Nursery Rhymes

Michael row the boat ashore

Michael row the boat ashore Lyrics

The words and lyrics of this African American Spiritual begin with "Michael, row the boat a-shore Hallelujah!" as the first line of the song. The words, tune and lyrics of the "Michael row the boat ashore" song were passed on verbally and the names of the author and composer are therefore unknown.

Michael row the boat ashore Song Meaning and History
The history of the "Michael row the boat ashore" song lyrics date back to the American Civil War (1861 - 1865). Meaning: The song was originally sung by slaves as a boat song by slaves who worked as rowers on canoes, flatboats or rough sailing vessels called Periaguas shipping goods via rivers from plantations to ports for exportation. The identity of "Michael" has been lost in time but possibly referred to the name of a lead oarsman or as a Biblical reference to Revelation 12:7-12 that tells of the archangel Michael who led the armies of God to defeat the forces of Satan and ejected Satan from Paradise. We have placed "Michael row the boat ashore" in the category of African American Spirituals, aka Negro Spirituals and Slave Songs.

Michael row the boat ashore Song
Title: Michael row the boat ashore *** Name of Composer: Unknown *** Name Author / Writer of Lyrics: Unknown *** Category: Slave Songs aka African American Spirituals or Negro Spirituals

Michael row the boat ashore Lyrics

Michael, row the boat a-shore
Hallelujah!
Then you’ll hear the trumpet blow
Hallelujah!

Then you’ll hear the trumpet sound,
Hallelujah!
Trumpet sound the world around
Hallelujah!

Trumpet sound the jubilee
Hallelujah!
Trumpet sound for you and me
Hallelujah!

* These are the original lyrics of the first published version of the song, but over time many other alternative lyrics have been added.

Information about the Song
Title of Song: Michael row the boat ashore
Author of Lyrics: Unknown
Nationality of Author: African American
Name of Music Composer: Unknown
Song Category: Slave Songs aka African American Spirituals or Negro Spirituals
First Line of Song: "Michael, row the boat a-shore Hallelujah!"
First Publication Date: 1867. The lyrics of the song were first noted after the American Civil War (1861 - 1865) by abolitionist Charles Pickard Ware. The lyrics were first published in 'Slave Songs of the United States' in 1867.

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