Sloop John B is a traditional folk song from the Bahamas
. It has been recorded under many other names, including The John B Sails
, Wreck of the Sloop 'John B'
, and I Want To Go Home
. It's about a bad trip to Nassau, drinking, and sailing. The title is thought to be a reference to a sloop (obviously) named for John Bethel, one of the original settlers of Eleuthera
The first written record of the song is in the book American Songbag, anthology of folk music by Carl Sandburg (as "The John B Sails"). In 1951 it was adapted by Lee Hays, who was a member the Weavers along with Pete Seeger, but the best known versions are the ones by the Kingston Trio in 1958, and by the Beach Boys in 1966.