DESCRIPTION: "Twas on a Friday morning I bid London Town adieu." "Goodbye, John, Don't stay long, But come back home to your own chickiebiddie, My heart bears so to see you go, Don't forget your darling"
EARLIEST DATE: 1868 (broadside, Bodleian Bod8412 Firth c.12(385))
LONG DESCRIPTION: John loved sweet Nancy, a big lass (15 stone=210 pounds, face the size of a dinner plate) who ran a sweets shop. He dreamt, while sailing, that she came to him looking "just like a mermaid." In the morning, as they approached land, Nancy came to meet him in a boat which capsized and sent her to the bottom, In a spoken interlude John explains that as a British sailor he cannot stand by to "see a British female in distress"; to save her as she was going down a third time, he grabbed her hair; to his surprise it was a wig that came off and she went to the bottom of the Thames.
KEYWORDS: love separation travel request beauty hair death drowning river sea ship shore dream England humorous sailor
FOUND IN: US(SE) Canada(Newf)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
BrownSchinhanV 690, "Goodbye John" (1 short text, 1 tune)
Guigne, pp. 149-151, "Goodbye John, But Don't Stop Long" (1 text, 1 tune)
Everett Bennett, "Goodbye John, But Don't Stop Long" (on NFAGuigne01)
Bodleian, Bod8412 Firth c.12(385), "Goodbye John" ("Twas on Friday morning I bade London town goodbye"), Poet's Box (Glasgow), 1868
NOTES: The above description is based mostly on BrownSchinhanV plus a stray line. I assume there is more to the song, but I don't have any way to test it. - RBW
The description "Goodbye, ... darling," is the chorus; the long description is based on Guigne's text for Bennett's recording. The Poet's Box broadside has more details of John's sailing to exotic ports, keeps the tragic end, but lacks the spoken patter,
Guigne has this as a music hall number which she found in a Tony Pastor song book. - BS
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