Leave Her, Johnny

September 24, 2021 10:48 AM

Another old sea song, harmonising with myself.

In July I learnt that a friend had died from cancer. This was for him, and for the friends he left behind.

"Leave Her, Johnny" was traditionally sung while pumping the ship out for the last time in harbour, before going ashore. There are a lot of verses about how terrible the voyage was, and the song should probably be sung more cheerfully than this. But in our times, it's come to be associated with leavetaking and parting, so it's now usually sung with a certain melancholy.

Last shanty I recorded, I was struck with a horrible realisation of how flat I'd gone, and I swore I'd never record without a guide track again. I did use a guide track for this one, though there's still the occasional wonky chord. But we strive for improvement, we strive.

posted by Pallas Athena (3 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

That was beautiful, thank you.
posted by verstegan at 9:37 PM on September 24


This is really powerful. The high notes in the middle especially. I feel like I'm in another time.
posted by ignignokt at 2:54 PM on September 29 [1 favorite]


Thank you so much for listening, and for the kind words!
posted by Pallas Athena at 2:21 PM on October 8


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