Johnny Boker (I)

DESCRIPTION: Shanty. Characteristic line: " Do, my Johnny Boker (Booker/Poker), do!" Often with lyrics about the sailor's girl (Sally) or about the abuse inflicted by the Captain.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1917 (Robinson)
KEYWORDS: shanty nonballad
FOUND IN: US(MA) Canada(Mar,Newf) West Indies
REFERENCES (15 citations):
Doerflinger, p. 9, "Johnny Boker" (1 text, 1 tune)
Colcord, p. 44, "Johnny Boker" (1 text, 1 tune)
Harlow, pp. 97-98, "Johnny Boker" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hugill, pp. 289-290, "Johnny Bowker" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sharp-EFC, XL, p. 45, "Johnny Bowker" (1 text, 1 tune)
Linscott, p. 141, "Johnny Boker" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
Greenleaf/Mansfield 168, "Jolly Poker" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
Cox-Newfoundland, p. 54, "'Jolly Poker' and 'Haul on the Bowline'" (1 short text, 1 tune, with one verse of each of the two songs)
Terry-Shanty1, #27, "Johnny Boker" (1 text, 1 tune)
Abrahams-WIShanties, pp. 4-6, "Do My Jolly Boy" (1 text, 1 tune)
Shay-SeaSongs, p. 28, "Johnny Boker" (1 short text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 86, "Johnny Boker" (1 text)
DT, JONBOKER*
ADDITIONAL: Captain John Robinson, "Songs of the Chantey Man," a series published July-August 1917 in the periodical _The Bellman_ (Minneapolis, MN, 1906-1919). "Johnny Boker" is in Part 1, 7/14/1917
George Allan England, _Vikings of the Ice: Being the Log of a Tenderfoot on the Great Newfoundland Seal Hunt_ (also published as _The Greatest Hunt in the World_), Doubleday, 1924, p. 44, "(Johnny Boker)" (1 short text)

Roud #353
RECORDINGS:
Capt. Leighton Robinson, "Johnny Boker" (AFS, 1951; on LC26)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Johnny Polka
Johnny Poker
NOTES [98 words]: A blackface piece of the same name is also known, and is felt by some to be the original, but the relationship between the two is difficult to determine precisely.
According to Ron Young, Dictionary of Newfoundland and Labrador, Downhome Publishing Inc., 2006, p. 227, in Newfoundland, this wasn't just a sea shanty; it was also used as a hauling shanty for hauling HOUSES from one place to another -- a relatively common occurrence in Newfoundland, where houses were usually small, had no cellars, and were often kept for a very long time because building new ones was so expensive. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.3
File: Doe009a

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.