New Video - "Leave Her, Johnny"
 
As with all sneak previews, please don't share links to this video until it goes live to the public on September 18th, 2017. Thank you for your generous support!

---

A traditional sea shanty. Used to keep time while working, each sea shanty has a specific job aboard ship that it is associated with. 'Leave Her, Johnny' is what's known as a 'pump shanty'. Because water often leaked into the holds of wooden ships, it regularly had to be pumped out, which tended to be a very monotonous job.

This song was usually sung during the last round of pumping once it was tied up in port, before the crew left to go ashore. There are a multitude of different versions of the song, with different collections and variants of verses. I wound up using the same verse selection that Stan Rogers used in his cover of the song.

While I've had guest singers backing me up in the past here on the channel (particularly Colette La Trouvere), this is my first crack at doing a multi-track release with only myself as the backup harmonies. The chorus is recorded in 4 parts, though I was only running the video recording for the main melody line. The rest of the parts were recorded afterwards, directly to the audio editing software.

---

"LEAVE HER, JOHNNY" - Traditional


I thought I heard the old man say

"Leave her, Johnny, leave her

It's a long, hard pull to the next payday

And it's time for us to leave her"


Chorus:

Leave her, Johnny, leave her!

Oh, leave her, Johnny, leave her

For the voyage is done and the winds don't blow

And it's time for us to leave her!


Oh, the winds were foul and the work was hard

Leave her, Johnny, leave her!

From the Liverpool dock to the London yard

And it's time for us to leave her


[Chorus]


Oh, the skipper was bad, but the mate was worse

Leave her, Johnny, leave her

He'd blow you down with a spike and a curse

And it's time for us to leave her


[Chorus]


It was rotten meat and moldy bread

Leave her, Johnny, leave her!

You'd eat it or you'd starve to death

And it's time for us to leave her


[Chorus]


Well it's time for us to say goodbye

Leave her, Johnny, leave her

For now those pumps are all pumped dry

And it's time for us to leave her


[Chorusx2]