Donkey Riding

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DONKEY RIDING. AKA and see "Bonny Laddie," "Highland Laddie," "High Caul Cap," "High Caul'd Cap," "Lass of Livingston," "Lass of Leving-stone (The)." English; Air, March, Polka, Country Dance tune (4/4 time). A Major (Welling): G Major (Wade). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (Welling): AB (Wade). The melody has wide dissemination throughout North America, Ireland and Britain, although its roots appear to be as a Scottish march of some antiquity. The "Donkey Riding" title comes from the chorus of a sea chanty set to the melody:

Hey ho, and away we go,
Donkey riding, donkey riding;
Hey ho, and away we go,
Riding on a donkey.

'Donkey riding' has been said to refer to the use of a 'donkey', a steam-powered donkey engine used to help hoist cargo and supplies from the dock to the ship's hold. The single-cylinder donkey engine was invented in 1881 and was quickly employed for a host of tasks, including logging. A plausible explanation for the title, but one not confirmed.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Wade (Mally's North West Morris Book), 1988; p. 20. Welling (Welling's Hartford Tune Book), 1976; p. 8.

Recorded sources: See also listing at Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index [1].

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