#00386
The Sloop John B (Carl Sandburg) MIDI, videos
#1936: YouTube video by outportoutlaw ©2011
~ Used with permission ~

midi file   alt: midi file

We come on the sloop John B,
My grandfather and me;
Around Nassau town we do roam.
Drinking all night,
Got into a fight;
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 to go home, yeah yeah!
Well, I feel so broke up,
I wanna to go home.

The first mate he got drunk,
And broke in the Cap'n's trunk;
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 to go home.

So, hoist up the John B's sail,
(Hoist up the John B's sail;
See how the mainsail sets,
(See how the mainsail sets;)
Call for the captain ashore,
Let me go home. (Let me go home.)
I wanna to go home. (Oh, let me go home.)
(Hoist up the John B's sail,)
(Hoist up the John B's sail,)
(Hoist up the John B's sail,)
Well, I feel so broke up, I wanna to go home.

The poor cook he caught the fits,
Threw away all my grits,
Then he took and he ate up all of my corn;
Let me go home, I wanna go home,
This is the worst trip I've ever been on.

So, hoist up the John B's sails,
(Hoist up the John B's sails;) See how the mainsail sets,
(See how the mainsail sets;
Call for the Captain ashore,
Let me go home, (let me go home.)
I wanna to go home, (oh, let me go home.)
(Hoist up the John B's sail,)
(Hoist up the John B's sail,)
(Hoist up the John B's sail,)
Well, I feel so broke up, I wanna to go home.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a West Indies folk song, adapted and arranged by Leo Hays of the Weavers, and Carl Sandburg. Popularized by The Kingston Trio (The Kingston Trio, Capitol, 1958) ....####
Originally collected and published by Carl Sandburg as The John B Sails in The American Songbag, pp.22-23 (1927). In a preface to this song Carl Sandburg noted:
John T McCutcheon, cartoonist and kindly philosopher, and his wife Evelyn Shaw McCutcheon, mother and poet, learned to sing this song on their Treasure Island in the West Indies. They tell of it, "Time and usage have given this song almost the dignity of a national anthem around Nassau. The weathered ribs of the historic craft lie embedded in the sand at Governor's Harbour, when an expedition, specially set up for the purpose in 1926, extracted a knee of horseflesh and a ring-bolt. These relics are now preserved and built into the Watch Tower, designed by Mr Howard Shaw and built on our southern coast a couple of points east by north of the star Canopus."

From Wikipedia:
Sloop John B is the seventh track on The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds album and was also a single which was released in 1966 on Capitol Records. It was originally a traditional West Indies folk song, The John B Sails, taken from a collection by Carl Sandburg (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, and that group recorded it as The Wreck of the John B. The Kingston Trio's 1958 recording of the song, also under the title The Wreck of the John B, was the direct influence on the Beach Boys' version. Johnny Cash recorded the song in 1959 as I Want To Go Home. The Beach Boys version of Sloop John B was ranked #271 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
The John B was an old sponger boat - presumably a sloop - 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, circa 1900.

The video above features a variant recorded on their first, self-titled album by Kilkenny Krew (Kilkenny Krew, trk#3, 1999 CD, KKC Productions, St John's, NL, recorded at Open Sesame Studio).

The Kilkenny Krew band formed in 1999. Blaine Lambe and Reg Edwards are from Lawn, Burin Peninsula; Kurt Bambury is from Pools Cove on the Connaigre Peninsula; and Al Samms is from Port-aux-Basques.

A variant was arranged and recorded by Anchors Aweigh of Rocky Harbour, NL (Stay The Course, trk#6, 1999, produced by Big Bully Productions, Corner Brook, NL).

See more songs by Anchors Aweigh.

The video below features a live performance by members of the monthly session of the Hong Kong Folk Society at The Canny Man.


#321: YouTube video by raymondcrooke ©2008
~ Used with permission ~


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