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Lyr Req: Johnny Comes Marching Home

DigiTrad:
FIGHTING FOR STRANGERS
JOHNNY I HARDLY KNEW YE
JOHNNY I HARDLY KNEW YOU (2)
WHEN JOHNNY COMES MARCHING HOME


Related threads:
When Johnnie comes marching home (20)
(origins) Origins: Ants Go Marching... (27)
Lyr Req: As Gaeilge: Johnny I hardly Knew you? (7)
New Book-'The Greatest Anti-War Song Ever Written' (19)
Review: Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye (25)
(origins) Origin: Johnny I hardly knew ya (34)
Lyr Req: Johnnie We Hardly Knew Ye (22)
Parody Challenge: The Aunts Go Marching (9)
(origins) Origins: Do we hardly know ye, marching, Johnny?? (2)
Lyr Add: When Johnny comes Hobbling Home (5)
Tune Req: johny comes marching home (whistle (4)
Lyr Req: Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye (4)


Whippoorwill 17 Aug 97 - 09:09 PM
Alison 17 Aug 97 - 09:35 PM
Barry Finn 17 Aug 97 - 09:56 PM
dick greenhaus 18 Aug 97 - 07:23 AM
Alice 18 Aug 97 - 11:42 AM
Andy May 18 Aug 97 - 12:14 PM
Jerry Friedman, jfriedman@nnm.cc.us 18 Aug 97 - 04:53 PM
Dick Wisan 19 Aug 97 - 12:13 PM
Calypso the Dryad 14 Dec 97 - 04:23 PM
Abby Sale 26 Mar 03 - 03:27 PM
GUEST,Q 26 Mar 03 - 04:45 PM
GUEST,Q 26 Mar 03 - 04:48 PM
dick greenhaus 26 Mar 03 - 07:13 PM
nutty 27 Mar 03 - 04:19 AM
Dave Bryant 27 Mar 03 - 09:57 AM
Blackcatter 27 Mar 03 - 12:52 PM
GUEST,Ray Bucknell 27 Mar 03 - 07:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Mar 03 - 07:32 PM
toadfrog 27 Mar 03 - 08:20 PM
Blackcatter 28 Mar 03 - 12:40 AM
Abby Sale 28 Mar 03 - 02:38 PM
Jeep man 09 Apr 04 - 08:05 PM
Jeep man 20 Aug 04 - 10:05 PM
GUEST 04 May 07 - 06:25 PM
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Subject: Early lyrics to Jonny Comes Marching Home?
From: Whippoorwill
Date: 17 Aug 97 - 09:09 PM

I've always understood "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" to be a song celebrating the North's victory in the War Between the States, but once I heard a song that was supposed to be the forerunner of that one - an old Irish anti-war song.

It had the same tune, but the first verse went something like:

Oh, where's your arm and where's your leg, waroo, waroo,
Oh, where's your arm and where's your leg, waroo, waroo,
Oh, where's your arm and where's your leg,
You left them (something, something,)
And you'll have to sit with a bowl and beg,
Ah, Johnny, I scarcely knew you.

Does anyone know the background or the rest of the words or both?

Thanks,
Whip


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Subject: RE: Early lyrics to Jonny Comes Marching Home?
From: Alison
Date: 17 Aug 97 - 09:35 PM

Hi

It's in the database as "Johnny, I hardly knew ye,"

In the book "Songs of Ireland" they have written,

"Herbert Hughes, writing in his "Irish Country Songs" (London 1934) says, "Johnny .......is a classic case of a song surviving it's period and presenting a problem for the later folklorist.." His father, whose memories went back to the American Civil War, felt that it belonged to that period and came from the States - having probably been in the repertory of the Christy Minstrels. It had been published in L:ondon in1867, but internal evidence dates it back perhaps to as early as1802, when Irish regiments were extensively recruited for the East India service."

Hope this helps

Slainte

Alison


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Subject: Lyr Add: JOHNNY, I HARDLY KNEW YOU
From: Barry Finn
Date: 17 Aug 97 - 09:56 PM

With your drums & guns & guns & drums, haroo, haroo,
With your drums & guns & guns & drums, haroo, haroo,
With your drums & guns & guns & drums, the enemy nearly slew you.
My darling dear, you look so queer. Johnny, I hardly knew you.

When walking the road from sweet Athrey (sp?), haroo, haroo (2x)
When walking the road from sweet Athrey,
A sick in me hand, a tear in me eye
A doleful damsel I heard cry. Johnny, I hardly knew you.

Where are your legs that used to run...?
Where are your legs that used to run when you went to carry a gun?
Indeed your dancing days are done. Johnny, I hardly knew you.

Where are your eyes that were so mild...?
Where are your eyes that were so mild when my heart you so beguiled?
Why did you run from me and the child? Johnny...

I'm happy for to see you home...
My darling dear, so pale & wan, So low in flesh so high in bone...

You haven't an arm. You haven't a leg...
You'll have to be put with a bowl to beg. Johnny...

They're taking out their guns again...
They never will take our sons again. No, they will take our sons again,
Johnny I'm swearing to you...

I've heard it's from the Crimean (sp?) war, but I can't verify it.
Barry


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Subject: RE: Early lyrics to Jonny Comes Marching Home?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 18 Aug 97 - 07:23 AM

Barry-- The last verse was added by Betty Sanders in the late 1940s.


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Subject: RE: Early lyrics to Jonny Comes Marching Home?
From: Alice
Date: 18 Aug 97 - 11:42 AM

I have a copy of Herbert Hughes four volumes of "Irish Country Songs". In the preface to volume three, written in 1934, he has quite a long discussion of this song... too long for me to transcribe here. The name of the town in the first line is "Athy". In part, he writes..."But further research dated it back, conjecturally, to the period immediately succeeding the Treaty of Amiens in 1802, when, as H. H. Sparling pointed out, Irish regiments were extensively recruited for the East India service. In his 'Irish Minstrelsy" (Walter Scott, 1887) Sparling described it as a street ballad in which "the island of Ceylon " is given as "the island of Sulloon"; and in the complete edition of that work he made the following note:

Because in one late version, "Why did you run from me and the child?" is made "Why did you skedaddle," etc., and this word only came into use during the War of Secession, some have imagined this song to be of recent date, and have even attributed it to the Irish American music halls. My own memory carries it back to very near the war, when I heard an old fisherman sing it, to whom it was even then old. It was he who told me of its age and meaning, what I have said above, which is corroborated by the reference to Ceylon. It is hard to believe that any one can read this wonderful piece of grotesquerie, with its mingling of pathos and ribald mockery so closely allied to the spirit that produced "The night before Larry was stretched," and be unable to see either its value or its genuineness."

Hughes goes on about an American doggeral writer who told Hughes he wanted to write a song that was a "hit", and so one must be "reminiscent" if a song was to be a "hit". Hughes, to the American's puzzlement, refused to collaborate in exploiting Irish folk music in order to assist the man in creating a "hit". He goes on to write..
... The sentiment created on both sides of the Atlantic by the War of Secession was certainly worth exploiting. Thus far, then, my friends had good excuse for associating the song with that epoch."

Hughes carefully established the song's pre-Civil War Irish origin. Alice


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Subject: RE: Early lyrics to Jonny Comes Marching Home?
From: Andy May
Date: 18 Aug 97 - 12:14 PM

I'd be hard pushed to class it as folk (grin) but a somewhat more contemporary treatment of the subject (and indeed the title) was done by Steve Earl with the Pogues (ahh - Oblig. folk reference) on the 'Copperhead Road' album.


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Subject: RE: Early lyrics to Jonny Comes Marching Home?
From: Jerry Friedman, jfriedman@nnm.cc.us
Date: 18 Aug 97 - 04:53 PM

RIBALD MOCKERY? I guess times have changed!


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Subject: RE: Early lyrics to Jonny Comes Marching Home?
From: Dick Wisan
Date: 19 Aug 97 - 12:13 PM

Yes, they have a-changed. The Irish version (with the guns and drums) got treated as an anti-war song in the 60's because anti-war is what was wanted and because it was inconceivable to anybody singing such things then that it was possible for anyone to be anything _but_ lugubrious at the havoc wreaked upon this young man by Mr. Johnson's immoral war.

That last verse, I take it, was added by someone who could see that some of the words do not quite fit the proper anti-war sentiment. But, the song makes perfect sense if you understand that the girl singing is simply delighted at what's happened to this fellow who got her pregnant and then ran off to the army. She's gloating and rubbing it in.

If you see her singing with malicious glee, that he's got what he deserved, it all makes sense. If you think she really is a (conventional) "doleful damsel", you have to suppose her extraordinarily tactless. That tactlessness used to bother me in the 60's, when I was trying to hear it as anti-war. No matter how sadly and lovingly they sang it, the inappropriate words came through. Then, one day, I thought about that running away or skeedaddling or whatever, and it came to me what he did and what she thought of it.


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Subject: When Johnny Comes Marching Home
From: Calypso the Dryad
Date: 14 Dec 97 - 04:23 PM

I was wondering if anyone could tell me where I could find a .wav or preferably a mp3 of When Johnny Comes Marching Home. Thanks :)

Calypso the Dryad gpg7@qed.net http://www.qed.net/calypso


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Subject: Last verse of Guns & Drums
From: Abby Sale
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 03:27 PM

In order to help celebrate St Pat's Day I sang "Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye" t'other day. I was trying to recall who wrote the last verse and getting an answer was harder than I thought it would be. I've only found two references to it at all so far.

dick greenhaus, supra, saith:
The last verse was added by Betty Sanders in the late 1940s.

Lift Every Voice ("The Second People's Song Book"), 1953 claims Betty Sanders introduced this Irish anti-war song to American audiences a few years ago. [ie, before 1953] The last verse was written recently by Les Pine.

Pine is apparently a noted black screen writer and/or occasional folksinger who died July 2001 and August 11, 2001. I am unable to find any more about him.

Can any give more info in the verse, on Sanders & on Pine?
If so, please do.


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Subject: RE: Early lyrics to Jonny Comes Marching Home?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 04:45 PM

Stephen Moran may be heard singing a parody of "Johnny They Hardly Knew You" on his web site. Lyrics provided. Johnny They

Who is Stephen Moran?
He is one of the "Hundred Poets Against the War," but beyond that?
Here is the website with all the poems (Acrobat required): 100 Poets


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Subject: RE: Early lyrics to Jonny Comes Marching Home?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 04:48 PM

Several websites now include the Sanders? Pine? last verse as traditional. Les Pine did write some songs, but I can't find any reference to Johnny (very sketchy search).


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Subject: RE: Early lyrics to Jonny Comes Marching Home?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 07:13 PM

I'd never really thought about it before, but the tune is that of the much older "John Anderson My Jo" with a different rhythmic pattern.


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Subject: RE: Early lyrics to Johnny Comes Marching Home?
From: nutty
Date: 27 Mar 03 - 04:19 AM

There's no date on this broadside in the Bodleian Library but it has some interesting verses that I have not come across before.

Johhny I hardly Knew Ye


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Subject: RE: Early lyrics to Johnny Comes Marching Home?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 27 Mar 03 - 09:57 AM

I have always assumed that it was related to Mrs McGrath - especially the part about him losing his legs. The Kerry Recruit which mentions battles in the Crimean War also seems to be related.


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Subject: RE: Early lyrics to Johnny Comes Marching Home?
From: Blackcatter
Date: 27 Mar 03 - 12:52 PM

Does anyone ever put the two songs together in performance? I've done it a couple times and have gotten a pretty good reception. Nearly everone knows J.C.M.H. and it is an interesting contrast to the original version.

I sing Johnny Comes with a strict marching cadence and Johnny I Hardly much less so.

Seems to work.


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Subject: RE: Early lyrics to Johnny Comes Marching Home?
From: GUEST,Ray Bucknell
Date: 27 Mar 03 - 07:25 PM

The Chad Mitchell Trio put the two songs together on their 1961 concert album "Mighty Day on Campus."   They called it "Johnnie" and it went over well enough for them to continue performing it in all their CMT reunions to date.   Their particular rendition was the first time I'd ever heard "Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye" back when I was a kid. I've been singing the two songs together lately, as well.

                                     Ray


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Subject: RE: Early lyrics to Johnny Comes Marching Home?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Mar 03 - 07:32 PM

I like it better sung with "the army nearly slew ye" rather than "the enemy" - because it's joining the army led to al this.

I think she's talking realistically and stoically rather than tactlessly. Facing up to the future with a touch of bitter humour. Not a self-pitying song, and shouldn't be sung "sadly" I think. As Dave Bryant pointed out, it's in the same family as Mrs McGrath.


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Subject: RE: Early lyrics to Johnny Comes Marching Home?
From: toadfrog
Date: 27 Mar 03 - 08:20 PM

Hey Nutty! Thanks for reviving this thread, I had missed it. And thanks for the hyperlink. I had never thought a lot about the song, and I'm now convinced I misunderstood it. I think the lyrics are a bit ambiguous, as really good folk songs usually are.


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Subject: RE: Early lyrics to Johnny Comes Marching Home?
From: Blackcatter
Date: 28 Mar 03 - 12:40 AM

That's cool - I've never heard the Chad Mitchell Trio do it. Glad to see I'm not the first to think of it.

By the way, the lyrics above are missing my favorite line (the way I learned it):

Ye haven't an arm, ye haven't a leg, hurroo, hurroo (2X)
Ye haven't an arm, ye haven't a leg,
Ye're an armless, boneless, chicken-less egg
Ye'll have to put with a bowl out to beg.
Oh Johnny I hardly knew ye

pax yall


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Subject: RE: Early lyrics to Johnny Comes Marching Home?
From: Abby Sale
Date: 28 Mar 03 - 02:38 PM

Of course, there are many versions. The 'chicken-less egg' verse is as in the data base. I learned it as
             You're a hopeless shell of a man on a peg
             And you'll have to be put where you're bound to beg.

Certainly, the correct way to sing a folksong is the way one learns it - Mondegreens and all. Especially true if one has ever sung it to a child because the child will remember and protest any change.

But, as implied above, it's still controvercial which song came first. I don't believe there's any hard evidence "Guns & Drums" is earlier than 1860's or can really be connected with the Ceylon campaign of the 1790's.


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Subject: Review: When Johnny comes marching home.
From: Jeep man
Date: 09 Apr 04 - 08:05 PM

Up until about 1 year ago I had a MP3 on my hard drive of the above song. This was an unusual version that I really liked. It had kind of an eerie quality, pipes,or whistles, good guitar work. The man sung it in an unusual rhythm for that song.

My computer crashed and it was all gone. I have searched all over and find lots of this song, but not this version.

I know this ain't much,but perhaps someone may know something. He also does "I Ride An Old Paint" and does it well. Jeep


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Subject: Origins: 'Old Paint', 'When Johnny comes'
From: Jeep man
Date: 20 Aug 04 - 10:05 PM

You will no doubt think I have finally lost it. Probably so, but I have looked for over 1 year and got nowhere.

This will probably test Mudcatter's skill at finding the unfindable.

I used to have these two songs on my hard drive and lost it all when it crashed. "I Ride An Old Paint", and "When Johnny comes marching home".

I cannot remember who the artist was. The two songs were done in almost an American Indian mode with flutes and violins. "Johnny" was sung "When Johnny comes march--ing home again".

"Paint" Was played   C Am C Am G.

I hope someone has heard this and can help me get it back. Jim


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Subject: RE: When Johnny Comes Marching Home .wav
From: GUEST
Date: 04 May 07 - 06:25 PM

http://www.gcfiles.com/audio/soul/marching.mp3
http://www.mundoarmonica.com/mp3/RichardHunterIntrumental-WhenJohnnyComesMarchingHome.mp3


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