Guitar/song examples/Campfire Diploma/Sloop John B

< Guitar/Chord_changes_from_G_to_D | Guitar/Railway and Western Strumming Pattern

Sloop John B.


Folksong from the colonial West India – Alternative title: John B. Sails, Text and melody: anonymous: first mentioned in a novel in 1917.[1]arranged by Mjchael  

The original text is about two drunken passengers arguing and longing for port. The ship's name "John B." presumably refers to Captain John Bethel, one of the first Welsh settlers on Eleuthera-Bahamas.

In addition to covers by the Kingston Trio, Johnny Cash and many others, the Beach Boys' version became particularly popular.


We [D] came on the Sloop [D4] John [D] B., [D4-3]
My [D] grandfather [D4] and [D] me. [D4]
A- [D] round Nas- [D4] sau [D] town we did [A] roam, [A4-3]
Drinking all [D] night, [D4-3] - Got into a [G] fight, [G4-3]
Well I [D] feel so break up, [A] I wanta go [D] home. [D4-3]
So [D] hoist up the John [D4] B. [D] sail, [D4-3]
[D] See how the main- [D4] -s'l [D] sets, [D4-3]
[D] Call for the captain [D4] a- [D] shore,let me go [A] home, [A4-3]
Let me go [D] home, [D4-3] - I wanta go [G] home, [G4-3]
Well, I [D] feel so break up, - [A] I wanta go [D] home. [D4-3]
[D] First Mate, he [D4] got [D] drunk,[D4-3]
[D] Broke up the peo- [D4] ple's [D] trunk, [D4]
[D] Constable [D4] had to [D4] come and take him a- [A] way.[A4-3]
Sheriff John- [D] stone, [D4-3]Why don't you leave me a- [G] lone? [G4-3]
Well I [D] feel so break up,[A] I wanta go [D] home. [D4-3]
The [D] poor cook [D4] he caught the [D] fits, [D4-3]
[D] Threw away all [D4] my [D] grits,
[D] Then he took [D4] and [D] ate up all of my [A] corn.[A4-3]
Let me go [D] home, [D4-3]I wanta go [G] home, [G4-3]
This [D] is the worst trip[A] I've ever been [D] on. [D4-3]

Accompaniment pattern (suggestion)


The song can also be used for the campfire diploma without the Sus4 chords. Simply ignore all the numbers.
From the ballad diploma onwards you can practice some Sus4 chords with this song.
The designation D4-3 is a short form for D4 - D . The Sus4 chord always occurs on the "4" of the campfire strumming pattern.



The second verse in the MIDI gives you a rough impression, although the piano accompaniment with guitar sound does not exactly reproduce the guitar.


Insert from: Songbook/Sloop John B incl. tabs

Song Examples:

  1. When the Saints Go Marching In
  2. Sloop John BYT   Sloop John B.
    More examples
  3. YT   Milorad (Edith Piaf) (Chorus)
  4. YT   Follow Me (Uncle Kracker)
    D (G A) D (G D)
  5. YT   Down On The Corner (CCR)
    D - A D (2x) G - D -; D - A D | G D A D (2x)
  6. YT   Rock Around the Clock (Bill Haley)
    Intro:D - - - Verse; D - - - G - D - A G D - (Blues scheme in D)
  7. YT   Rockin All Over The World (Status Quo)
    D D G G D A D D
  8. YT   Still Haven't Found What I'm looking for (U2)
    //: D - - - G - D - :// //: A G D - :// (3/4-Takt)
  9. YT   This Land Is Your Land
    (D) G - D -, A - D -, G - D -, A - D -
  10. YT   Walk of Life (Dire Straits) (Original: Capo 2. Fred)
    The change of G-A or A-G can wait until lesson 7.
  11. YT   Hound Dog (Elvis Presley / Big Mama Thornton)
    D - - - G - D - A G D - (Blues scheme in D)
  12. YT   The First Cut Is The Deepest (Sheryl Crow)
    D A G A

  1. Pieces of Eight by Richard Le Gallienne (Chapter 4 page 6): "You guys, can't you sing a song? How about John B. Sails?"