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Lyr Req: Johnny Lad / Johnnie Lad

aewhite@bu.edu 17 Nov 98 - 11:45 AM
Ian 17 Nov 98 - 12:28 PM
dick greenhaus 17 Nov 98 - 12:41 PM
Ewan McV 17 Nov 98 - 05:05 PM
Bruce O. 17 Nov 98 - 06:18 PM
Jim Dixon 01 Oct 09 - 07:41 PM
Jim Carroll 01 Oct 09 - 07:50 PM
curmudgeon 01 Oct 09 - 08:10 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 02 Oct 09 - 06:47 PM
Ep' Eric 03 Oct 09 - 06:41 AM
Jim McLean 03 Oct 09 - 03:37 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: JOHNNY LAD
From: aewhite@bu.edu
Date: 17 Nov 98 - 11:45 AM

Hello, I am a sound design student at Boston University. I am in the process of designing the sound for BU's production of the Maiden Stone, by Rona Munro. Within the play are many instances of Scottish (or possibly Irish) ballads being sung. However, there is no mention as to the names of each ballad. I have had success finding some of the ballads, but I am having particular trouble with this one:

And wi' you, and wi' you,
And wi' you Johnnie lad,
I'll dance the buckles aff my shoon
Wi' you my Johnnie lad

O, Johnnie's nae a gentleman,
Nor yet is he a laird,
But I would follow Johnnie lad,
Although he was a caird.

And wi' you, and wi' you,
And wi' you Johnnie lad,
I'll dance the buckles aff my shoon
Wi' you Johnnie lad.

Would anyone be able to tell me the name of this ballad and/or (if it does indeed exist) which album/CD it is on? I've pretty much exhausted the libraries in my vicinity, and have even come up short with a contact in Scotland. If anyone has any information, please contact me as soon as possible at .

TIA
El

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 2-Nov-02.


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Subject: RE: unknown Scottish ballad from the Maiden Stone
From: Ian
Date: 17 Nov 98 - 12:28 PM

It was certainly recorded by Robin Hall and Jimmy Macgregor sometime in the 70's. I seem to remember that it wasn't actually a ballad, but a sequence of comic verses tied together by the chorus (which is all that I do remember)


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Subject: RE: unknown Scottish ballad from the Maiden Stone
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 17 Nov 98 - 12:41 PM

There are two versions in the DT database; search for [Johnny Lad]


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Subject: RE: unknown Scottish ballad from the Maiden Stone
From: Ewan McV
Date: 17 Nov 98 - 05:05 PM

This is a Scots 'street song'. Various verses were accreted to it during the late 50s, but the original is quite venerable. The taped version from which Ewan MacColl was stated to have got the tune to make the song popular was I have been told fairly clearly in 6/8 time, and MacColl is supposed to have smoothed it out into 4/4. In his collection The Singing Island MacColl says "Originally a very beautiful pastoral song in the tempo of a slow (minor) strathspey, Johnny Lad moved to Glasgow during the late 19th C and was transformed into a children's street song. The lyric became urbanised and the original air was abandoned in favour of a catchy but much plainer tune." MacColl credits the song to his father "from the singing of William Miller of Stirling." He also refers to Ord p158 for the song, but that's an error - it should be p168 of Ord's Bothy Ballads, which has @drink the buckles off my shoon' but is otherwise the same lyric. So Ord is the oldest source I know of.


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Subject: RE: unknown Scottish ballad from the Maiden Stone
From: Bruce O.
Date: 17 Nov 98 - 06:18 PM

"Johnnie Lad" in W. H. Logan's 'Pedlar's Pack', p. 444, 1869 (reprint 1968), is a seven verse song with many of the same verses as the above, and was taken from Peter Buchan's 'Ancient Ballads and Songs of the North of Scotland', 1828. Logan call it a collection of nursery rhymes strung together without reason.


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Subject: Lyr Add: JOHNNY LAD / JOHNNIE LAD
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 07:41 PM

From A Pedlar's Pack of Ballads and Songs by William Hugh Logan (Edinburgh, W. Paterson, 1869), page 443:

JOHNNY LAD.

Evidently a Nurse's song "sung to its own proper tune" to amuse her charge "Johnny."—It is merely a collection of nursery rhymes strung together without reason, but presenting a succession of jingle grateful to the youthful ear, and of pictures pleasing to the youthful fancy. Mr Peter Buchan has printed it in his Ancient Ballads and Songs of the North of Scotland, Edin., 8vo, 1828, vol. ii. He innocently remarks:—"Among all the ballads or songs of this name, and they are not a few, to be met with in modern collections, this one has never made its appearance, at least I have never seen it. It is very old, and, as far as I can learn, the original of all the others; although it does not altogether agree with my ideas of the composition of ancient song. The old air to which it is sung is truly beautiful."

There occurs in Ramsay's Tea Table Miscellany a song of like construction, termed "The Nurse's Song," the tune of which was "Yellow Stockings." It is merely a string of fragments of nursery rhymes. It begins, "Hey my kitten, my kitten." In Herd's Scotish Songs there is also "The Nurse's Song," commencing:—
    How dan dilly dow,
    How den dan,
    Weel were your minny
    An' ye were a man, &c.
And in the same collection occurs:—
    When I was a wee thing,
    And just like an elf,
    All the meat that e'er I gat,
    I laid upon the shelf, &c.
Tune—"John Anderson my Jo."


JOHNNIE LAD

I bought a wife in Edinburgh
For a bawbee,
I get a farthing in again
To buy tobacco wi'.
We'll bore in Aaron's nose a hole,
And put therein a ring,
And straight we'll lead him to and fro,
Yea! lead him in a string.

CHORUS: And wi' you, and wi' you,
And wi' you, Johnnie lad,
I'll drink the buckles o' my sheen
Wi' you my Johnnie, lad.

When auld Prince Arthur ruled this land,
He was a thievish king,
He stole three bolls of barley meal,
To make a white pudding.

The pudding it was sweet and good,
And stored weel wi' plumes,
The lumps o' suet into it
Were big as baith my thooms.

There was a man in Nineveh,
And he was wondrous wise,
He jumped into a hawthorn hedge,
And scratched out baith his eyes.

And when he saw his eyes were out,
He was sair vexed then,
He jumped intill another hedge,
And scratched them in again.

O Johnnie's no a gentleman,
Nor yet is he a laird,
But I would follow Johnnie lad,
Although he were a caird.

O Johnnie is a bonny lad.
He was ance a lad o' mine,
I never had a better lad,
And I've had twenty-nine.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Johnny Lad / Johnnie Lad
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 07:50 PM

A rather gentler version than the one I remember from the 'singing pullover' era.
Jim Carroll

JOHNNIE LAD

1.    Oh, ken you my love Johnny, he'd doon on yonder lea
He's lookin' and he's joukin', and he's aye, watchin' me.
He's pu'in and he's teasin', but his meanin's nae sae bad,
Gin it ever gaun tae be, tell me noo, Johnnie lad.

Chorus:
Tell me noo, my Johnnie laddie, tell me noo me my Johnny lad,
Gin it ever gaun tae be, tell me noo, Johnnie lad.

2.    When the sheep are in the fauld and the kye are in the byre,
An' ither lads an' lassies sittin' roond a roarin' fire;
There's me, a glaiket lassie, just like's gin I was mad
Through the nooks and barley stooks, jinkin' yon, Johnnie lad.

Jinkin' you, my Johnnie laddie,
Jinkin' you, my Johnnie lad -
Through the nooks and barley stooks,
Jinkin' you, Johnnie lad.

3.   O Johnnie's blythe and bonnie, he's the pride o' a' yon lea,
And I lo'e him best o' ony, though he's aye teasin me.
Though he teases me an' squeezes me and tickles me like mad,
Nane comes near me that can cheer me like my ain Johnnie lad.

Chorus:
Ay, it's you, my Johnnie laddie,
Ay, it's you, my Johnnie lad;
Nane can tease me an' can please me
Like my ain Johnnie lad.

4.    O Johnnie's nae a gentleman, nor yet is he a laird,
But I would follow Johnnie lad although he was a caird.
O Johnnie is a bonnie lad, he wis aince a lad o' mine,
An' I've never had a better lad, though I've had twentynine.

Chorus:
An' wi' you, my Johnnie laddie,
An' wi' you, my Johnnie lad,
An' I'll dance the buckles aff my shoon
Wi' you, Johnnie lad.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Johnny Lad / Johnnie Lad
From: curmudgeon
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 08:10 PM

I first encountered a variant on the version posted by Jim Dixon sung by the Clancys/Tommy Makem and later heard two versions (slightly different tunes) by Ewan MacColl.

But the more bucolic one that Jim Carroll posted, I first heard on a recording by the Kingston Trio (good rendition, if anglicised) and later by Ewan MacColl. Somewhere I read that the latter version was collected/rediscovered by Hamish Henderson. Memories are not always clear - Tom


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Johnny Lad / Johnnie Lad
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 02 Oct 09 - 06:47 PM

In the Clancy's version was a verse that still makes me chuckle, but which sounds likely a later addition:

Samson was a mighty man,
And he fought wi' a cuddy's jaw,
He fought a thousand battles,
Wearin' crimson flannel drawers!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Johnny Lad / Johnnie Lad
From: Ep' Eric
Date: 03 Oct 09 - 06:41 AM

The Corries and Alex Campbell both have this song in their repertoires. It is so well known that I don't think you'll have any trouble in finding what you seek. It would take ages for me to find
it, but I can look if you have any difficuties.

                                                   EP


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Johnny Lad / Johnnie Lad
From: Jim McLean
Date: 03 Oct 09 - 03:37 PM

Sometimes we sang the line
'...Ah'll dance the bauchles aff ma feet ...'
Bauchles were slippers or down at heel shoes and slightly down at heel people were called 'wee bauchles/bachles'.


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