Bobby Shaftoe

Song Video

Information About Bobby Shaftoe

"Bobby Shaftoe"also known as "Bobby Shafto's Gone to Sea" or "Bobby Shafto" is an English folk song and nursery rhyme, first published in 1805.

"Bobby Shaftoe" is believed to be based on Robert Shafto (or Shaftoe) who was an 18th Century British Member of Parliament. Robert Shafto would often register as a candidate by using his nickname Bonny Bobby Shafto.

The song supposedly tells the story of how Bobby Shafto broke the heart of Bridget Belasyse by marriying Anne Duncombe instead.

Alternative Lyrics & Related Songs

For those who prefer yellow hair sing this version

Bobby Shaftoe went to sea,
Silver buckles on his knee.
He'll come back and marry me,
Pretty Bobby Shaftoe.

Bobby Shaftoe's fine and fair,
Combing down his yellow hair.
He's my friend for evermore,
Bonnie Bobby Shaftoe.

The last line is a bit different here

Bobby Shafto went to sea, silver buckles on his knee,
He’ll come back and marry me, Bonny Bobby Shafto

Bobby Shafto’s bright and fair, Combing down his yellow hair;
He’s my love for evermore, Bonny Bobby Shafto

Listen to this song's music


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MARIE, United Kingdom

18 April 2015 at 12:14pm

I still remember this song, with happiness, as I sang it in 1937 in a school concert. Thank you for showing it, X

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Lilian, Ghana

16 June 2011 at 4:25pm

wow! i love this song. am really enjoying it and i believe when i teach my children too they will enjoy it very much. the tune and the way the lady sang it really impresses me.

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Amber, United States

20 February 2011 at 12:16am

This could also be used as a jump rope song.

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Jimmy Bob Iii, The Sticks, Alamobama

14 January 2010 at 4:52pm

Somebody call 911! Shawty fire burnin' on the dance floor! O Woa O O!

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