Monday, 28 April 2014

Leave Her Johnny


Rick 'Kanakanaka' usually leads this song for us - often to the wrong tune.

I thought I heard the Old Man say
Leave her, Johnny, leave her
Oh it’s time to come and get your pay
And it’s time for us to leave her.

[Chorus]
Leave her, Johnny, leave her.
Oh leave her, Johnny, leave her
Now the voyage is done,
And the winds don’t blow
And it’s time for us to leave her.

Now the winds blew hard and the seas rode high
Leave her…
Oh she shipped it green and none went by
And it’s…

[Chorus]

It’s mahogany beef and weevils in your bread
Leave her…
Oh I wish old crackerhash Joe was dead

[Chorus]


Now the Mate is a bucko and the old man is a Turk
Leave her…
And the Bosun is a bastard with a middle name of work

[Chorus]

Oh she’s Paris bound and Parish rigged
Leave her…
And the whold damned crew is fever strick’d

[Chorus]

Now the rats have gone and we, the crew
Leave her…
And it’s time by Christ that we went too

[Chorus ]



The "her" being left is not a woman, but the ship. This shanty was traditionally sung when the ship was at port after it had docked in the final spell at the pumps
Leave Her, Johnny was used at the pumps, but it also served the purpose of the seamen airing their grievances (hence it being done at the end of a voyage).

There were several versions directed at the food on board ship and the owners which could be interpreted as a bit ‘direct’!

No comments:

Post a Comment