions site _Voice of the People suite_ "Notes - Volume 14" - 8.9.02 notes that "Jerusalem" is cockney rhyming slang for "donkey": Jerusalem artichoke = moke = donkey. - BS


  • Bodleian, Firth c.26(204), "Jerusalem Cuckoo" ("I am a donkey driver, I'm the best that's in the line"), unknown, n.d.; also Firth c.26(296), "Jerusalem Cuckoo"


  • Murty Rabbett and Dan Sullivan, "The Donkey" (on USBallinsloeFair)\
  • Harry Upton, "I Am a Donkey Driver" (on Voice14)


  1. Roud #1147
  2. BI, RcThDonk


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1929 (for USBallinsloeFair, according to site irishtune.info, Irish Traditional Music Tune Index: Alan Ng's Tunography, ref. Ng #2616)
Keywords: pride racing animal
Found in: Britain(England(Lond))