I’ve been to Harlem, I’ve been to Dover,
I’ve traveled this wide world all over.
Over, over, three times over,
Drink all you have to drink and turn the glasses over.
Sailing east, sailing west,
Sailing o’er the ocean.
Better watch out when the boat begins to rock,
Or you’ll lose your girl in the ocean.
- game songs
- songs with half notes
- songs with I IV V chords
- songs with low so & low la
- songs with the tonic triad in the melody
- Music Notes analysis of song & game instructions
- source: A Singing School: We Sing,C. C. Birchard and Company, 1940
Extras for Plus Members
- Song with chords (PDF)
- MIDI file
- Listen to the song
6 thoughts on “I’ve Been to Harlem”
When I was in elementary school, instead of “drink all you have to drink, turn the glasses over” we were taught: “find me another ship, when this trip is over”. So, were these lyrics sanitized for out protection or what?? I still kinda like them.
There are multiple versions of many of these songs since they were often passed down from generation to generation, and people would add their own lyrics in different situations. Thanks for sharing your version!
mine is drink all the lemonade and flip the glasses over and lose ur friend in the ocean
When I used to teach this song at summer camp in the 1980s, we sang, “Drink all the apple juice and turn the glasses over,” but I think (I could be wrong) the original lyrics I found in Alan Lomax’s Playparty Songs book was “Drink all the whiskey.”
I was taught this song in a summer workshop; the words were “drink all the brandywine”. 🙂