Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Row, row, row your boat
Rowboats come in many sizes

Play Row, Row, Row Your Boat on our online piano.

It is a favorite nursery rhyme and popular child’s song that may have originally been sung by American minstrels. It was usually sung in “round” form, where one voice enters at a staggered interval from the first one.

The most common children’s version is:

Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.

The first sheet music of Row, Row, Row Your Boat dates from 1852. The lyrics were published but with a very different melody. The modern tune was first recorded with the lyrics in 1881, mentioning Eliphalet Oram Lyte but not specifying if he was the composer or adapter, or both.

People often add alternate verses, either extending the song or parodying it. Versions include:

Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream.
If you see an alligator,
Don’t forget to scream.

Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream.
Throw your teacher overboard
And listen to her scream.

Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream.
Ha ha, fooled ya,
I’m a submarine.

You’ll find the complete ROW YOUR BOAT in our book THE BIG BOOK OF SONGS.

  Big Book of Songs Book By Mail


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The asterix (*) is used to denote space or silence in the music, but beginners may ignore the asterix.


| 1 * * | 1 * * | 1 * 2 | 3 * *|

| 3 * 2 |3 * 4 | 5 * * | * * *|

|8 8 8 | 5 5 5 | 3 3 3 | 1 1 1 |

| 5 * 4 | 3 * 2 | 1 * * |


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