I learned this song in 1964 from a shipmate on the Brixham Trawler Provident in the Bay of Biscay. He told me the tune had been the theme music for a British TV show called “Z-Cars.”
Johnny Todd he took a notion
For to cross the ocean wide
And he left his love behind him
Walking by the Liverpool tide.
For a week she wept with sorrow,
Tore her hair and wrung her hands
Till she met another sailor
Walking by the Liverpool sands.
Why fair made are you a-weeping
For your Johnny gone to sea?
If you'll wed with me tomorrow
I will kind and constant be.
I will buy you sheets and blankets
I'll buy you a wedding ring.
You shall have a guilded cradle
For to rock the baby in.
Johnny Todd came home from sailing,
Sailing on the ocean wide,
And he found his fair and false one
Was another sailor's bride.
All you men who go a-sailing
For to fight the foreign foe.
Do not leave your love like Johnny,
Marry her before you go!