Five important life lessons I’ve learned from a nursery song, Row Your Boat

The boat my son requested me to draw for him.

The famous nursery song Row Your Boat was one of my three year old son Nathaniel’s favorites. Each time I allowed him to use my laptop to watch nursery songs videos, the Row Your Boat was among those he would have found playing with great interest. He sings along to the tune of it, although some of the lyrics he couldn’t yet fully pronounce.

He would come to cheer the animated object in the video rowing the boat, and claps his hands when the song ends. That’s how my son liked the song so much that he even wanted me to draw a boat for him. He would often say, “I want to ride a boat”. Of course, he has ridden a boat a couple of times already during our travels by sea to visit my parents in my hometown.

But then, little did I know that the song Row Your Boat has a deeper meaning. I tried to write down each line of the song on a piece of paper and contemplate. It was fun singing it with kids really but that’s not all there is to it. The following are five important life lessons I’ve learned from the Row Your Boat nursery song:


To live is like riding a boat alone and to row it gently down the stream. The stream is unpredictable, sometimes chaotic, and difficult to cross. There may be times when the boat you’re riding on will be tossed upon, back and forth. But you have to keep on rowing until you reach your destination.


It has been said that the water that can sink a ship is all around it. Your boat will not get sunk until you let the water to come inside of it. Keep your balance and stay focused on the things that inspire instead of the ones that can only discourage you from continuing on.


When it comes to a point when everything seems to become a failure, never lose hope. Keep your composure intact. Find ways to overcome adversities. Remember the old proverb that says, “While there is life, there is hope”.


It is important to think that someone out there will be there for you to help you out. It is a natural human reaction to seek refuge from in times of great danger or distress. This is where a prayer plays a very significant role in your life. It will condition your mind so you would be able to do and accomplish the things you once thought were impossible. It is the belief of a God that would make all the difference to it.


The song encourages you to be joyful through this line: “Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Life is But a Dream”.  Life may not always be fair, but it’s not to be such a disgusting one either. Just enjoy the ride, and keep on rowing.

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