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Were you ever in Quebec,
Stowing timber on the deck,
Where there's a king with a golden crown,
Riding on a donkey?

Hey! ho! Away we go,
Donkey riding, donkey riding,
Hey! ho! Away we go,
Riding on a donkey!

Were you ever off Cape Horn,
Where it's always fine and warm,
And seen the lion and the Unicorn
Riding on a donkey!

Were you ever in Cardiff Bay,
Where the folks all shout "Hurray!
Here comes John with his three months' pay
Riding on a donkey?"

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Source: Singing Together, Summer 1971, BBC Publications

See also the Hugil1 Collection, Number 42

It is generally (but not universally) agreed that 'Donkey Riding' is a reference to a Donkey Engine, a machine used when working with heavy loads, such as 'stowing timber on the deck'.

Roud: 4540 (Search Roud index at VWML)

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