Johnny Come Down to Hilo

This version of the chantey takes a look back home at the girl left behind (which reminds me of this alternate reading of a verse from the chantey South Australia: “Well, there’s just but one thing grieves my mind, to leave Miss Nancy Blair’s behind.”)  Tim sings a variation from mine below.  It’s surely a song with the sensibilities of an earlier age…

We’re running away around the Cape,
Some to get drunk and some to get laid.
Johnny come down to Hilo, poor old man.

Chorus:

Oh, wake ‘er (Wake her!) oh, shake ‘er,(Shake her!)
Shake that gal with the blue dress on.
Johnny come down to Hilo, poor old man.

Oh the doors swing in, the doors swing out
And some pass in, while others pass out
Johnny come down to Hilo, poor old man.

I once had a gal, her hair was red,
‘Twas curly all over except on her head.
Johnny come down to Hilo, poor old man.

This gal she did look good to me
‘Cus I just been ten months out at sea.
Johnny come down to Hilo, poor old man.

Her eyes was blue, her dress the same,
But she always fell asleep before I came.
Johnny come down to Hilo, poor old man.

Poor ole man he’s sick in bed
He want somebody for rub his head
Johnny come down to Hilo, poor old man.

Now, a dollar goes from hand to hand;
My gal goes from man to man.
Johnny come down to Hilo, poor old man.

I tied my gal in a gunny sack,
She’ll be true to me ’til I get back.
Johnny come down to Hilo, poor old man.

She’s a Downeast gal with a Downeast style,
For a dollar a time it’s all worthwhile.
Johnny come down to Hilo, poor old man.

Them Hilo gals all dress so fine,
They ain’t got Jesus on their mind.
Johnny come down to Hilo, poor old man.

 

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