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No one ever gave a care: Little Johnny Head-In-Air

sapper82 21 Jul 10 - 11:59 AM
maeve 21 Jul 10 - 12:07 PM
sapper82 21 Jul 10 - 12:20 PM
alanabit 21 Jul 10 - 12:28 PM
GUEST, Sminky 21 Jul 10 - 01:01 PM
Young Buchan 21 Jul 10 - 01:33 PM
Artful Codger 21 Jul 10 - 05:57 PM
CheshireCat 22 Jul 10 - 08:53 AM
Artful Codger 22 Jul 10 - 06:27 PM
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Subject: No one ever gave a care
From: sapper82
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 11:59 AM

"No one ever gave a care, for little Johnny head in air" are the opening lines of a short poem that I remember being recited as part of the annual Battle of Britain tribute that the band leader, Billy Cotton, presented as part of his Band Show on the TV back in the early '60s.

Anyone recognise the poem???


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Subject: RE: No one ever gave a care
From: maeve
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 12:07 PM

This one?
_____________________________

http://oldpoetry.com/opoem/64788-Heinrich-Hoffmann-The-Story-of-Johnny-Head-in-Air


The Story of Johnny Head-in-Air
by Heinrich Hoffmann
1809-1894

As he trudged along to school,
It was always Johnny's rule
To be looking at the sky
And the clouds that floated by;
But what just before him lay,
In his way,
Johnny never thought about;
So that every one cried out
"Look at little Johnny there,
Little Johnny Head-In-Air!"

Running just in Johnny's way
Came a little dog one day;
Johnny's eyes were still astray
Up on high,
In the sky;
And he never heard them cry
"Johnny, mind, the dog is nigh!"
Bump!
Dump!
Down they fell, with such a thump,
Dog and Johnny in a lump!

Once, with head as high as ever,
Johnny walked beside the river.
Johnny watched the swallows trying
Which was cleverest at flying.
Oh! what fun!
Johnny watched the bright round sun
Going in and coming out;
This was all he thought about.
So he strode on, only think!
To the river's very brink,
Where the bank was high and steep,
And the water very deep;
And the fishes, in a row,
Stared to see him coming so.

One step more! oh! sad to tell!
Headlong in poor Johnny fell.
And the fishes, in dismay,
Wagged their tails and swam away.

There lay Johnny on his face,
With his nice red writing-case;
But, as they were passing by,
Two strong men had heard him cry;
And, with sticks, these two strong men
Hooked poor Johnny out again.

Oh! you should have seen him shiver
When they pulled him from the river.
He was in a sorry plight!
Dripping wet, and such a fright!
Wet all over, everywhere,
Clothes, and arms, and face, and hair:
Johnny never will forget
What it is to be so wet.


And the fishes, one, two, three,
Are come back again, you see;
Up they came the moment after,
To enjoy the fun and laughter.
Each popped out his little head,
And, to tease poor Johnny, said
"Silly little Johnny, look,
You have lost your writing-book!"


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Subject: RE: No one ever gave a care
From: sapper82
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 12:20 PM

No, but it's the poem I remember alluded to.
The one in the programme imagined Johnny being a pilot in the Battle of Britain and closes with something like, "And his sleep is just as sound, as little Johnny on the ground."


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Subject: RE: No one ever gave a care: Little Johnny Head-In-Air
From: alanabit
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 12:28 PM

Is not the original "Hans Guck in der Luft" from Wilhelm Busch?


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Subject: RE: No one ever gave a care: Little Johnny Head-In-Air
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 01:01 PM

FOR JOHNNY

Do not despair.........For Johnny-head-in-air;

He sleeps as sound.....As Johnny underground.

Fetch out no shroud....For Johnny-in-the-cloud;

And keep your tears....For him in after years.

Better by far..........For Johnny-the-bright-star,

To keep your head......And see his children fed.


Quoted in the British WW2 film "The Way to the Stars"


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Subject: RE: No one ever gave a care: Little Johnny Head-In-Air
From: Young Buchan
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 01:33 PM

It's by John Pudney


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Subject: RE: No one ever gave a care: Little Johnny Head-In-Air
From: Artful Codger
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 05:57 PM

Proper title: "For Johnny", written by John Pudney in 1942.

"Johnny head-in-air" was indeed a reference to the famous children's poem quoted above. This poem, titled "Die Geschichte vom Hans Guck-in-die-Luft", was part of a set of poems called Struwwelpeter (Shock-headed Peter), cautionary tales which the psychologist Heinrich Hoffman wrote for his three-year-old son.


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Subject: RE: No one ever gave a care: Little Johnny Head-In-Air
From: CheshireCat
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 08:53 AM

There is another site offering Hoffman's Struwwelpeter cautionary tales in English with illustrations here.


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Subject: RE: No one ever gave a care: Little Johnny Head-In-Air
From: Artful Codger
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 06:27 PM

For that matter, Struwwelpeter is also available in English and German at this site:
http://www.fln.vcu.edu/struwwel/struwwel.html

To some Mudelf: the title of the thread should probably be changed to reflect the actual first line, or better yet, the real title of the poem sought and/or its author. This comment may then be deleted.


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