My Johnny Was a Shoemaker
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Lesley Nelson-Burns


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Lyrics
This appeared in English County Songs (1893) under Songs of the Sea. It had been printed previously in a collection of southern country songs, Besom Maker and Other Country Folk Songs (1888) by Heywood Sumner. Broadwood states that in printed versions the A appears as A sharp in bars 4, 8 and 14, but she altered it to natural A, as that was "possibly the older form of the tune."

Rev. Baring-Gould also collected the tune. It was printed on broadsides which is listed in the Charles Sanderson catalog.*

The song was popular in Britain, Ireland and in Wales.

My Johnny was a shoemaker,
And dearly he loved me
My Johnny was a shoemaker,
But now he's gone to sea;
With nasty pitch to soil his hands
And to sail across the stormy sea,
My Johnny was a shoemaker.


His jacket was a deep sky blue,
And curly was his hair ,
His jacket was a deep sky blue,
It was, I do declare;
To reef the topsail now he's gone,
And to sail across the stormy sea
My Johnny was a shoemaker.


And he will be a captain by and bye,
With a brave and gallant crew,
And he will be a captain by and bye,
With a sword and a spyglass too,
And when he is a captain bold,
He'll come back to marry me,
My Johnny was a shoemaker.


From English County Folk Songs
See Bibliography for full information and
*Steve Roud's Broadside Ballad Index.