“John Cherokee”

Alternate titles: “Alabama John Cherokee”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1917
Keywords: shanty slave escape Indians(Am) ghost
Found in: West Indies

Description

Shanty. Refrain: "Alabama John Cherokee, Way-aye-yah! Alabama John Cherokee." Slave who keeps running away is caught and put on board a ship, from which he escapes again. He's put in chains, and finally starves to death in the hold.

Notes

Colcord and Hugill both state this is definitely of Negro origin, probably introduced to seaman by slaves stowing cotton. - SL

References

  1. Colcord, p. 103, "John Cherokee" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Hugill, p. 439, "Alabama" (1 text, 1 tune) [AbEd,p. 330]
  3. ADDITIONAL: Captain John Robinson, "Songs of the Chantey Man," a series published July-August 1917 in the periodical _The Bellman_ (Minneapolis, MN, 1906-1919). "John Cherokee" is in Part 3, 7/28/1917.
  4. Roud #4693
  5. BI, Hugi439