Rogue’s Gallery: The Art of the Siren, #36
Song: Stan Ridgway: Hanging Johnny (3:28 minutes)
from Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys, ANTI- 2006.
1.: They call me hanging Johnny,
I never hanged nobody
(and it’s) hang, boys, hang.
2.: First I hanged your mother,
Me sister and me brother.
3.: I’d hang to make things jolly,
I’d hang all wrong and folly.
Chorus.: A rope, a beam, a ladder,
I’ll hang ye all together
Well next I hanged me granny
I’d hang the wholly family.
4.: They call me hanging Johnny,
I never hanged nobody.
Bridge.: Come hang, come haul together,
Come hang for finer weather,
Hang on from the yardarm,
Hang the sea and buy a big farm.
5.: They call me hanging Johnny,
I never hung nobody.
6.: I’d hang the mates and skippers,
I’d hang ’em by their flippers.
7.: I’d hang the highway robber,
I’d hang the burglar jobber.
8.: I’d hang the noted liar,
I’d hang a bloated friar.
9.: They say I hung a copper,
I gave him the long dropper.
Explanatory liner notes by ANTI-:
A maneuver called swigging was sometimes used to give a last strong tightening pull on a halyard. This essentially involved one or more sailors reaching high and hanging on the line with their full weight-hence, the association with hanging at the halyards where this chantey was used.