Poor Old Robinson Crusoe

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POOR OLD ROBINSON CRUSOE. AKA and see "Poor Old Soldier," "Old Soldier (1) (The)," "Rogue's March (1) (The)." American, Dance and Song Tune (6/8 time). E Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. Once a song air but the melody is now better-known as "The Rogue's March," which has, since 1750, been the regulation drumming-out tune for offenders from the British army. It was imported to the Americas for the same use. "Poor Old Robinson Crusoe" has also had substantial longevity as a children's song and nursery rhyme:

Poor old Robinson Crusoe was lost,
On an island they say, O,
He stole him a coat from an old billy-goat,
I don't see how he could do so.

A song, "Robinson Crusoe," used the same melody but had different words. It was printed in The Juvenile Miscellany; or, Friend of Youth (Boston, 1834) which purported to be a work of 'Christian literature for children'. The first two stanzas of that song went:

Robinson Crusoe and His Man Friday, by John Charles Dollman

When I was a lad, I had cause to be sad,
My grandfather I did lose, O!
I'll bet you a can, you've heard of a man,
Whose name it was Robinson Crusoe.
Poor old Robinson Crusoe!
Poor old Robinson Crusoe!
I'll bet you a can, you've heard of a man,
Whose name it was Robinson Crusoe.

You've read in a book of the voyage that he took--
The raging winds they blew so,
The ship, with a shock, struck plump on a rock,
Near drowned poor Robinson Crusoe.
Poor old Robinson Crusoe!
Unluckly old Robinson Crusoe!
The ship, with a shock, struck plump on a rock,
Near drowned poor Robinson Crusoe.


Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Ford (Traditional Music in America), 1940; p. 79 (Ford also prints different words for a song called "Robinson Crusoe," to a different jig tune). Winner (New American School for the Banjo), 1883; p. 36.

Recorded sources:




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