Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Canada I O

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Writer(s)  traditional

"Canada-I-O" (also known as "Canadee-I-O" or "The Wearing of the Blue") is a traditional Canadian and English folk ballad. It is believed to have been written before 1839


When her love goes to sea, a lady dresses as a sailor and joins (his or another's) ship's crew. When she is discovered, (the crew/her lover) determine to drown her. The captain saves her and they marry.

Based on similarity of title, some connect this song with "Canaday-I-O, Michigan-I-O, Colley's Run I-O". There is no connection in plot, however, and any common lyrics are probably the result of cross-fertilization.

The Scottish song "Caledonia/Pretty Caledonia" is quite different in detail — so much so that it is separate from the "Canada-I-O" texts in the Roud Folk Song Index ("Canaday-I-O" is #309; "Caledonia" is #5543). The plot, however, is too close for scholars to distinguish.


  • Bodleian, Harding B 11(1982), "Kennady I-o," J. Catnach (London), 1813-1838; also Firth c.12(329), Harding B 11(2039), "Lady's Trip to Kennedy"; Harding B 25(1045), "The Lady's Trip to Kennady"; Firth c.12(330), "Canada Heigho"; Firth c.13(240), Firth c.12(331), Harding B 11(2920), 2806 c.16(72), "Canada I, O"
  • Recordings

  • Nic Jones, "Canadee-I-O" (on Penguin Eggs, 1980)
  • Bob Dylan, "Canadee-i-o" (on Good as I Been to You, 1992)
  • Seven Nations, "Canadee-i-o" (on Old Ground, 1995)
  • The White Stripes, "Canadee I-O" (on "Under Great White Northern Lights, B-Shows", 2010)
  • 10,000 Maniacs, on the album Twice Told Tales (2015)
  • The Outside Track, "Canadee-I-O" (on "Light Up The Dark", 2015)
  • 10,000 Maniacs, on the live album Playing Favorites (2016)
  • Alternative titles

  • "Canada Heigho!!"
  • "Kennady I-o"
  • "Lady's Trip to Kennady"
  • References

    Canada-I-O Wikipedia

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