“Wake Up, Jonah (Jonah III)”


"Wake up, Jonah, you are the man! Reelin' and a-rockin' o' the ship so long!" "Captain of the ship got trouble in mind...." The sailors throw Jonah into the sea; he is swallowed by a whale and proceeds to Ninevah

Long description

Captain of a rolling ship has troubles, searches for the cause, finds Jonah asleep and says, "Wake up Jonah, you are the man". They pitch him overboard; a whale swallows him, then pukes him onto dry land again. A gourd vine grows over his head; an inchworm comes and cuts it down, forming a cross over his head


This song summarizes the Book of Jonah, emphasizing the events of the first chapter: Jonah flees from God aboard ship; the ship is caught in a storm; the sailors cast lots to see who is to blame; the lot falls on Jonah, who is sleeping through the storm. - RBW

This song omits much of the Bible story and adds its own bits. Note that it says "whale"; the Hebrew Bible unambiguously says "fish." - PJS, RBW

Cross references


  • Rich Amerson & Earthy Anne Coleman, "Jonah" (on NFMAla2)


  1. Courlander-NFM, pp. 57-58, "(Wake Up, Jonah") (1 text); pp. 223-224, "Wake Up, Jonah" (1 tune, partial text)
  2. Roud #10960
  3. BI, CNFM223


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1950 (recording, Rich Amerson & Earthy Anne Coleman)
Found in: US(SE)