Over there by the East river, where the seagulls cry and stretch their wings,
The shipyard boats are primed for leaving, it’s a long time since Johnny went a fighting.
In the month of April, 1837, Johnny's mother exhausted, sighed,
held in her arms her new-born baby-Johnny Dynamite O’Brien.
As a restless child he prowled the docks, seeking trouble or fortune, whichever he could find,
soon learned his trade on Cherry Street, On ships Jane and Albion then his trade he plied. Marine Mambí, Johnny Dynamite!
On the first days of a long summer, he filled his hold with money and lies
On the Rambler he went roving, from New York Harbor he did incite-
To Boca del Toro and waiting soldiers, waging war in foreign climes.
Laden down with mighty explosives-pining for Colón’s harbor, Colombia’s pride.
As the rebel he went sailing, a stormy gale did arise. A mighty storm lashed the hold, and the 60 tonnes of dynamite.
Midnight dark, roaring, reeling, explosives rolled loose, near set alight,
Johnny tied them down as he heard around him, sailors softly their prayers recite. Marine Mambí, Johnny Dynamite!
A bright eagle that arose in Tampa was felled for its star to rise,
A troubled man found a cause to fight for-Cuba’s liberty and there Spain’s demise.
He smuggled all guns fired at Las Tunas, the prickly thorn in Valeriano Weyler’s side.
Brought Jose Martí’s son to that battle and 3000 pounds of dynamite.
He settled down in the port Havana, as the cries of Cuba libre did subside,
Swimming in the sparkling Caribbean sea, basking in freedom’s glory and sunny climes.
Before Johnny died he returned to the docks, to see snowfall on New York Harbour's side.
No-more will Johnny go a roving, he died that June as the scorching summer arrived. Marine Mambí Johnny Dynamite!