A traditional shanty with origins pre-dating its first written record in 1917, this is another fine example of a traditional shanty turned ubiquitous folk song. So many incarnations of this piece exist that it is difficult to nail down the 'true original.'

Folklore holds, however, that it was a shanty saved for the last duty of a voyage, after which all hands would disembark.

Lyrics

These lyrics are based on the version performed by the Longest Johns in their Livestreams.

Oh, the times were hard and the wages are low,
(Leave her, Johnny, leave her!)
I guess it's time for us to go,
(And it's time for us to leave her!)

Beware these packet ships, I say!
(Leave her, Johnny, leave her!)
They'll steal your stores and your clothes away
(And it's time for us to leave her!)

{Chorus}
Leave her, Johnny, leave her
Oh leave her, Johnny, leave her
For the voyage is done, and the winds don't blow
and it's time for us to leave her

There's Liverpool Pat in his tarpaulin hat
(Leave her, Johnny, leave her!)
And Yankee John the pocket rat
(And it's time for us to leave her!)

She would not wear and she would not stay
(Leave her, Johnny, leave her!)
She shipped great seas both night and day
(And it's time for us to leave her!)

{Chorus}

It's rotten beef and weevil-y bread,
(Leave her, Johnny, leave her!)
It was pump or drown the old man said,
(And it's time for us to leave her!)

The sails all furled, our work is done,
(Leave her, Johnny, leave her!)
and now ashore we'll take our rum
(And it's time for us to leave her!)

{Chorus til Finish}

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