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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 [1]

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;[2] "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";[3] Firth c.13(240), Firth c.12(331), Harding B 11(2920), 2806 c.16(72), "Canada I, O"


Alternative titles[edit]

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



  • Sam Henry, Sam Henry's Songs of the People (1990), H162, pp. 333–334, "Canada[,] Hi! Ho!" (1 text, 1 tune)
  • John Ord, Bothy Songs and Ballads (1930; Reprint edition with introduction by Alexander Fenton printed 1995), pp. 117–118, "Caledonia" (1 text)
  • MacEdward Leach, Folk Ballads & Songs of the Lower Labrador Coast (1965), 90, "Canadee-I-O" (1 text, 1 tune)
  • Maud Karpeles, Folk Songs from Newfoundland (1970), 48, "Wearing of the Blue" (1 text, 1 tune)
  • Helen Creighton, Folksongs from Southern New Brunswick (1971), 109, "She Bargained with a Captain" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
  • Dick Greenhaus & Susan Friedman (editors), "The Digital Tradition", CANADIO3* CALEDONIA*
  • Roud Folk Song Index #309 and 5543
  • Library and Archives Canada - Amicus #31009060