“John Cherokee”


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.


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


  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


Alternate titles: “Alabama John Cherokee”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1917
Found in: West Indies