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"The John B. Sails," Lyrics, Text Format
"The John B. Sails," Lyrics, Text Format

Advanced syncopation, mastering So/Mi (M6),
and a raised/sharped supertonic (2, Ri).



  • Grade: Fifth
  • Origin: Bahama Island, Nassau Folk Song
  • Key: G Major
  • Time: 4/4
  • Form: AB – verse/chorus
  • Rhythm: advanced: | ti ta ti ta ta | syncopation,
    | ta/a (ta) ta | ta/ ta ti ta | syncopation, |
    | ta/a ti ta/ | syncopation, | ta/a ti ti ta | ta/a/a/a |
    | ta (ti) ta ti ta | syncopation, | (ta) ti ta ti ta | syncopation, | (ta/a) ta ta | ta ti ta ta/ | syncopation, | (ta/a) (ta) ta | ta/a (ta/a) |
    | ta/ ta ti ta | syncopation, | ti ta ti ti ti ta | syncopation, | (ta) (ti) ta/ ta | syncopation
  • Pitches: intermediate: So La Ti Do Re Ri Mi Fa So – raised/sharp supertonic (2, Ri)
  • Intervals: intermediate: So/Mi (M6), Mi\So (M6), Re\So (P5), Mi\Ri/Mi (m2), Mi\Do (M3)
  • Musical Elements: notes: whole, half, dotted quarter, quarter, eighth; rests: half, quarter, eighth; pickup beat, two double barlines, syncopation, tied notes, vocal slur; verse/chorus
  • Key Words: world geography: Bahama Islands, Nassau Town; sloop (boat), grandfather, roam, sights, breakup, hoist, ashore, drunk, first mate, broke, constable, sheriff, John Stone, cook, caught, fits, throw, grits, worst; contractions: I’ve (I have) abbreviations: walkin’ (walking), seein’ (seeing), mains’l (main sail), capt’n (captain) possessive: people’s
  • Recorder: advanced: introducing F# and A#

“The John B. Sails” 

1. Oh, we come on the sloop John B.
My grandfather and me,
Around Nassau town we did roam.
Walkin’ all night
Just seein’ the sights,
Well, I feel so breakup, I want to go home.
So hoist up the John B. sails,
See how the mains’l sets,
Send for the Capt’n ashore,
Let me go home,
Please let me go home,
I want to go home,
Well, I feel so breakup
I want to go home.
First mate, he got drunk.
Broke up the people’s trunk.
Constable had to come and take him away.
Sheriff John Stone,
Why don’t you leave me alone?
Well, I feel so break-up, I want to go home.
3. Well, the poor cook he caught the fits.
Throw away all of my grits.
Then he took and he ate up all of my corn.
Let me go home.
I want to go home.
This is the worst trip since I’ve been born.
Additional Formats (click to enlarge)
"The John B. Sails," Music Format
Click to enlarge: "The John B. Sails," Beats Format
Click to Enlarge: "The John B. Sails," Rhythm Format
pitch numbers
Click to Enlarge: "The John B. Sails," Pitch Number Format
Click to Enlarge: "The John B. Sails," Solfeggio Format
letter names
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