Jon Calls this, “A great shanty. I used to sing this with my good friend Henry Timms when drunk.”
Another of The Young Tradition’s shanties form the same session as Fire Marengo (Maringo) that we had back in November. Mainly Norfolk covers that with a note that this could be lengthened at will, with all manner of people being a candidate for Johnny’s rope. I’m sure the same applies to most of these nautical work songs, depending on the task in hand. Some feature whole floating verses, but the simple formula of this only requires a rhyme to be found and I daresay the tune is robust enough to stand some drunken abuse too. The song’s a bit confusing and doesn’t have much lyrical sense but I suppose that’s not the point, rhythm here is king.
Bonus track: Hanging Johnny (Live at Kings Place, London, 10th Feb 2011)
You can buy the February digital album now from all good download stores: