This is a work song, for rowing. (source) It is unknown for sure which country it comes from. Most sources list it as a Polynesian folk song. One source lists it from the Solomon Islands, and McRae (see source below) lists it from the Philippines. It is possible it is a Polynesian song which was sung in the Philippines. (source)

Lyrics - Unknown language

(Polynesian folk song)

Jimnee bye bye oh
Oom ba de kim bye oh
Ooh a lay
Mah le ka ah lo way

English Translation

“Tongo” means “mangrove” in the following languages: Gela, Kiribati and Tonga. (source)


  • Song with chords (PDF)
  • MIDI file
  • Listen to the song
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