Heave Away My Johnny

A chantey associated with windlass work (like a capstan but horizontal) such as when warping out of harbor on the outward bound voyage.  The earliest I am aware of it being in print (not to say that it isn’t any older, mind you!) is when Cecil Sharp collected it on 21 August 1907 from Captain Vickery of Minehead, Somerset, England.  He collected it again from a Mr. John Short, a sailor from Watchet, Somerset, England, on 21 April 1914.  This latter version has a different set of lyrics relating to a farmer’s daughter who had left a large sum of money and the tragic events that unfold.

Below is essentially what the Clancy Bros. sing in the last cut of their 1968 LP The Clancy Bros. and Tommy Makem Sing of the Sea.  This is one of my favourite songs and off of one of my favourite albums; I am not currently aware of this album ever having been released on CD although I, myself, have digitized this stellar album for personal consumption on my iPod.  THIS is one of those albums on your list if you were to be stranded on an island and only allowed a set number of recordings!  I cannot stress enough how impactful this album was to so many of us in the sea music genre…

Clancy Bros Sing of the Sea

 

              F                                        Bb                                                                          F
There’s some what’s bound for New York Town, and some that’s bound for France.

            F                                       x      F      C       F
            Heave away me Johnny!       Heave a-way!

         Bb                                           F                              Bb                                  F  
And some what’s bound for the Bengal Bay for to teach them whales to dance.

            F                                        Dm                  F    C               F
            Heave away me Johnny boy!     We’re all bound to go!

 

The pilot he is awaiting for the turning of the tide.
(or) {The master he is awaiting for the favourable tide to come in}
            Heave away…
And then me boys we’ll be gone again with the good and westerly winds.
            Heave away me…

 

Come all ye hard working sailor lads who ‘round the cable storms.
            Heave away…
Be sure ye boots and oilskins’ on or ye’ll wish ye never was born.
            Heave away me…

 

Farewell to you ye Kingston gals, farewell St-Andrew’s dock.
            Heave away…
If ever we return again we’ll make yer cradles rock.
            Heave away me…

 

There’s some what’s bound for New York Town, and some that’s bound for France.
            Heave away…
And some what’s bound for the Bengal Bay for to teach them whales to dance.
            Heave away me…

 

 

 

 

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