SLOOP JOHN B

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs
  • SLOOP JOHN B
    “Sloop John B” was originally a traditional West Indies folk song, possibly recorded
    earliest by The Weavers under the title “Wreck of the John B”, the song taken from a
    collection by Carl Sandburg from 1927. Alan Lomax made a field recording of the song
    in Nassau, 1935, under the title “Histe Up the John B. Sail”. This recording appears on
    the album Bahamas 1935: “Chanteys And Anthems From Andros And Cat Island”. The
    song was adapted by Weavers member Lee Hays. The recording of the song which
    directly influenced The Beach Boys was by The Kingston Trio.
    The John B. was an old sponger boat whose crew was in the habit of getting notoriously
    merry whenever they made port. It was wrecked and sunk at Governor’s Harbour in
    Eleuthera, the Bahamas, in about 1900.
    We come on the sloop John B
    My grandfather and me
    Around Nassau town we did roam
    Drinking all night
    Got into a fight
    Well I feel so broke up
    I want to go home
    So hoist up the John B’s sail
    See how the mainsail sets
    Call for the Captain ashore
    Let me go home, let me go home
    I wanna go home, yeah yeah
    Well I feel so broke up
    I wanna go home
    The first mate he got drunk
    And broke in the Cap’n’s trunk
    The constable had to come and take him away
    Sheriff John Stone
    Why don’t you leave me alone, yeah yeah
    Well I feel so broke up I wanna go home
    So hoist up the John B’s sail
    See how the mainsail sets
    Call for the Captain ashore
    Let me go home, let me go home
    I wanna go home, let me go home
    Why don’t you let me go home
    (Hoist up the John B’s sail)
    Hoist up the John B
  • I feel so broke up I wanna go home
    Let me go home
    The poor cook he caught the fits
    And threw away all my grits
    And then he took and he ate up all of my corn
    Let me go home
    Why don’t they let me go home
    This is the worst trip I’ve ever been on
    So hoist up the John B’s sail
    See how the mainsail sets
    Call for the Captain ashore
    Let me go home, let me go home
    I wanna go home, let me go home
    Why don’t you let me go home