“Heave Away, Me Johnnies”

Alternate titles: “We're All Bound to Go”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1972 (Doerflinger)
Keywords: shanty
Found in: US(MA) Canada(Newf)


Shanty. Characteristic line: "Heave away, me johnnies/jollies, heave away, ay!" The sailor lists some of the ports the ship has been sent to, but now rejoices to be returning to (Liverpool) and its girls.


This song is probably identical in origin to "Yellow Gals (Doodle Let Me Go)," and perhaps also akin to "Yellow Meal." As, however, those songs have taken on a completely separate plot, I treat them separately. - RBW

Cross references


  1. Doerflinger, pp. 61-64, "Heave Away" (3 texts, 1 tune, but only the last text goes with this piece; the others are "Yellow Meal")
  2. Colcord, pp. 93-94, "Heave Away" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Harlow, pp. 14-17, "Heave Away My Johnnies" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
  4. Hugill, pp. 303-308, "Heave Away, Me Johnnies" (3 texts, 3 tunes) [AbEd, pp. 226-230]
  5. Sharp-EFC, XXVI, p. 30, "Heave Away, My Johnny" (1 text, 1 tune)
  6. Lehr/Best 49, "Heave Away!" (1 text, 1 tune)
  8. ADDITIONAL: Captain John Robinson, "Songs of the Chantey Man," a series published July-August 1917 in the periodical _The Bellman_ (Minneapolis, MN, 1906-1919). "We're All Bound Away" is in Part 1, 7/14/1917.
  9. Roud #616
  10. BI, Doe063