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We have posted "The Canadian Boat Song" on this website, as it was
published in "Blackwood's Magazine," September 1829, for the first time.
The following conversation was recorded, in the Hebrides:
By the bye, I have a letter this morning from a friend of mine now in Upper Canada. He was rowed down the St. Lawrence lately, for several days on end, by a set of strapping fellows, all born in that country, and yet hardly one of them could speak a word of any tongue but the Gaelic.
They sung heaps of our old Highland oar-songs, he says, and capitally well, in the true Hebridean fashion; and they had others of their own, Gaelic too, some of which my friend noted down, both words and music.
He has sent me a translation of one of their ditties.
This became known as "The Canadian Boat Song."