Donkey Riding had its origins with the sailors that left Glasgow and Liverpool on a regular basis to bring back lumber from Canada. It is not a sea chanty, but as the sub-title describes, a work song. The Ã¬Donkey" in the title is not the animal, but rather, the engine that was used in loading cargo in the ship's deck. The melody is derived from the well known Scottish marching song, Ã¬ Highland Laddie". Variants of this work song were sung from Canada to the port of Mobile, Alabama, where it was sung by workmen loading cotton on ships headed for England.