The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #126099   Message #3780818
Posted By: GUEST
24-Mar-16 - 08:30 AM
Thread Name: Origins: What a Jimmy-john is? (from Green Corn)
Subject: RE: Origins: What a Jimmy-john is? (from Green Corn)
When I saw this thread, I immediately thought of the Holy Modal Rounders performance of "Hot Corn, Cold Corn", on their first (vinyl) LP called "The Holy Modal Rounders".

The chorus is "Hot Corn, cold corn, bring along a demi-john" (x3)
Fare you well, pretty girl, see you in the morning, Yes Sir"

Or at least I always though it was "demi-john" although perhaps it was "jimmy-john", but if so this may have been a corruption of demi-john. Certainly even prior to this I was under the impression a demi-john was a (glass) container used for holding liquids such as home-brewed wine, etc. Demi-john may itself have been a corruption of "dame-jeanne"; this is purely my own theory as is the idea that (a) A demi-john holds about half the water of a "john", i.e. a toilet bowl (b) A "dame jeanne" is named after Joan of Arc and/or another version is "lady Jane". No doubt thse crackpot (excuse the pun) theories of mine will soon end up on Wikipedia! Incidently (and this is serious, Joan of Arc is a misnomber as there was no place called Arc around her home town of Domremy (which I presume is near Orleans is she was also known as the Maid of Orleans) - she was simply the daughter of Jacques D'Arc, so should be called Jeanne D'Arc (or anglicised to Joan Darc or Dark). These days she would probably be confined to a mental institution as she claimed to hear voices. I suspect a lot of the stuff about her is based on legends and hearsay, although she probably was burned at the stake.

The chorus seems almost identical to the version of "Hot Corn Cold Corn" mentioned by Allan C. above in the posting on 13.1.2010 05.52, except that "Pretty Girl" is replaced by "Uncle Bill". However the verses in that posting are completely unkown to me. Offhand I can't even remember the verses of the HMR song, but think that each line was different and wasn't sung three times in a row. The tune is however sung pretty fast.

I suspect there are probably a lot of versions of this song, as it is a light hearted one which would lend itself to improvisation, a bit like "Soldier's Joy" (which the Holy Modal Rounders also covered, though on a different album), "Old Joe Clark", etc.