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Originating in the late 19th century, and collected in the Lomax text American Ballads and Folksongs in 1934, this tune was popularized by Pete Seeger. The Lomax brothers reportedly recorded it from a woman whose name is only given as "Dink".

Though the original shares a few common folk song tropes with other period pieces, it appears to be a separate original work rather than a derived variation.

Lyrics

These lyrics are based on the version performed by the Longest Johns in their livestreams, the original lyrics can be found here.

If I had wings like Noah's dove
I'd fly up the river to the one I love

{Chorus}
Fare thee well, oh honey, fare thee well

I had a man who was long and tall
He moved his body like a cannon ball

{Chorus}

I remember one evening, in the pouring rain,
In my heart was an aching pain

{Chorus}

So sure as a bird, flying high above
Life ain't worth living without the one you love

{Chorus til finish}


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