The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #52945 Message #2703564
Posted By: Richie
19-Aug-09 - 12:36 AM
Thread Name: Origins: Johnson Boys/Johnson Gals
Subject: RE: Origins: Johnson Boys/Johnson Gals
I don't have access to JOAFL either, hopefully the editions will be made available on-line soon.
I looked at the Johnson Boy's- Brown and think that the song is probably quite old certainly dating back to the 1800s, an IMHO back to the Civil War.
Brown collected verses from Thomas Smith of Zionville, there's no date given but the Smith contributions date 1915.
So give a circa 1915 date and the following, "Johnson Boys is said by our oldest people to be one of the oldest tunes. It was years ago teh chief tune played at our parties shindigs etc"
Even tho the quote doesn't say songs, it implies that the tune was still named Johnson Boys" and logically there would be lyrics, since that was a common practice to add lyrics to the tunes.
Someone that was old in 1915 and says the song was one of the oldest tunes means 1865 is realistic date.
PS I checked Yankee Boys and Lincoln Boys but have found nothing yet.