Bamboo played on my iPod. I wondered where the song came from, so I searched a lyric. My search returned River Come Down by Dave van Ronk. The Wikipedia article on PP&M’s eponymous album credits Dave van Ronk for the song.
So is it original to van Ronk? Or did he, having been a folk singer, pick it up somewhere else? If the latter, whence?
I’ve liked the song since childhood. (My sister was a PP&M fan back when she was a hippie.) But I haven’t really thought about what it’s about. ISTM that it portrays idyllic life along a river, where there are no cares, and you can amuse yourself my throwing a stick of bamboo into the water and watch it float away. Unless I’m missing something. And who’s Hanna, anyway?
ETA: And… Just as I post, I see this in the comments of the River Come Down video:
I don’t know if it’s true. If it is, then van Ronk wrote it. End of story. But hey, I shared a couple versions for your enjoyment.