Hanging Johnny

DESCRIPTION: Shanty. Characteristic line: "Away, away... Hang, boys, hang!" The singer reports, "They call me Hanging Johnny... Oh they say I hang for money. They say I hung my daddy... We'll... hang together... And we'll hang for better weather."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1917 (Great Lakes sailor Carl Joys says he learned it before 1870)
KEYWORDS: shanty ship sailor
FOUND IN: US(MA,MW,SE) Canada(Mar) Britain(England)
REFERENCES (17 citations):
Doerflinger-SongsOfTheSailorAndLumberman, p. 31, "Hanging Johnny" (1 text, 1 tune)
Walton/Grimm-Windjammers-SongsOfTheGreatLakesSailors, pp. 65-67, "Hanging Johnny" (1 composite text, 1 tune)
Colcord-SongsOfAmericanSailormen, pp. 72-73,"Hanging Johnny" (1 text, 1 tune)
Harlow-ChantyingAboardAmericanShips, pp. 47-48,"Hanging Johnny" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hugill-ShantiesFromTheSevenSeas, pp. 284-285,"Hanging Johnny" (1 text, 1 tune) [AbEd, pp. 208-209]
Sharp-EnglishFolkChanteys, LI, p. 56, "Hanging Johnny" (1 text, 1 tune)
Kinsey-SongsOfTheSea, pp. 92-93, "Hanging Johnny" (1 text, 1 tune)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore5 779, "Hanging Johnnie" (1 short text, 1 tune)
Shay-AmericanSeaSongsAndChanteys, p. 54, "Hanging Johnny" (1 text, 1 tune)
Smith/Hatt/Fowke-SeaSongsBalladFromNineteenthCenturyNovaScotia, p. 26, "Hangman Johnnie" (1 text)
Terry-TheShantyBook-Part1, #19, "Hanging Johnny" (1 text. 1 tune)
Parrish-SlaveSongsOfTheGeorgiaSeaIslands 47, pp. 203-204, "Call Me Hangin' Johnny" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 87, "Hanging 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). Hanging Johnny" is in Part 2, 7/21/1917.
Frederick Pease Harlow, _The Making of a Sailor, or Sea Life Aboard a Yankee Square-Rigger_, 1928; republished by Dover, 1988, pp. 253-254, "Hanging Johnny" (1 text, 1 tune)
Harold Nestler, "Songs from the Hudson Valley" (article in _New York Folklore Quarterly_, Volume V, #2, Summer 1949), p. 94, "They Call Me Hanging Johnny" (1 text)

Roud #2625
Bob Roberts, "Hanging Johnny" (on LastDays)
Leighton Robinson w. Alex Barr, Arthur Brodeur & Leighton McKenzie, "Hanging Johnny" (AFS 4231 A1, 1939; in AMMEM/Cowell)
W[illiam] H. Smith, "Hangman Johnny" (on NovaScotia1)

NOTES [65 words]: According to most sources, the "hanging" in this song does not refer to execution. Great Lakes sailor Carl Joys said it referred to the young sailors who went aloft to swing out the halyards when a sail was hoisted. Another account says it referred to a sailor who held a rope lashed to other sailors. If this "hanger" let them go in a bad sea, they would be washed overboard and lost. - RBW
Last updated in version 5.1
File: Doe031

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