According to an entry in the Levy sheet music collection, My Johnny was a Shoemaker was composed (words and music) in or before 1859 by one W.J.Florence and sung in Europe by Mrs W.J.Florence. Does anyone know if this is true?
The two printed copies in the Bodleian Library were both printed in the USA.
According to his sheet music, Mr Florence also seems to have composed The Captain and his Whiskers, and Bobbing Around.
I have been unable so far to find prior references which would contradict these claims, although the other versions of Bobbing Around I have looked at seem to have far more verses.
Levy test is: Title: Songs of the Florences. Johnny Was a Shoemaker. Composer, Lyricist, Arranger: Word and Music by W.J. Florence. Arranged by T. Comer. Publication: Boston: Oliver Ditson & Co., 277 Washington St., 1859. Form of Composition: strophic with chorus Instrumentation: piano and voice First Line: My Johnny was a shoemaker, And dearly he loved me First Line of Chorus: My Johnny was a shoemaker Performer: As Sung by Mrs. W.J. Florence Throughout the Various Theatres in Europe and America