Hanging Johnny

Interesting Facts about the Hanging Johnny

This is one of the most famous shanties of all “Hanging Johnny”. According to Stan Hugill’s Hanging Johnny, it can be legendary hangman Jack Ketch, but obviously, nobody can confirm this information, so we have to get it as a legend. Probably melancholy tune and macabre lyrics and rhythm length itself made this song one of the best halyard shanties ever.
Here the description of how Stan Hugill described the use of this shanty:
“The word ‘Hang’ was often used when ‘swinging’. In this maneuver (when a buntline or clewline or light halyard had to be given a few final strong pulls), one man took a part turn with the line around the portion of the belayin’-pin beneath the pin rail, while two or three other seamen with their hands as high as they could place them gripped the line and fell backward heavily, then ‘giving in’ the resultant slack to the chap at the pin.”
Usually was used at t’gallant halyards.

The source of this sea shanty

The music: “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed: p 284).
The lyrics: “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed: p 283, 284, 285).

The Record of the Blow the Hanging Johnny

“Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed p 203, 204).

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.

Hanging Johnny - Halyard Shanty

The musical notation

Hanging Johnny - music notation

The full lyrics

Hanging Johnny

Oh, they calls me Hangin’ Johnny,
– AWAY, boys, AWAY!
They sez I hangs for money,
– So HANG, boy-oys, HANG!

* 2 *

They sez I hang for money,
But hangin’ is so funny,

* 3 *

At first I hanged me daddy,
An’ then I hanged me mammy.

* 4 *

Oh, yes, I hanged me mother,
Me sister, an’ me brudder.

* 5 *

I hanged me sister Sally,
I hanged the whole damn family.

* 6 *

An’ then I hanged me granny,
I hanged her up quite canny.

* 7 *

I’d hang the mate and skipper,
I’d hang ’em by their flippers.

* 8 *

I’d hang a ruddy copper,
I’d give him the long dropper.

* 9 *

I’d hang a rotten liar,
I’d hang a bloomin’ frair.

* 10 *

I’d hang to make things jolly,
I’d hang Jill, Jane, an’ Polly.

* 11 *

A rope, a beam, a ladder,
I’d hang yiz all tergether.

* 12 *

We’ll hang an’ haul tergether,
We’ll hang for better weather.

Related to this sea shanty

Hilo Come Down Below

Whisky Johnny C

Whisky Johnny D

Leave a Comment