Johnny German

Cat. #0210 (MFH #307) - As sung by Mrs. Laura McDonald, Springdale, Arkansas on July 23, 1958

At length I were in London
Some news I chanced to hear
I will relate it unto you
If you won't refuse to hear
It's all about a brisk young sailor
A noble hearted lad
Who met with a fair young damsel
Who's countance did look sad

Cheer you up, my pretty fair Polly
Why do you look so cast down
She answered me a most modesty
Without a tear or frown,
It's all about my true lover
Who's fondly he has falled
And I have no love or token
That he ever will return

Perhaps I seen your true lover
At length I were at sea
I will relate him unto you
If you'll but answer me
And if I relate 'im unto you
And he the man may be
Will you consent to marry me
If he returns not unto thee

He was young, he was handsome
And he did not courage lack
He was calm in every feature
And no man turned his back
He sailed on th ship with th rainbow
His mate, th Captain O
His name was Johnny German
Is this th man you know

O, for josh, she jumped up
I believe that he is th man
O, tell me if he's living
No longer can I stand
Cheer you up, my pretty fair Polly
For very well I know
Your loving Johnny German
Died full five months ago

She begin to wring her lily white hands
An' tears rolled down her cheeks
And off unto her chamber
And not a word did speak
As off into her chamber
A lonely maid did lie
With many a sore temptations
And wishing herself to die

To think how well, she loved him
And he she treat her so
He dressed himself in scarlet
And back again did go
He dressed himself in scarlet robes
And back again, he came
With many a resolution
To comfort her again

Cheer you up, my pretty fair Polly
And leave all fear behind
Open unto your true lover
And comfort you shall find
So, how could she refuse him
But 'rose and came to see
And who but loving Johnny
Could this young sailor be

Fare-you-well, pretty girls in rainbow
Since Polly has gained my heart
I never more shall leave her
Till death shall make us part
She's brighter than th morning star
She's fairer than th rose
She's like some crimson blossom
Her beauty blooms and grows