Sloop John B

Album: Pet Sounds (1966)
Charted: 2 3
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  • We come on the sloop John B
    My grandfather and me
    Around Nassau town we did roam
    Drinking all night
    Got into a fight
    Well, I feel so broke up
    I wanna go home

    So hoist up the John B's sail
    See how the mainsail sets
    Call for the captain ashore
    Let me go home
    Let me go home
    I wanna go home, yeah, yeah
    Well, I feel so broke up
    I wanna go home

    The first mate, he got drunk
    And broke in the captain's trunk
    The constable had to come and take him away
    Sheriff John Stone
    Why don't you leave me alone? Yeah, yeah
    Well, I feel so broke up
    I wanna go home

    So hoist up the John B's sail (hoist up the John B's sail)
    See how the mainsail sets (see how the mainsail sets)
    Call for the captain ashore
    Let me go home
    Let me go home
    I wanna go home
    Let me go home (hoist up the John B's sail)
    (Why don't you let me go home?)
    Hoist up the John B's sail (hoist up the John B's sail)
    Feel so broke up
    I wanna go home
    Let me go home

    The poor cook, he caught the fits
    And threw away all my grits
    And then he took and he ate up all of my corn
    Let me go home
    Why don't they let me go home?
    This is the worst trip I've ever been on

    So hoist up the John B's sail (hoist up the John B's sail)
    See how the mainsail sets (see how the mainsail sets)
    Call for the captain ashore
    Let me go home
    Let me go home
    I wanna go home
    Let me go home Writer/s: Brian Wilson
    Publisher: O/B/O CAPASSO, Universal Music Publishing Group
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 25

  • Rick C. from Los AngelesOne of their top ten songs. A masterpiece.
  • Jimmyplenderleith from Pittsburgh, Pa"when Beach Boy Mike Love suggested dogs were the only creatures that would like it"

    Its funny cause Mike Love is, as usual, delusional about what is good.
  • Pearson Hamm from Georgia This song is great. It is about a trip at sea gone wrong and he’s telling the captain to let him go home.
  • Pearson from Georgia This song kinda makes me sad since Mike says his grandfather and him got into a fight and he wants to go home and it’s worst trip he’s ever been on.
  • Sailgirl from FinlandA sloop is a single-masted sailing vessel. This song describes the hardships of the sea and when a voyage goes horribly wrong. The first mate is the second in command onboard, while the task of the cook is immensely important for the morale of the crew. As you really cannot exit the vessel at the high seas and swim ashore, I can easily understand why it becomes the worst trip ever for the young protagonist.
  • Theresa from OhI thought the about it being the worst trip was referring to the trip with his grandfather on the boat did not go as planned. i didn't/don't think of if as a drug trip. He said he drank all night, then got into a fight. Sounds to me like he is in trouble for fighting if nothing else. I guess you would have to ask the person who wrote the line.
  • Jon B Ramsay from Nassau, BahamasActually the sloop “John B” actually existed. “John B” was short for Johnny Bethel, the family that owned the sloop. It was used to transport pineapples from Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera to a rendezvous with larger deep draught ships lying off the north coast of Eleuthera. Those bigger ships took the pineapples to the United States. Sherif John Stone (why don’t you leave me alone), was actually Johnstone, a common Bahamian name.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 27th 1966, "Sloop John B" by the Beach Boys entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #68; five weeks later on May 1st, 1966 it would peak at #3 {for 1 week} and spent 11 weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #1 in Norway, Sweden, and the Netherlands...
    Was the second of three straight Top 10 records the group; was preceded by "Barbara Ann" {#2 for 2 weeks} and succeeded by "Wouldn't It Be Nice" {8}...
    And all three of the above records spent 11 weeks each on the Top 100...
    R.I.P. Dennis Wilson {1944-1983} and Carl Wilson {1946-1998}.
  • Jb from Lyme, NhSheriff John Stone was the name of the Sheriff in charge of Columbine High School, located within Jefferson County, Colorado. and also mentioned in the song Sloop John B.
  • Steve Dotstar from Los Angeles, CaHow about the bass sound on this record?Pretty cool
    full tone...Carol Kaye?
  • Chris from Tulsa, OkThe song is a metaphor for life: a ship of fools on the uncertain seas of life; drug induced, paranoiac outbursts; with a wink at reincarnation thrown in for good measure.
  • Camille from Toronto, OhIn reference to the albumn title being "Pet Sounds", it was so named because these recordings were the groups "favorite" or "pet" sounds. You know, like a teacher's "pet" is the class favorite. Mike Love never made a comment about dogs being the only ones who'd like it! It remains a landmark albumn.

    From the albumn's liner notes: On the morning of Feb. 15, the group assembled in the Petting Zoo at the San Diego Zoo for the cover photo session. The photos of The Beach Boys feeding an assortment of goats was a play on the album's chosen title, PET SOUNDS. The title came from the idea that the sounds heard on the album were Brian's "pet," or favorite, sounds.

    Exactly who came up with the idea for the title is disputed. Brian has credited Carl. Carl, on the other hand, thought it was Brian: "The idea he had was that everybody has these sounds that they love, and this was a collection of [his] 'pet sounds.' It was hard to think of a name for the album, because you sure couldn't call it Shut Down Vol. 3."

    Mike also has laid claim to coming up with the title. "We were standing in the hallway in one of the recording studios, either Western or Columbia, and we didn't have a title," he recounted. "We had taken pictures at the zoo and ... there were animal sounds on the record, and we were thinking, well, it's our favorite music of that time, so [I said], 'Why don't we call it PET SOUNDS.'"
  • Sean from Chicago, IlMatt -- even "Solar System" is gorgeous?? :)

    Anyhoo...I have my doubts that Al Jardine is THE reason The Beach Boys recorded this song. I have a theory that it was always on Brian's radar screen, but a suggestion from Al might have further encouraged Brian. Dig: on the Surfin' USA album, there are covers of "Let's Go Trippin'" and "Misirlou," both of which appear on Dick Dale's Surfers' Choice album (the latter as "Misirlou Twist," which is similar to the one we know from Pulp Fiction but has a string section). The original version of "Help Me, R[h]onda" uses harmonica licks borrowed directly from "Fanny Mae," another instrumental from Surfers' Choice. Guess what other song is on Surfers' Choice!
  • Meredith from Atlanta, GaThis song is not about an acid trip. This really is a song about a trip at sea gone horribly wrong. My grandmother has many stories and photos of this exact ship, as it was her grandfather's.
  • Ron from Timaru, New ZealandThia song was also recorded be Johnny Cash - Ron Timaru NZ
  • Jerry from Brooklyn, NyThe bridge just before the last verse is one of the finest examples of four-part vocal harmony I have ever heard. Absolutely no doubt one of their finest recordings ever.
  • Teresa from Mechelen, BelgiumI don't know if "I can hear music" version Beach Boys was a big hit in the U.S. but over here they played it very often on the radio. I love it, it's a very good song.
  • Mark from Mchenry, IlThis is a great song. I'm not sure about the acid trip angle. The lyric "This is the worst trip I've ever been on" could easily refer to a sailing journey. It seems people often look for drug references in every song from the sixties. By the way, I agree with Teresa from Belgium: "I Can Hear Music" is my favorite Beach Boys song of all time. I've never heard anyone else say that. Whenever I say it, most people don't know what song I'm talking about.
  • Jordan from Toronto, CanadaDefinatly NOT one of the Beach Boys weaker songs. Among their finest for sure.
  • Z from Montreal, CanadaThis song has roots in Gospel.
  • Teresa from Mechelen, BelgiumGreat song, but my favorite one of the Beach Boys
    is "I can hear music", written by Phil Spector, Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry. Brian Wilson learned a lot working with Phil Spector and you can hear Spector's influence on many songs of the
    Beach Boys. Working with a great talent like Phil
    Spector must be an exceptionnel experience. Phil
    Spector,"Wall of Sound","Back to Mono": LOVE YOU.
  • Matt from Monroe, LaGreat song....all of the Beach Boys songs are gourgeous..
  • Sammy from New York, NyActually, the reference to an acid trip is correct. The original line was "This is the worst trip since I've been born"; Brian decided to change it to "This is the worst trip I've ever been on." In regard to the song, I feel it is one of the Beach Boys' weaker songs; other songs on Pet Sounds are much better.
  • Natasha from Chico, CaI used to think that "the worst trip" was referring to a bad acid trip, but I think I was wrong...
  • Maddie from Yakima, WaIt was Al Jardine (A folk music lover) of the group that suggested recording this song.
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