Leave Her Johnny Leave Her

The "her" being left is not a woman, but the ship. This shanty was traditionally sung when the ship was at port after it had docked in the final spell at the pumps. Leave Her Johnny also served the purpose of the seamen airing their grievances (hence it being done at the end of a voyage). There were several versions directed at the food and the owners, which are not found in print! Stan Hugill traces its origins to a shanty, Across the Rockies, which was sung on Western Ocean packets, possibly as early as the time of the Potato Famine.

Leave Her Johnny Leave Her

Oh, I thought I heard the Ol' Man say,
Leave her Johnny. Leave her
Tomorrow ye will get your pay,
And it’s time for us to leave her
 
Leave her Johnny. Leave her
Oh! Leave her Johnny. Leave her
The voyage is done and the wind don’t blow
And it’s time for us to leave her
 
The work wuz hard an' the voyage wuz long,
The sea was high an' the gales wuz strong.
 
The grub was bad an' the wages low,
But now once more ashore we'll go.
 
The mate was a tyrant an' the Old Man a Turk,
The bosun wuz a bugger with the middle name o' Work.
 
The sails is furled an' our work is done,
An now ashore we'll have our bit o' fun.
 
Now I thought I heard the Old Man say,
One more good heave and then belay.