Leave Her Johnny Leave Her – Pumps

Interesting Facts about the Leave Her Johnny Leave Her – Pumps

“Leave Her Johnny Leave Her – Pumps” was a shanty that was used at pumps or capstan, also sometimes used as halyard shanty. However, it was mostly not used during the voyage due to the risk of being accused of mutiny by the singers, which was quite a serious risk as it was the unwritten rule of the merchant fleet that no serious complaints aloud about the captain or the job were allowed. So, due to the lyrics of this song (many verses are unprintable), it was especially used at the end of the voyage, when the (especially wooden) ship was in port, and all that was left was the final clearing and pumping out the water from the bilge, then the sailors could complain freely and it was accepted by the captain. This reconstruction will be a pump shanty.

The source of this sea shanty

The music: “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed: p 293).
The lyrics: “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed: p 297, 298).

The Record of the Leave Her Johnny Leave Her – Pumps

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

Leave Her Johnny Leave Her - Pumps - music notation

The full lyrics

Leave her Johnny Leave Her (Pumps)

Oh, a dollar a day is a Jack Sprite’s pay,
– leave her, Johnny, leave her!
To pump all night an, to work all day,
– An’ it’s time for us to leave her!

– Leave her, Johnny, leave her,
– Ooh! leave her, Johnny, leave her!
– For the winds do roar an’ we wish we wuz ashore,
– An it’s time for us to leave her!

* 2 *

Though times is hard an’ the wages low,
There’s fathom o’ water down in the hold.

* 3 *

The Old Man shouts, the pumps stand by,
Oh, we can never suck her dry.

* 4 *

Heave one more turn an’ around she goes,
Or else we’ll be kickin’ up our toes.

* 5 *

Leave her, Johnny, we can pump no more,
Of pump or down we’ve had full store.

* 6 *

It’s pump or drown, the Old Man said,
Or else damn soon ye’ll all be dead.

* 7 *

Heave around or we shall drown,
Hey! don’t yiz feel her settlin’ down?

* 8 *

Heave around them pump-bowls bright,
There’ll be no sleep for us this night.

* 9 *

The rats have gone an’ we, the crew,
It’s time be damned that we went too.

* 10 *

Oh, pump away in merry, merry strife,
Oh, heave away for to save dear life.

* 11 *

Oh, pump her out from down below,
Oh, pump her out an’ away we’ll go.

* 12 *

The starboard pump is like the crew,
It’s all worn out an’ will not do.

* 13 *

Leave her, Johnny, we can pump no more,
It’s time we wuz upon dry shore.

Related to this sea shanty

John come tell us as we haul away

The Ox-eyed Man (Davis & Tozer)

Across The Rockies

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