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Lyr Req/ADD: jim johnson / Yim Yonson

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GUEST,jp 30 Oct 02 - 10:50 AM
Sorcha 30 Oct 02 - 11:07 AM
Joe Offer 30 Oct 02 - 11:18 AM
GUEST 30 Oct 02 - 11:48 AM
GUEST,Oldsod 09 Apr 12 - 10:00 AM
GUEST,999 09 Apr 12 - 12:28 PM
Joe Offer 10 Apr 12 - 02:08 AM
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Subject: lyrics for jim johnson
From: GUEST,jp
Date: 30 Oct 02 - 10:50 AM

any one know the where abouts or have a copy of the lyrics to a tune
or recitation of "jim johnson".... i heard it on an old tape long time ago by a group at the time called privateer.
it is about a reluctant sailor aboard a great lakes ship.........

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Subject: RE: lyrics for jim johnson
From: Sorcha
Date: 30 Oct 02 - 11:07 AM

Didn't find any lyrics, but Privateer was Tom and Kris Kastle, small squib here,
and it looks like you might be able to buy a CD with Jim Johnson on it here. (Scroll down a bit.)

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Subject: RE: lyrics for jim johnson
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Oct 02 - 11:18 AM

Not, "My name is Jim Johnson, I come from Wisconsin?"
Can you remember any more of it, JP? Sometimes, fragments help.
-Joe Offer-

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Subject: RE: lyrics for jim johnson
Date: 30 Oct 02 - 11:48 AM

all i remember is ....

jim johnson was a sailor aboard the scowl(?) san pesh(?)....

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: jim johnson
From: GUEST,Oldsod
Date: 09 Apr 12 - 10:00 AM

used to recite this one years ago - in a Norr-vee-ghan accent (of course)...

Yim Yohnson ship' from lumber yard
on board the scow "Sem Petch".
He didn't know his starboard bow
from off de forward hatch.

But Yim, he put on great-big bluff
Da' he bin sailor-man
until de troubles hit de scow
and Yim ha' to show his hand.

Now, the scow bin in the cord-vood trade,
and she sailed from sister's Bay
And Yim he was a handy man
'til off Twin Points, one day.

Ven yust like *finger-snap*
a sqvall on de vood scow flew.
Und made her stan' on her beam-end
und call up all de crew.

De Cap'n svore like crazy-man
un'a' Yim Yohnson yell.

But Yim, he yust say, "I'll not STIR
from dis cahooten stanchion,
dere bin ten tousand tops'ls, ya,
but only ONE Yim Yohnson!"

Und dat's how Yim,he loose his yob
und go no more to sea.
At sailin' he bin greenhorn, sure
und alvays vant to be,

De Cap'n kick him of de ship
und at Yim Yohnson svore
But he sadi, "I'd radder land DIS vay
den to float along de shore.

From the singing of "Privateer"
Apologies to anyone offended by the bad accent - but that's the way I learned it - consider this a historic document.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: jim johnson
From: GUEST,999
Date: 09 Apr 12 - 12:28 PM

p 166

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Subject: ADD: Yim Yonson (The Scow Sam Patch)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Apr 12 - 02:08 AM

Good find, Oldsod and 999. I could have been rightly proud of myself if I had thought to look in Walton in 2002...

YIM YONSON (The Scow Sam Patch)

Yim Yonson ship from lumberyard
    Upon de scow Sam Patch;
He didn't know his starboard bow
    From oft de forward hatch.
He make big bluff before he sail
    That he ben sailor man,
But when de trouble struck de scow,
    Yim had to show his han'.

De scow ben in de cordwood trade.
    She sail from Sister Bay,
An' Yim he would be handyman
    Till off Twin Points one day
When yust like finger snap
    A squall on de wood scow flew
An' made her stan' on her beam's end
    An' call up all de crew.

De captain swore like crazy man,
    An' at Yim Yonson yell:
"Yump up an' rif dat tops'l queek
    Or it ben gone to Hell!"
But Yim, he say, "I will not stir
    From dis cahutan stanchion;
Der ben ten tousand tops'ls, yes,
    But only one Yim Yonson!"

An' dat's how Yim, he lose his yob,
    An' no more go to sea—
At sailin' he ben greenhorn, sure,
    An' always want to be.
Ven he was kicked from off de ship,
    He heard de captain swore;
But said, "I'd rather lan' dis vay
    Dan float along de shore."

Notes: Large numbers of Scandinavians immigrated to Lake Michigan and the prairie states to the west in the 1880s. Finding similarities between their homeland and their new surroundings, they quite naturally took jobs as loggers and sailors. Rather than the French accent of scow songs from the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair, "Yim Yonson" puts a heavy Scandinavian flavor on the familiar tale of a landsman-turned--sailor in over his head. This greenhorn song is set in Lake Michigan's Green Bay and sung to the same air as "The Wood Scow Julie Plante." It was sometimes referred to by the name of the scow, which was the same as that of the man who, on October 7, 1829, dove into the Niagara River and survived. Buoyed by the success, Patch dove into the Niagara Falls on October 17. Not one to rest on his laurels, he dove into the Genesee Falls at Rochester, New York, on November 13, 1829. That dive killed him.
This version was obtained in the summer of 1932 from S. C. Jacobson, lightkeeper and former sailor of Waukegan, Illinois. He said he had learned it about thirty years earlier while sailing Lake Michigan lumber schooners. Other mariners knew the song or fragments of it, and said they came from "Yim Yonson's Philosophy" and "De Scow Sam Patch."

Source: Windjammers: Songs of the Great Lakes Sailors, by Ivan H. Walton and Joe Grimm (Wayne State University Press, 2002), page 166

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