The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #11337 Message #314996
Posted By: Joe Offer
09-Oct-00 - 05:29 PM
Thread Name: Origins: songs about girl w/ promiscuous father
Subject: Info: Johnny Be Fair
I just got a very interesting e-mail just now. I asked ahead of time whether I could post the information in the reply, so I guess it's OK.
When I was a kid, somebody told me a joke, which was essentially the story as retold in my song "Johnny Be Fair" song. I'm glad to see you wondering about the origins of the story. When I first wrote the song, so many people were taken by surprise, I realized that not everybody had "heard that one". Very few people have ever told me that they'd heard it as a joke or story.
I've often heard that true folk songs are like antiques: they are preserved and reused because they continue to be useful and appreciated, generation after generation; and their themes are cross cultural and make a sort of "ring true" sense in lots of communities.
But I don't know any more than the rest of you guys who first came up with this particular story, but I'd like to. Thanks for including me in the quest.