Whiskey Johnny

DESCRIPTION: Shanty. Characteristic line: "Whiskey, Johnny, / Whiskey for me Johnny." The song details the sailor's love affair with whiskey: "Whiskey is the life of man / It always was since the world began...." "Whiskey killed my dear old dad..."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1894 (Alfred M. Williams, _Studies in Folk-Song and Popular Poetry_, pp. 7-8); mentioned in 1867
KEYWORDS: shanty drink nonballad
FOUND IN: US(MA,MW,NE,SE,SW) Canada(Mar,Ont)
REFERENCES (23 citations):
Doerflinger, pp. 15-16, "Whiskey Johnny" (3 texts, 1 tune)
Walton/Grimm/Murdock, pp. 64-65, "Whiskey, Johnny" (1 composite text, 1 tune)
Peters, p. 304, "Whiskey Johnny" (1 text, 1 tune)
Bone, p. 82-83, "Whis-key John-nie" (1 text, 1 tune)
Colcord, pp. 49-50, "Whiskey Johnny" (1 text, 1 tune)
Harlow, pp. 21, 63-66 "Whiskey" (3 texts, 2 tunes)
Hugill, pp. 274-280, "Whisky Johnny" (4 texts & several fragments, 1 tune) [AbEd, pp. 202-206]
Sharp-EFC, XLVIII, p. 53, "Whiskey For My Johnny" (1 text, 1 tune)
Linscott, pp. 151-152, "Whisky Johnny" (1 text, 1 tune)
Beck-Maine, p. 198, "Whiskey Johnny" (1 short text)
Shay-SeaSongs, p. 55, "Whiskey for My Johnny" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sandburg, p. 403, "Whiskey Johnny" (1 text, 1 tune)
Smith/Hatt, p. 30, "Whiskey For My Johnnie" (1 text)
Mackenzie 106, "Whisky Johnny" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Terry-Shanty1, #25, "Whisky Johnny" (1 text, 1 tune)
Darling-NAS, pp. 311-312, "Whiskey Johnny" (1 text)
Lomax-ABFS, pp. 486-487, "Whisky Johnny" (1 text, 1 tune)
BrownSchinhanV 785, "Whiskey Johnny" (1 short text, 1 tune)
Shay-Barroom, p. 70, "Whickey for My Johnny" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 231, "Whiskey Johnny" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Captain John Robinson, "Songs of the Chantey Man," a series published July-August 1917 in the periodical _The Bellman_ (Minneapolis, MN, 1906-1919). "Whisky for My Johnny" is in Part 3, 7/28/1917.
Frederick Pease Harlow, _The Making of a Sailor, or Sea Life Aboard a Yankee Square-Rigger_, 1928; republished by Dover, 1988, p. 113, "Whiskey" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #651
Bob Roberts, "Whisky Johnny" (on LastDays)
Minster Singers, "Whiskey Johnny" (Victor 61147, n.d., prob. c. 1903)
Capt. Leighton Robinson w. Alex Barr, Arthur Brodeur & Leighton McKenzie, "Whiskey Johnny" (AFS 4232 B1, 1939; on LC27 as "Whisky Johnny"; in AMMEM/Cowell)

cf. "Rise Me Up from Down Below" (chorus, theme)
cf. "Supen Ut, En Dram Pa Man" (similar theme)
NOTES [74 words]: Hugill specifies four versions of this, each with a distinct story line though all using the same refrain: a) The advantages & disadvantages of drinking; b) the Shanghaiing version; c) The limejuice skipper; and d) the Crab, Crayfish or Lobster version (i.e. "The Sea Crab"). Harlow cites yet another version, of a barber and a lady who are trying to impress one another and who eventually do get together despite the barber's drunkenness. - SL
Last updated in version 4.2
File: Doe015

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