The little banjo is tuned high so this is key of B.

This song is about the Ohio River. It is also called Boatman or Dance Boatman Dance or The Boatmen's Dance or Dance of the Boatsman.  The tune has 3 parts in key of A. The 3rd part usually has an F#m chord. For people playing with a capo, that is an Em chord formation from the base key of G.


The boatmen dance, the boatmen sing,The boatmen up to ev'rything,And when the boatman gets on shoreHe spends his cash and works for more.

Related tunes: The Phillips Collection lists "Dance Boatman Dance" played by Bruce Molsky, but it is a 2-part tune in D. It also lists "Boatman" but that's a 4-part tune in A related to Little Rabbit. There is a different tune called Waiting for the Boatman.