Interesting Facts about the Whisky Johnny B
The “Whisky Johnny B” is a halyard one, usually used at either t’gallant or tops’l halyards, and from time to time it even was used at the capstan. Clark in his book “Seven Years of a Sailor’s Life (1867), refers to the singing of Whisky Johnny at the windlass.
Here is the list of versions given to us by Stan Hugill:
(a) The advantages and disadvantages of whisky drinking,
(b) Shanghaiing version,
(c) The limejuice skipper, and
(d) Crabfish, crayfish, or lobster version.
The text for this version Stan Hugill took from Mr. Jimmy Sexton, Arthur Spencer, and other seamen. This song will be reconstructed as the Halyard shanty.
The source of this sea shanty
The music: “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed: p 274).
The lyrics: “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed: p 276, 277).
The Record of the Whisky Johnny B
You also can find this record on my YouTube channel here or directly listen below. Additionally, if you want to share your opinion about the record or share your opinion you can do it in my Facebook forum here, or leave a comment at the bottom of this blog article.
The musical notation
The full lyrics
Whisky Johnny B
Now if ever go to ‘Frisco town,
– Whisky Johnny!
Mind ye steer clear o’ Shanghai Brown,
– Whisky for my Johnny!
* 2 *
He’ll dope yer whishy night an’ morn,
An’ then shanghai ye round Cape Horn.
* 3 *
Two months’ wages are dead,
An’ a donkey’s breakfast for yes bed.
* 4 *
Ol’ Shanghai Brown an’ Larry Marr,
Their names are known both near an’ far.
* 5 *
Ol’ Larry Marr an’ Shanghai Brown,
They robbedme up an’ robbed me down.
* 6 *
They fit ye out wid bumboat gear,
That’s got ter last yer ‘alf-a-year,
* 7 *
Carpet slippers made o’ felt,
An’ a nice, clean rope-yarn for a belt.
* 8 *
A suit o’ oilskins made o’ cotton,
An’ ol’ sea-chest wid bricks in the bottom.
* 9 *
Oh, the Barbary Coast is no place for me,
Ye have one drink then wake up at sea.
* 10 *
Ol’ Shanghai Brown he loves us sailors,
Oh, yes he does like hell ‘n’ blazes.
* 11 *
All ye young sailors take a warnin’ from me,
Keep an eye on yer drink, lads, when ye come from sea.
* 12 *
Or else ye’ll awake on a cold frosty morn,
On a three-skys’l yarder bound round the Horn.
* 13 *
On a skys’l yarder all bound round the Horn,
Ye’ll wish ter hell that ye’d niver bin born.
* 14 *
Oh, I thought I heard the Ol’ Man say,
Just one more pull, lads, then belay!