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Origin: Sloop John B

DigiTrad:
THE WRECK OF THE JOHN B


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Sloop John B. (24)
Lyr Req: Sloop John A ? (2)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
The John B Sails (Sandburg) (from American Songbag)
The John B.'s Sails (Alan Lomax) (from The Folk Songs of North America)
The Wreck of the John B


GUEST,Phil d'Conch 12 Jan 18 - 02:16 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 12 Jan 18 - 01:57 PM
akenaton 14 Jul 17 - 03:54 PM
Gallus Moll 14 Jul 17 - 03:27 PM
Roger the Skiffler 14 Jul 17 - 09:17 AM
akenaton 13 Jul 17 - 06:35 PM
Gallus Moll 13 Jul 17 - 06:17 PM
akenaton 13 Jul 17 - 02:28 AM
Gallus Moll 12 Jul 17 - 08:22 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 12 Jul 17 - 07:48 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 12 Jul 17 - 07:22 PM
akenaton 12 Jul 17 - 04:02 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 12 Jul 17 - 02:28 PM
akenaton 12 Jul 17 - 11:37 AM
GUEST 12 Jul 17 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 04 Apr 16 - 02:25 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 04 Apr 16 - 02:23 AM
GUEST,Phil the Conch 01 Jul 15 - 03:52 PM
GUEST,Phil the Conch 01 Jul 15 - 03:48 PM
GUEST 27 Jun 15 - 05:25 PM
GUEST,Phil the Conch 27 Jun 15 - 12:52 AM
GUEST,Phil the Conch 27 Jun 15 - 12:30 AM
GUEST,Phil the Conch 27 Jun 15 - 12:19 AM
GUEST,Steven Strauss in Oakland CA 24 Jun 15 - 04:37 PM
mousethief 07 May 10 - 11:35 AM
GUEST 07 May 10 - 11:03 AM
meself 07 May 10 - 10:45 AM
GUEST,Alan Dean Foster 07 May 10 - 09:30 AM
Lighter 06 May 10 - 06:37 PM
GUEST,Greg 06 May 10 - 04:16 PM
GUEST,TJ 01 Jul 08 - 12:59 PM
SharonA 01 Jul 08 - 09:36 AM
SharonA 01 Jul 08 - 09:25 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 01 Jul 08 - 07:35 AM
Mr Happy 01 Jul 08 - 06:15 AM
toadfrog 17 Sep 06 - 11:16 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 17 Sep 06 - 10:05 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Sep 06 - 06:20 PM
Devilmaster 17 Sep 06 - 03:31 AM
Roberto 17 Sep 06 - 02:02 AM
GUEST 16 Sep 06 - 10:08 PM
Greg B 16 Sep 06 - 09:09 PM
GUEST 16 Sep 06 - 04:28 PM
Joe Offer 16 Sep 06 - 02:37 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Sep 06 - 02:01 PM
Don Firth 16 Sep 06 - 01:30 PM
Roberto 14 Sep 06 - 09:10 AM
The Fooles Troupe 14 Sep 06 - 08:05 AM
GUEST,Jim 14 Sep 06 - 07:53 AM
Leadfingers 14 Sep 06 - 07:51 AM
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Subject: RE: Origin: Sloop John B
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 12 Jan 18 - 02:16 PM

And before the pedants chime in, no, Sands didn't head up the board in '13 at age two. His era came later. Charles on the other hand, had just returned from his musical finishing education in Paris (Ballymena anyone?) and was very much a player at the time.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sloop John B
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 12 Jan 18 - 01:57 PM

ref Emmie's questions in the Brown Skin Girl thread here:
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=137067&messages=63&page=1&desc=yes

"HOIST THE JOHN B. SAILS"

"See how the mainsail sets,
Send for the Captain ashore
I want to go home, I want to go home,
I feel so break-up, I want to go home!"
                        BAHAMIAN FOLK SONG

Ah, but the real charm of these quaintly appealing Bahamian songs, is not one of words at all, but of tropic moonlight, and soft throbbing guitars, and silver bubbles that sweep your bows with a sound like fairy bells. And the memory of these ecstatic nights on tropic seas stay with one always - only lovelier and more insistent each day than the last. It is like a Kipling calling "Come you back to Mandalay!"

NASSAU-BAHAMAS

is Kipling, Stevenson, Herman Melville and Charles Warren Stoddard too. It is tropics de luxe and tropics au naturel, - with a winter climate unequaled even by Madeira or the Cote d'Azur.

But two-and-a-half days from New York, or fifteen hours from Miami, Florida, Nassau, with its surf bathing, sailing, fishing, tennis, golf, riding, motoring and polo in one of the acknowledged sporting centers of the world.

Illustrated booklets and complete travel information will be mailed upon request.

BAHAMAS GOVERNMENT AGENT
450 Fourth Avenue, New York City


[Display Advertisement, The Sun (New York,) 26 Dec., 1915, sec.2, p.13 (Sporting & Automobiles)]



Conchy Notes: The Bahamian government's Tourism Development Board also ran display adverts in the N.Y. Tribune at about the same time.

The man behind the scenes at the Development Board was a very young and just starting out, (Sir) Stafford Lofthouse Sands (1913-1972,) a name familiar to most Bahamians.

Much less familiar, his cousin Charles Lofthouse, The Bahamian composer of the first half of the 20th century.

See my previous posts (above) for your questions re: Bostonian Prouty & the Southern Floridian "Flagler System."


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sloop John B
From: akenaton
Date: 14 Jul 17 - 03:54 PM

Ach! away wi' ye, yer only a wean......no' a wrinkle in sight....well no' thit a've seen enyweys :0)

See ye in the Coopie hen!


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sloop John B
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 14 Jul 17 - 03:27 PM

Hi again Ake --- I used to wonder that too, but as far as I know it is a coincidence. Gordon had much knowledge of a wide range of issues, urban folk tales etc, not just song writing and singing. He was also involved in all the anti nuclear stuff. Were you at the concert in Glasgow a few years ago, might have been anniversary of Ding Dong Dollar (or anither yin!)
We are losing far too many of these folks, canny believe the number of folkies' funerals I've been at in the last two or three years. Always a brilliant ceilidh afterwards - - but it would be so much better to have the main person present and singing with us! So I propose that we should all start having a series of 'wakes' in advance of our deaths, while we are still able to sing / play and remember the fun.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sloop John B
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 14 Jul 17 - 09:17 AM

To muddy the waters even more and go back to my posting in 2001, I have multiple recordings of this by Donegan. Some have the "Sandburg/Hays" attribution, some just have "Trad", some "Trad/Donegan", some "Trad arr. Donegan" and, in the case of the Belfast Skiffle Sessions, "Trad arr. Donegan/Morrison." so you take your choice!
RtS


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sloop John B
From: akenaton
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 06:35 PM

Sorry to hear that A. I did see him on TV some time ago and thought that he did not look well.....I loved his rendition of "Waes me for Prince Cherlie" on the Exiles "Freedom come all ye" LP

I always wondered if he was related to the lovely Gordeanna.

Thanks for letting me know....see you aroon the toon suppose Take care A.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sloop John B
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 06:17 PM

Ake, did you hear the sad news of Gordon's death?
He had been ill and frail for some time, but it was still a shock to us all to hear he had passed.
I saw him only a few weeks earlier at Ronnie Clark's celebration / commemoration (another unexpected ending)
There was a small family funeral for Gordon, and there will be a concert/celebration of his life a bit later in the year.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sloop John B
From: akenaton
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 02:28 AM

Thanks both, I think Bobby may have joined up when Josh and Enoch went on to form the Exiles with Gordon Mc Culloch ?


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sloop John B
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 12 Jul 17 - 08:22 PM

there's info about The Reivers on Tobar an Dulchuis (which I may not have spelled correctly! Try Kist o' Riches - - -- )

Seems Norman formed the group for a tv programme - perhaps from his school Ballads Club? or from a Glasgo folk club? -- guess I should have read it more carefully - - anyway the original group was:
Josh MacRae   Enoch Kent    Rena Swankie Mona Flannigan

line-up may have changed later on?


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sloop John B
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 12 Jul 17 - 07:48 PM

Sorry, dropped a sentence or two there:

Norman Buchan is mentioned in the EP liner notes. No image or performance.

The Reivers were a quartet at times but I don't remember the fourth or know if they recorded anything.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sloop John B
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 12 Jul 17 - 07:22 PM

Ake:

My Reivers EP looks just like this and sounds like:

YT: The Reivers - The Wreck Of The John B

The B-side was also a single (45-JAR-244, 1959)

All the Top Rank stuff was the trio you mention. I'm not sure Norman Buchan ever recorded for a commercial label.

Bobby Campbell maybe?


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sloop John B
From: akenaton
Date: 12 Jul 17 - 04:02 PM

Think your right Phil, my record was a 45.....was norman actually on it or was it just a sleeve picture?


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sloop John B
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 12 Jul 17 - 02:28 PM

My copy of the Reivers is "....grandfather and me..." (Top Rank International ‎? JKR 8026, trk. B1, 1959.) I don't think Top Rank ever put out 78s.

Lonnie Donegan (I Wanna Go Home) did sing it as "grandpappy" for sure but again, dunno about a Canadian 78.

I don't think he was the only one to sing it that way.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sloop John B
From: akenaton
Date: 12 Jul 17 - 11:37 AM

First heard the song on a TOP RANK EP by the Reivers(Josh Macrae, Enoch Kent, Rena Swankey....Maybe Norman Buchan?) around 1957.
They had the words "Granpappy and me" Josh also did a great version of "Champion at keepin' em rollin'", "Johnny lad" and "Wark o' the weavers"......I think the EP was titled ...."Work o' the Reivers"


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sloop John B
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jul 17 - 10:42 AM

I remember my aunt gracie coming from Canada with a 78 recording of
sloop john b don't know who was singing it there was a verse which said ""the captain's a wicked man gets drunk any time he can
he don't give a damn about granpappy and me

don't see the word granpappy anywhere in all the info I love the idea of it being carribean and black people singing it way back. My aunt came here to die from cancer wanted to be buried in Scotland this all started in 1947 We used to sing it as children and the words are etched into my brain cant stop singing that verse about the captain being drunk etc so much so that in our karaoke times people in the star bar "old Glasgow pub" call me captain Jim we all get up and pull on imaginary ropes it's a great song with a rich history don't care who sings it Sadly I don't have the original 78 any more Jim Rae p.s. Ironic thing my aunts grandfather "Jimmy Goldie" captained a sailing ship all around the south China sea i'm named after him see my e mail raegoldie.truth@virgin.net My best Captain Jim


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sloop John B
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 04 Apr 16 - 02:25 AM

Prouty, Ed. W.; Prouty Music Publishing Co.; Fisher, E.S.
USA, MA, Spencer; Bahamas, New Providence, Nassau
1903
Paper
14 x 10-5/8 in.
        

"Sheet music, "Hoist the John B. Sails", two step for piano; composed by Ed. W. Prouty; published Spencer, Mass., by Prouty Music Publishing Co., 1903; dedicated to the citizens of Nassau, N.P., Bahamas; 2-color (blue on white) lithograph cover illustration by E.S. Fisher of shells and rope motif, with inset photograph of ketch THE JOHN B., and dinghy; 3 pages."

2007.100.6

http://mobius.mysticseaport.org/detail.php?t=objects&type=browse&f=maker&s=Fisher%2C+E.S.&record=1


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sloop John B
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 04 Apr 16 - 02:23 AM

See the "correct title" question in thread.cfm?threadid=79656&messages=61 and Le Gallienne's claims the song was known since 1903 (above.)

Putting the "John B." reference materials back in the file I couldn't help notice the similarity in the title of the 1935 Lomax field recording "Histe Up the John B. Sail" and the earlier 1915 Bahamas Development Board slogan "Hoist the John B. Sails" from the tourist adverts. Checked the usual sources and up popped this little ditty:

Prouty (Eddy Warren)
Spencer, Mass.
Hoist the John B. sails; two step for piano, by Ed. W. Prouty. 19970
C 46639,Apr.25,1903;2c.Apr.25,1903.

[Catalogue of Title Entries of Books and Other Articles, Vol. 36 Musical Compositions, Washington: GPO, 2 April 1903, p.452]

Henry Flagler's Florida East Coast Railway & Hotel Co. ("The Flagler System") owned both the Colonial and the Royal Victoria in Nassau. The E.W. Prouty Orchestra and Concert Co., Boston, Mass. provided the lion's share of the music for Flager's ballrooms and steamships and dozens of other venues from the Catskills to Cuba.

The "Great Fire of 1901" ended Prouty's personal eighteen year run at Jacksonville, Florida's old St. James Hotel and he took Flagler up on an offer to open in Nassau for the next few seasons while JAX recovered & rebuilt.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sloop John B
From: GUEST,Phil the Conch
Date: 01 Jul 15 - 03:52 PM

A. Leopold Richard (1883-1954,) The "John B" sheet music:

Alonzo Leopold Richard was a vaudeville-theater organist and composer. Born in Ottawa, the son of a professor of languages and emigrated to Chicago by way of Detroit (c.1895.)

Richard provided the music for somewhere over nine hundred songs. All of them published by Legters Music Co in Chicago in a three year span (1919-22.)

As mentioned above, the lyrics were claimed by "F.W. Clark." If anybody has any background-bio on Clark please post it here. Nobody in the Bahamas ever claimed him from what I know.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sloop John B
From: GUEST,Phil the Conch
Date: 01 Jul 15 - 03:48 PM

Richard Le Gallienne (1866-1947,) The "John B" meme:

He was a romantic poet, author and literary agent born in Liverpool. In the gay, naughty or yellow nineties (depending on your continent) Le Gallienne was hanging with Barrett, Beardsley, Yeats and Wilde and living the good life in London.

In 1903, after the deaths of several friends and associates and the breakup of his second marriage he bought a ticket for America. His poetry, essays and travelogues began appearing in American newspapers and Harper's Weekly (A Journal of Civilization) not long after his arrival. He was a sport fisherman but nobody I know, who ever stood a watch, ever got that "authentic" warm fuzzy reading Le Gallienne.

"...and the Colonel?who has a very winning way with him, and is used to handling negroes?did much to restore harmony by suggesting a song, and starting it himself."

[see lyrics above: 06 May 10 ? 06:37 PM]

"A negro, particularly a Bahaman negro, is very much of a child?ready to be diverted by the first sign of any fun of the simplest character, and very susceptible to the humorous aspect of things."

(Coral Islands..., Harper's Dec. 1916, pp.82-83)

"Pieces of Eight" was written at the same time; published the following year and reprinted-translated several times thereafter. But there is no vessel come to grief. It's just a bummer of a cruise. Still no music either for that matter. Not until the third or fifth printing.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sloop John B
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Jun 15 - 05:25 PM

Phil, we know little of that of which you speak. If there's a social dynamic about Sloop John B, we'd love to know about it, and as an anonyme like myself, there's no one can call you to account for it. So spit it out, spill the beans, tell us what is the social status of the Sloop, its lyrics, its putative remains, its legacy, in modern Bahamas or wherever else you might be. And tell us why Bay Street is special, because we don't know.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sloop John B
From: GUEST,Phil the Conch
Date: 27 Jun 15 - 12:52 AM

"John B" certainly was a Nassau "anthem" but only amongst the Bay Street elite. Both Gallienne's "Pieces-of-Eight" and fellow vagabond-poet Bliss Carman's "A Winter's Holiday" (1898) were required reading in most Bahamian schools right up through the United Bahamian Party days.

Carman gave us the now forgotten poem "On Bay Street" aka: "John Camplejohn."

Gallienne gave us the lyric to Sloop John B in 1916. The 1921 music was by A. Leopold Richard a professional composer based in Chicago (Legters Music Co.)

Both volumes were all but banned after the 1960s Progressive Liberal Party election wins. By 1998's now standard reference "Islanders in the Stream, Vol. II," Craton and Saunders go 550+ pages with but a single semi-complaint about Carman's non-residency. "River of Song," Lomax, Gallienne, Stearns and Charters all get zippo. Sad but true.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sloop John B
From: GUEST,Phil the Conch
Date: 27 Jun 15 - 12:30 AM

"..."John B." sounds too much like "jumby" -- a west african (Wolof/Bambera) term referring to this undead thing we've anglicized to "zombie" -- apparently it won't do to mention these creatures; "speak of the devil," and all that."

Fwiw:
Bahamian (albeit non-native) jumbey trees (L. leucocephala) are considered symbols of the strength and unity of the Afro-Bahamian people. Good spirits as it were. For background look into Edmund Moxey's (R.I.P.) renfairesque "Jumbey Village" inspired by the "Jumbey Festival" on New Providence.

Fwiw2:
In the 1950-60s there was a whole fleet of "Jimbos" (Mama Jimbo; Papa Jimbo; Big Jimbo; ad naseum.) Nada problemo.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sloop John B
From: GUEST,Phil the Conch
Date: 27 Jun 15 - 12:19 AM

"...weathered ribs of the historic craft lie imbedded in the sand at Governor's Harbor" in Nassau..."

FYI:
Governor's Harbor, Eleuthera: 25.194078, -76.251091
Nassau, New Providence: 25.066667, -77.333333

If anybody has any court documents; coast pilots; sailing directions; chartage; whatever to support the later addition of "Wreck" to the title and liner notes please post a ref. here.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sloop John B
From: GUEST,Steven Strauss in Oakland CA
Date: 24 Jun 15 - 04:37 PM

Don't forget Alphonso "Blind Blake" Higgs and his banjo-centric version. This is the oldest recording of the song in my collection, but the 1951 record by the Weavers may indeed predate it.

https://youtu.be/Kk7I_KWkswQ


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Subject: RE: Sloop John B
From: mousethief
Date: 07 May 10 - 11:35 AM

Interesting how the Beach Boys version seems to be closer to the 1916 version than to any of the intermediary ones.


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Subject: RE: Sloop John B
From: GUEST
Date: 07 May 10 - 11:03 AM

The Bud & Travis version, from the live concert at Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, contained an added verse:

"The stewardess, she got stewed,
Ran 'round the poop deck nude
The constable had to come and take her away.
Sheriff John Stone,
Why don't you leaver her alone?
Well, this is the worst trip,
Since she been born."


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Subject: RE: Sloop John B
From: meself
Date: 07 May 10 - 10:45 AM

I vunder if the Le Gallienne version vas sung by Scandinavians, or Germans?


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Subject: RE: Sloop John B
From: GUEST,Alan Dean Foster
Date: 07 May 10 - 09:30 AM

Yes, the version of the song used in my Spellsinger book was the Beach Boys version...the only one I knew. And now,l thanks to this thread, I know the song's history. My thanks to all who contributed.


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Subject: Lyr Add: SLOOP JOHN B (from Le Gallienne, 1913)
From: Lighter
Date: 06 May 10 - 06:37 PM

Le Gallienne printed an earlier version in "Coral Islands and Mangrove Trees" in Harper's (Dec., 1916):


Come on the sloop John B.,
My grandfather and me,
Round Nassau town ve did roam.
Drinking a11 night, ve got in a fight,
Ve feel so break-up,ve vant to go home.

Chorus
So hoist up the John B. sails,
See how the mainsail set,
Send for the captain ashore?let me go home.
Let me go home, let me go home,
I feel so break-up, I vant to go home.

The first mate he got drunk,
Break up the people trunk,
Constable come aboard, take him away?
Mr. Johnstone, leave me alone,
I feel so break-up, I vant to go home.                  

(Chorus)

The poor cook got the fits,
Throw away all o' my grits,
Captain's pig done eat up all o' my corn.
Lemme go home, I vant to go home,
I feel so break-up, I vant to go home.

(Chorus)

Steamboat go by steam,
Sailboat go by sail,
My girl's hat ain't got no tail.
Lemme go home, I vant to go home,
I feel so break-up, I vant to go home.                  

(Chorus)

Send all the things from ashore,
Let all the breezes blow,
I'm so sorry that I can longer stay,
Good-by to you? Tra-la-la-lu,
This is the vorst trip since I vas born.                  

(Chorus)

Le Gallienne called it "the best known" of Nassau Negro songs, which, he said, "though crude as to words...have a very haunting barbaric melody." His "Pieces of Eight," published in book form in 1918, claims the song was known in 1903.

An arrangement of the song was copyrighted by F. W. Clark in 1921.


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Subject: RE: Sloop John B
From: GUEST,Greg
Date: 06 May 10 - 04:16 PM

A version of John B Sails (Wreck of the John B)
first verse and chorus from the novel 'Pieces of Eight' by Gallienne and the rest from the Blind Blake Higgs (1915-1985)version.
In the style of The Beach Boys (c.1965)

(?) transcribed from an old recording so unsure of these words of Higgs

G D G G

(G)Come on the sloop John B. My grandfather and me,
Round Nassau Town we did (D) roam
Drinkin all (G) night ve got in a (C) fight (Am)
(G)Ve feel so break up (D) ve vant to go (G)home

(G)H'ist up the John B sails
See how the mainsail set
Send for the Captain - shore let us go (D)home
Let me go (G)home
Let me go (C)home (Am)
(G)I feel so break up (D)I vant to go (G)home

(G)I bought me a brand new pants I started to go to a dance
Too much that darn(?) my pants burst I had to go (D) home
I had to go (G)Home, I had to go (C)home (Am)
(G)Because my pants burst (D) and I had to go (G)home

(G)Hoist up the John B sail
Lets see how the mainsl set
Send for the Captain shore let me go (D)home
I wanna go (G)home
I wanna go (C)home (Am)
(G)I feel so break up (D)I wanna go (G)home

(G)The Capt'n and the mate got drunk
Broke up the people trunk
The police came on board and take him(D)away
And take him to (G)jail without any (C)bail (Am)
(G)I feel so break up (D)I wanna go (G)home

(G)The cook he had the fits
He started pointing(?) out the people grits
The captain peeked(?) and eat up all of our (D)corn
Say Mr John(G)stone please let me (C)alone (Am)
(G)We're gonna sail home (D)high lay to(G)day

(G)Sailboat go by sail and steam boat go by steam
Round Nassau Town we did (D)roam
Been drinking all (G)night and we got into a (C)fight (Am)
(G)I feel so break up (D)I wanna go (G)home

Chorus


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Subject: RE: Sloop John B
From: GUEST,TJ
Date: 01 Jul 08 - 12:59 PM

If you look and listen carefully the the KT version of this, or any of their songs from the archives, they were careful to alter them just enough to allow for copywriting their version. I don't know if the producer, Frank Werber or Bob Shane was behind that ploy, but it worked well for them.


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Subject: RE: Sloop John B
From: SharonA
Date: 01 Jul 08 - 09:36 AM

Here's a brilliant update on the song that someone posted on YouTube: a mix of the Beach Boys version of John B with "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana, entitled Smells Like Sloop John B

Nice to see the young folks keeping traditional songs alive! :-)


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Subject: RE: Sloop John B
From: SharonA
Date: 01 Jul 08 - 09:25 AM

This is a fascinating thread! I learned a lot here -- thanks, everyone!

Mr. Happy's link to YouTube led me to listen and then to check out a clip in the "Related Videos", a 1952 recording by The Travelers which has a variation in the "corn" verse that I didn't see listed here yet:

"This is the worst trip since I been born"


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Subject: RE: Sloop John B
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 01 Jul 08 - 07:35 AM

There is a humerous part in one of Alan Dean Foster's "Spellsinger" SF series when "Jontom" the erratic musical magician sings the song (probably the Beach Boys version). He wants to conjure up some transport and so thinks of a song about a ship but forgets about the lines saying that the crew get drunk and it's the worst trip he's ever been on.


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Subject: RE: Sloop John B
From: Mr Happy
Date: 01 Jul 08 - 06:15 AM

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=hkCwY9kdgDg


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sloop John B
From: toadfrog
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 11:16 PM

I sometimes miss stuff on long threads, but no one seems to have mentioned that it was recorded by the Weavers in 1951 and was a popular song a long time before there was a Kingston Trio. I didn't know about the Weavers, but I did know the song because everyone I knew in High School was singing it--in the early 1950's.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sloop John B
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 10:05 PM

My version is "Beach Boys" however, it includes the corn variation.



Sincerely,

Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sloop John B
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 06:20 PM

Thanks for the reference to "Nassau Bound."
I was aware of the name "John B. Sails" (see Trad Ballad Index) but not of this one.

The collection in the Library of Congress, 1916, seems to be the earliest one, but I don't know the title used.

A 1960 recording by Bud and Travis was the earliest I found under "Sloop John B."
(yes, I tried 'Histe Up...')


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sloop John B
From: Devilmaster
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 03:31 AM

Maybe someone has more info on this:

If anyone has the book 'The folksong fake book' by hal leonard publishing, has the song listed as 'Nassau Bound'.

Tom Lewis did this version on his last album 360 degrees.

Nassau Bound
Words and music: Traditional © Hal Leonard Corp.
Arrangement: Tom Lewis
(Recorded by Tom Lewis on 360° All Points of the Compass)

There's no better place than a sailin' ship to get an education,
You learn how to tar the ratlines down and drink up your rum ration.
So, hoist up the John B's sails, see how the mainsail sets,
Call for the Captain ashore, let me go home.
I wanna go home. I wanna go home. I feel so break up, I wanna go home.

We sailed on the sloop John B., my grandfather and me,
'Round Nassau town we did roam,
Drinkin' all night, got into a fight,
I feel so break up, I wanna go home.

We carried the ladies to Nassau town, like other sailin' boats,
There was twenty trunks down in the hold all full of petticoats,
But the First Mate he got drunk, broke up the ladies' trunks,
The constable come on board to take him away,
Sherrif Johnstone, please let me alone,
I feel so break up, I wanna go home.

We eat aboard the sloop John B. food of the very best,
Bur Cookie he never calls it food, he only call it a mess,
Then Cookie took "the fits", throw 'way all of the grits,
Then he took and throw 'way all of the corn,
Let me go home. Won't you let me go home,
I feel so break up, I wanna go home.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sloop John B
From: Roberto
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 02:02 AM

Here are the notes from the booklet in the CD Bahamas 1935, Rounder, from which I've posted the lyrics.

HISTE UP THE JOHN B. SAIL
(AAFS418B2)
Sung by Cleveland Simmons group. Recorded at Old Bight, Cat Island, Bahamas in July, 1935.
A Bahamian ballad made world-famous by the Weavers in the early 1950's. Their Decca recording was based on a version from a collection by Carl Sandburg, The American Songbag, published in 1927. "The John B. was an old sponger boat whose crew were in the habit of getting notoriously merry, whenever they made port," say the notes to an album of Blind Blake, a popular Nassau entertainer who recorded a string band version with the Royal Victoria Calypsos in 1952 (Art ALP-4). The unaccompanied version from Cat Island presented here is perhaps the earliest recording of this song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sloop John B
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 10:08 PM

'Sloop John B
Arranged by Brian Wilson
The song was a West Indies folk song from around 1927
Most popular version performed by The Beach Boys
It hit #3 on the Top 40 charts in 1966
Group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1988
The song was also recorded by the Kingston Trio in the 1950s
Jimmie Rodgers recorded the song in 1960 under the title "The Wreck of the Sloop John B"'


From the www


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sloop John B
From: Greg B
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 09:09 PM

I happen to have a Beach Boys CD in the rotation in my
car, and heard this the other day.

You know, it's brilliant, just freakin' brilliant.

The Wilsons and Mike Love (to say nothing of the others
who passed through the band) have more talent in their
toenail clippings than most of us have in our whole
beings.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sloop John B
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 04:28 PM

Beach Boys version


(from www.lyricsfreak.com/b/beach+boys/sloop+john+b_20013644.html)

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 bs 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 capns trunk
The constable had to come and take him away
Sheriff john stone
Why dont you leave me alone, yeah yeah
Well I feel so broke up I wanna go home

So hoist up the john bs 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 dont you let me go home
(hoist up the john bs 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 dont they let me go home
This is the worst trip Ive ever been on

So hoist up the john bs 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 dont you let me go home


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sloop John B
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 02:37 PM

So, to make this thread complete, can anybody post the Beach Boys version?
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Sloop John B
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 02:01 PM

A note in thread 32772 (above) cites the Folklore Archive, Library of Congress with a collection of "Sloop John B" from the Bahamas in 1916.
The late Bruce O in the same thread indicated that the song was "still evolving."


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Sloop John B
From: Don Firth
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 01:30 PM

I first encountered this song (before the Kingston Trio's first record came out) in Carl Sandburg's The American Songbag, first published in 1927 and, fortunately, reprinted and currently available.

In the thread George linked to above, Joe Offer posted the words as they appear in The American Songbag   HERE:

That's the way I learned it from Sandburg's book (complete with a sort or Calypso beat). I heard it on a recording of Calypso songs shortly thereafter and I had the rhythm right. Then, the Kingston Trio's recording of it came out.   Shortly thereafter, while I was singing in a local coffeehouse, someone requested "The Sloop John B." and I sang it the way I'd been singing it for three or four years. He griped that I didn't sing it right. "Didn't sing it right?" I said. "What do you mean?" "You didn't sing it like the Kingston Trio," he responded. As if the Kingston Trio were some kind of authorities on folk music. I had to educate him as to the background of the song, and suggensted that the KT probably got from the same source I did (and among other things, I pointed out that there were three of them and only one of me).

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Sloop John B
From: Roberto
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 09:10 AM

It seems the SLOOP JOHN B comes from a traditional song. Here is a 1935 recording.

Histe Up the John B. Sails, Cleveland Simmons group, Bahamas 1935 ? Deep River of Song (Coll. Alan Lomax), Rounder 11661 ? 1822-2

Histe up the John B. sails
(See how) the mainsail set
Then send for the captain 'shore
Let me go home (Let me go home)
O let me go home (Let me go home)
O let me go home (Let me go back home)
I feel so break up
I want to go home

Now the captain and the mate get drunk
Then they broke up the people trunk
I goin' to send for the captain 'shore
Let me go home (Let me go home)
O let me go home
O let me go home
I feel so break up
I want to go home

Grandpa, Ma and me
Was standin'on the railroad block
Go send for the captain 'shore
Let me go home
O let me go home
O let me go home, let me go home
I feel so break up
I want to go home


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Sloop John B
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 08:05 AM

I thought the 'original' was written by Les Barker...



We looked for the Sloop John A;
We looked for it all day;
Round Nassau Town we did roam,
A man on the pier,
Said it wasn't here;
We didn't find it,
And then we went home.

Then we went home,
We had to go home.
Maybe the A's at sea;
We had a good look round,
Then we went home,
Then we went home,
We had to go home.


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Sloop John B
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 07:53 AM

The "Wreck" song in the Digitrad is probably the one you're looking for (the Kingston Trio version). On the other hand, Tom Lewis (?) says that there's a second part to the song that the Kingston Trio left out. I'm pretty sure that if you search the Mudcat threads for "Sloop John B" you'll find both sets of lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Lyr req: Sloop John B
From: Leadfingers
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 07:51 AM

The Beach Boys copywrited ?? their recording , but Paddy Roberts recorded it about four years before them ! Will have to look the lyrics out !!


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