JOHN B SAILS - chords and comments

At the bottom you'll find a link to the complete lyrics.

The sailship "John B" has existed, owned by the welsh captain John Bethel, residing on Bahamas, a colony of UK in Caribbian since the middle of the 17th century. But the term "sloop" must be twisted, talking about a crew with a cook, a first mate and a stewardess it must've been larger. Anyway; both owner, ship and crew earned bad reputation. The legend tells that John B sank in the morning after a wild party ashore and aboard. Local folk lyrics were transcribed by Richard Le Gallienne in 1916, and published by Carl Sandburg in "The American Songbag", 1927. Then it spread worldwide: probably first recorded in -35 by Cleveland Simmons Group as "Histe Up the John B. Sail" (produced and recorded on Bahamas by Alan Lomax). The Kingston Trio made it a standard in -58 as "The Wreck of the John B" and in -66 Beach Boys recorded it as "Sloop John B": promoted by Al Jardine and rearranged by Brian Wilson.
In 1926 the original wreck of the ship was discovered in Nassau, confirming the existence, and the remains are partially conserved on the beach.
This short introduction contains the name of two persons with great influence on american folklore and folk music: Carl Sandburg and maybe especially Alan Lomax. Click the icons at the bottom of this page for further information.
A                    D9/B A
we come on the sloop John B
A              D9/B A
my grandfather and me
A              C#m         E  ...E7
around Nassau town we did roam
              A    A7             D  ...D7...Bdim7...E7
drinking all night we got into a fight
   A        F#m
I feel so breakup
Bm E7         A
I want to go home
The bridge "D7...Bdim7...E7" is my substitution for the normally used "Dm". It makes it more hangover and homesick ...
A major
A seventh
E major
E seventh
D major
D seventh
D ninth add B
C minor
B minor
F sharp minor
B diminuished seventh
Carl Sandburg
Alan Lomax