I've travelled about a bit in my time
And of troubles I've seen a few
I found it better in every clime
To paddle my own canoe
My wants are small, I care not at all
If my debts are paid when due
I drive away life in the ocean of life
While I paddle my own canoe.

Chorus: Then love your neighbour as yourself
As the world you go travelling through
And never sit down with a tear or a frown
But paddle your own canoe.

I have no wife to bother my life
No lover to prove untrue
But the whole day long with a laugh and a song
I paddle my own canoe
I rise with the lark and from daylight till dark
I do what I have to do
I'm careless of wealth if I've only my health
To paddle my own canoe.


It's all very well to depend on a friend
That is if you've proved him true
But you'll find it better by far in the end
To paddle your own canoe
To borrow is dearer by far than to buy
A maxim tho' old still true
You never will sigh if you only will try
To paddle your own canoe.


If a hurricane rise in the midday skies
And the Sun is lost to view
Move steadily by, with a steadfast eye
And paddle your own canoe
The daisies that grow in the bright green fields
Are blooming so sweet for you
So never sit down with a tear or a frown
But paddle your own canoe.

Written and performed by Harry Clifton (1832-1872)
Performed by Fred French (1830-1899)
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