Monthly Archives: November 2015

Wreck of the Sloop John B

According to Wikipedia, “The John B. Sails” is a Bahamian folk song from Nassau. A transcription by Richard Le Gallienne was published in 1916, and a version was included in Carl Sandburg’s The American Songbag in 1927. Since the early 1950s there have been many recordings; variant titles include “I Want to Go Home“, “Wreck of the John B“, and “Sloop John B“. Note that the lyrics reproduced below never mention the John B being wrecked. (The photo was taken at Nassau, Bahama Islands, c. 1900.)

JohnB
We came on the sloop “John B”
My grandfather and me
‘Round Nassau town we did roam
Stayed awake all night
We got into a fight
Well, I feel so broke up
I want to go home

Hoist up the “John B” sail
See how the mains’l’s sets
Tell the captain ashore
I wanna go home
Well, I wanna go home
I wanna go home
Lord, I feel so broke up
I just wanna go home

Well, the first mate he got drunk
And he broke into somebody’s trunk
And the Sheriff had to come and take him away
Sheriff John Slone
Please let me alone
Well, I fell so broken up
I just wanna go home

Hoist up the “John B” sail
See how the mains’l’s sets
Tell the captain ashore
I wanna go home
Lord, I wanna go home
I just wanna go home
Well, I feel so broken up
I just wanna go home

Hoist up the “John B” sail
See how the mains’l’s sets
Tell the captain ashore
I wanna go home
Well, I wanna go home
I wanna go home
Lord, I feel so broken up
I just wanna go home
Well, I feel so broken up
I wanna go home

Advertisements