“The John B. Sails”


A description of a horrible journey on the "sloop John B." Refrain: "Let me go home! I want to go home; I feel so break-up, I want to go home." Among the problems on the voyage: A drunken first mate who is arrested for robbery and a cook who won't


Although I have yet to encounter a version of this song actually describing the sinking of the John B., the craft is said to lie at the bottom of Governor's Harbor in Nassau, where its remains are considered almost a historic monument. - RBW


  • Rex Allen, "Wreck of the John B" (Mercury 5573, 1951)
  • Cleveland Simmons Group: "Histe Up the John B. Sail" (AAFS 418 B2, 1935; on LomaxCD1822-2)


  1. Sandburg, pp. 22-23, "The John B. Sails" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Lomax-FSNA 280, "The John B.'s Sails" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Silber-FSWB, p. 93, "John B. Sails" (1 text)
  5. Roud #15634
  6. BI, San022


Alternate titles: “The Sloop John B.”; “The Wreck of the John B.”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1927 (Sandburg)
Found in: West Indies