Interesting Facts about Roll The Cotton Down (A)
A very popular halyard shanty “Roll the cotton down” including Roll The Cotton Down (A) opens a big family of the shanties, which Stan Hugill describes as the shanty with the word ‘Roll’. As a matter of fact, it vies with ‘blow’ and ‘Hilo’ as the most popular word in a sailor’s work song. At Tops’l halyard, it was a hardy perennial, although it suited t’gallant halyards it was a hardy perennial, although it suited t’gallant halyards even more so, being of a fairly lively march time.
This version is a “Negro” theme version.
The source of this sea shanty
The music: “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed p 154 ).
The lyrics: “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed p 152, 153 ).
The Record of the Roll The Cotton Down (A)
You also can find this record on my YouTube channel here or directly listen below. Additionally, if you want to share your opinion about the record or share your opinion you can do it in my Facebook forum here, or leave a comment at the bottom of this blog article.
The musical notation
The full lyrics
Roll The Cotton Down (A)
Oooh, roll the cotton down, me boys,
– R0LL the cotton DOWN!
Oh, roll the cotton down, me boys,
– Oh, R0LL the cotton DOWN!
* 2 *
I,m goin’ down to Alabam,
To roll the cotton down, me boys,
* 3 *
When I lived down south in Tennessee,
My old Massa, oh, he said to me.
* 4 *
Oh, the slaver works for the white man boss,
He’s the one who rides on the big white hoss.
* 5 *
If the sun don’ shine, then the hens don’lay,
If the slaver won’t work, then the boss won’t pay.
* 6 *
Away down south where I was born,
I worked in the cotton and the corn.
* 7 *
Oh the slaver works the whole day long,
The Camptown ladies sing this song.
* 8 *
When I was young before the war,
Times were gay on the Mississippi shore.
* 9 *
When work was over at the close of day,
‘Tis then you’d hear the banjo play.
* 10 *
While the darkies would sit around the door,
And the piccanninies played upon the floor.
* 11 *
But since the war there’s been a change,
To the darkey everything seems strange.
* 12 *
No more you’ll hear the banjo play,
For the good ol’ times have passed away.
* 13 *
And now we’re off to New Orleans,
To that land of Slaver Queens
* 14 *
Oh, in Alabama where I was born
A-screwin cotton of a summer’s morn.