“Who Built the Ark?”


Amalgamation of floating verses about Noah, the ark, the animals, etc.. Noah builds the ark from hickory (hemlock, gopherwood), leads the animals two-by-two. Chorus: "Who built the ark? Noah, Noah," sometimes "The old ark's a movin', a-movin', a movin'"


This shares verses and choruses with so many other Noah songs that it's hard to parse it out, but the distinguishing mark of the "Who built the ark?" chorus is a useful delineator. The Gray-Dilly version, despite the title, is not "The Old Ark's A-Moverin'"; the verses are quite different, and so is the overall tone. As a final note, it's only appropriate that a song about Noah should be composed entirely of floating verses. - PJS

Cross references


  • The Four Wanderers, "Animals Coming In" (Victor 23370, 1932; rec. 1929; on CrowTold01)
  • A. A. Gray & Seven Foot Dilly, "The Old Ark's a-Moving"(Vocalion 5458, 1930; on CrowTold02, Babylon)
  • Norfolk Jubilee Four [or Quartet] "Who Built the Ark?" (OKeh 4400, 1921; Parlophone [Australia] A2062, n.d.)
  • Governor Alf Taylor & his Old Limber Quartet, "Brother Noah Built an Ark" (Victor 19451, 1924)


  1. Scarborough-NegroFS, pp. 222-223, "Norah" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. SharpAp 158, "No-e in the Ark" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Roud #5355
  4. BI, RcWBTA


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1917 (Cecil Sharp collection)
Found in: US(Ap)