Donkey Riding

(Traditional Sea Chantey)
Arranged by William Hunt
Voicing: TTBB a cappella
Catalog number: AMP 0656
Price: $1.80

DONKEY RIDING
Arranged by William Hunt

“Donkey Riding,” a traditional work song, was sung by sailors of Celtic and English origin as they loaded timber on the decks of ships in the Canadian harbors of Québec and Miramichi.

When loaded, the ships sailed away to London, England; Fortune Bay in Newfoundland; or even around the Cape Horn of South America.

“Riding the Donkey” refers to sailors' work on the ship's deck using a donkey engine.

A donkey engine is a single-cylinder steam engine invented in 1881, which revolutionized logging and the loading of ships. The donkey engine was first used in the forests of California but was soon used widely in loading ships for transport.

In singing “Donkey Riding,” use a heavy, swinging beat and a natural, robust vocal sound. The whispered quarter-note rhythms imitate the sound of the steam-powered, single-cylinder donkey engine.

Keep tempo steady and the singing robust!

recording performed by Men's Chorus of Northwestern State University
Michael Rorex, Director
Natchitoches, LA

Click here to see a sample.

Click here to listen to a recording (MP3).



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