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Old Johnny Pucker/Booker/Bugger/Bucker/Bucca

DigiTrad:
JOHNNY BOOKER
JOHNNY BUCCA


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Dig a hole to put the devil in (16)
Lyr Req: Old John Pigger (7)
(origins) Lyr Req: Old Johnny Bucker /Johnny Booker (32)
Lyr Req: Old Johnny Booger (8)
Lyr Req: Old Johnny Bugger (3) (closed)
Help: Johnny Booker assistance requested (5)


Mac 07 Oct 97 - 02:57 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 07 Oct 97 - 06:50 PM
bigj 09 Oct 97 - 05:41 PM
Catfeet 09 Oct 97 - 09:28 PM
MacCionaoith 10 Oct 97 - 01:37 PM
Baz 24 Aug 98 - 06:08 PM
dick greenhaus 24 Aug 98 - 10:02 PM
breezy 17 Sep 01 - 07:57 PM
GUEST,jamie 06 Aug 07 - 02:51 PM
BB 06 Aug 07 - 03:01 PM
Scotus 06 Aug 07 - 05:21 PM
Azizi 06 Aug 07 - 05:43 PM
Azizi 06 Aug 07 - 05:55 PM
Azizi 06 Aug 07 - 06:01 PM
Greg B 06 Aug 07 - 06:58 PM
Azizi 06 Aug 07 - 07:30 PM
Azizi 06 Aug 07 - 07:34 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 06 Aug 07 - 08:03 PM
GEST 09 Feb 09 - 09:18 AM
Steve Gardham 09 Feb 09 - 05:59 PM
Betsy 09 Feb 09 - 06:39 PM
GUEST,Ca 01 Mar 13 - 06:12 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 01 Mar 13 - 02:39 PM
GUEST,Susie 13 Jan 16 - 12:01 PM
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Subject: Old Johnny Pucker
From: Mac
Date: 07 Oct 97 - 02:57 PM

Some years back, through a haze of Guiness Stout and cigarette smoke, I heard a song about "Old Johnny Pucker." The chorus went, "I do believe, I do believe, Old Johnny Pucker was a gay old Pucker, and a gay old Pucker was he." Does anyone out there know the words?


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Subject: RE: Old Johnny Pucker
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 07 Oct 97 - 06:50 PM

I didn't hear the lyrics that way!


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Subject: Lyr Add: OLD JOHNNY BOOKER / BUGGER / BUCKER
From: bigj
Date: 09 Oct 97 - 05:41 PM

This is as I remember it from 30-ish years ago.

Now old Johnniy Booker he lived by himself
As long as he had perfect health
He took unto himself a wife
To look after him for the rest of his life.

Chorus:
Singing I do believe, I will believe,
Old Johnny Booker was a gay old Booker and a gay old Booker was he.

Old Ma Booker she had a bad leg,
The doctor ordered her to bed
He called Johnny in and says to him
You've got to rub your wife's left leg with gin.

Well Old Johnny Booker he thought it was a sin
To rub his wife's left leg with gin
He poured the gin right down his throttle
And rubbed his wife's left leg with the bottle.

Now Old Johnny Booker went a-swimming in the river
And that was the end of a perfect liver
He could have been saved there isn't any doubt
But there was nobody there to pull Johnny out.

Now the Lord made man and man made money
The Lord made the bees and the bees made honey.
The Lord made Hitler (the Kaiser/ the Devil) and Hitler made sin
The Lord'll have to make a hole to put the bugger in.

Also goes under the title of Johnny Bugger/ Bucker.


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Subject: RE: Old Johnny Pucker
From: Catfeet
Date: 09 Oct 97 - 09:28 PM

I learned it as "Old Johnny Buggar", with slightly different verses, but basically the same as above.

Catfeet


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Subject: RE: Old Johnny Pucker
From: MacCionaoith
Date: 10 Oct 97 - 01:37 PM

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. It hasn't been 30 years, but I think at has been at least 20 . . .


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Subject: Lyr Add: OLD JOHNNY BUCCA^^
From: Baz
Date: 24 Aug 98 - 06:08 PM

This song may have come from the old days when the 'bucca' were the little folk 'piskies'as we now call them and gay meant merry.
Of late in Cornwall the letters c and g have become interchangeable!

JOHNNY BUCCA

Old Johnny Bucca he lived by himself
As long as he had perfect health.
Then one day he took a wife
To care for him for the rest of his life.

Chorus:
Singing: I do believe, I will believe,
Old Johnny Bucca was a gay old bucca,
And a gay old bucca was he.

Now old Mrs Bucca she had a bad leg,
The doctor ordered her to bed,
Called Johnny in and he says to him,
'You'll Dave to rub your wife's left leg with gin.'

Now old Johnny Bucca thought 'twere a sin,
To rub his wife's left leg with gin.
So he pulled out the stopper
And poured it down his throttle,
Rubbed his wife's left leg with the bottle!

God made bees and bees made honey.
God made man and man made money.
Money made the Devil and the Devil made sin.
We shall have to dig a pit
For to put the bucca in.

Old Johnny Bucca went walking one day.
Down by the river he happened to stray.
Johnny fell in and he started to shout;
There was no bucca there
For to pull the bucca out.


Johnny he died and he went to heaven.
He got there about half past eleven.
St. Peter met him at the gate,
And said 'Johnny Bucca
You're too b... late!'
^^


    This entry added to the Digital Tradition in April 2000


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Subject: RE: LYR ADD Old Johnny Bucca
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 24 Aug 98 - 10:02 PM

Inneresting. I learned is as Johnny Booker (or Johnny Boker) and it was both a banjo tune (Southern Appalachian) and a se shantey.

Never heard bucca reference, though.


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Subject: RE: LYR ADD Old Johnny Bucca
From: breezy
Date: 17 Sep 01 - 07:57 PM

Johnny died and went to heaven... He got there at half past 'leven... Peter said "Johnny you're late.....You'll 'ave t' bugger off cos we've got to shut the gate" ... singing I do etc....as sung in cornwall since time of Mervyn Vincent and Charlie Bate.


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Subject: RE: Old Johnny Pucker/Booker/Bugger/Bucker/Bucca
From: GUEST,jamie
Date: 06 Aug 07 - 02:51 PM

Its an old cornish song as far as ive heard and its called old johnny bugger the last verse is "youl ave ta bugger off oz ya too bloody late" and bucca is bugger.


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Subject: RE: Old Johnny Pucker/Booker/Bugger/Bucker/Bucca
From: BB
Date: 06 Aug 07 - 03:01 PM

Talking about this song and Mervyn, when his younger daughter started school, the teacher asked whether the children knew any songs, and said daughter put up her hand. 'Yes, dear, can you sing us a song?' 'Old Johnny Bugger, he lived by himself...' I don't remember said daughter singing anything since!

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Old Johnny Pucker/Booker/Bugger/Bucker/Bucca
From: Scotus
Date: 06 Aug 07 - 05:21 PM

Used to be a big favourite of Bob Davenport's - I think I have him singing it on an album with The Rakes. Great song!

Jack


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Subject: RE: Old Johnny Pucker/Booker/Bugger/Bucker/Bucca
From: Azizi
Date: 06 Aug 07 - 05:43 PM

Here's a YouTube video of someone playing a banjo? and singing "Johnny Booker":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57qWOT4-q_M


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Subject: RE: Old Johnny Pucker/Booker/Bugger/Bucker/Bucca
From: Azizi
Date: 06 Aug 07 - 05:55 PM

Also, Dorothy Scarborough's 1925 book "On The Trial Of Negro Songs" {Folklore Associates, Inc. edition, 1963; originally published by Harvard University Press, 2935; p. 100} briefly mentions a song called "Johnny Booker." I'll post the entire paragraph:

"Dr. Wyeth performed magic tricks with a banjo, as he had been taught by old Uncle Billy in slavery times. He evoked melodies of wistful gaiety by drawing a handkerchief across the banjo strings and lively tunes by playing it with a whisk-broom.And when he danced some of the old breakdowns for me, just to show how they went, I felt transported to the old plantation if days before the war. Amother of the dance-songs he gave me was Johnny Booker.

I went down to de back of de fiel';
A black snake cotch me by de heel.
I cut de dus', I run my bes'.
I run right into a horhey's nes'.

Chorus:

Oh, do Mr. Booker, do! Oh, do, Mr. Booker, do!
Oh, do, Mr. Booker, Johnny Booker,
Mr. Booker, Mr. Booker, Johnny Booker, do!


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Subject: RE: Old Johnny Pucker/Booker/Bugger/Bucker/Bucca
From: Azizi
Date: 06 Aug 07 - 06:01 PM

I want to properly credit the video I posted:

Added {to YouTube}: June 05, 2007
From: ackeim

**

Also, I see by his response to a viewer's comment and other videos that he wrote that the "banjo" he played is actually a "Beansprout Banjo Ukulele".


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Subject: RE: Old Johnny Pucker/Booker/Bugger/Bucker/Bucca
From: Greg B
Date: 06 Aug 07 - 06:58 PM

Geez, that guy makes a nice banjo/uke and plays it real good,
too. The clawhammer banjo style (with no 5th string, but it sounds
like there's one) is astonishing. My very first stringed instrument
was an old banjo uke (that I still have) around age 6--- my dad
fixed it up for me. But that thing--- and the player--- wow.

Anyway; at Mystic Seaport, they've used 'Johnny Booker' for a bunting
shanty, but the melody they use is closer to 'Little Sally Rackett'
(or the childish "Nya nya nya nya nya nya" taunt) than what was
presented at YouTube.

"Do me Johnny Booker, roll me in the clover
Do me Johnny Booker DO!"

"Do me Johnny Booker, roll me down from Liverpool
Do me Johnny Booker DO!"

(On a bunting shanty, the work happens on the last note, well
not really, the 'gathering' happens throughout, but the bunt
is "tossed" or rolled up onto the top of the yard on the last
note.)

I never made the connection between 'Booker' and 'Bugger' but
let's face it, the voyages were long--- also, bunting shanties
are the least 'polite' of all because the officers (or the
cook) were least likely to hear what was being sung or by whom.

In the case of the officers, it was a matter of a "hazing." In the
case of a cook, well, he might "whip it out" and then the hash
might be a bit more salty than usual---


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Subject: RE: Old Johnny Pucker/Booker/Bugger/Bucker/Bucca
From: Azizi
Date: 06 Aug 07 - 07:30 PM

I can see how the name "Johnny Booker" came from the name "Johnny Bugger".

Is the general concensus that the name "Johnny Bugger" was a sexual referent?

Or-and?-is the name "Johnny Bugger" a more politically correct name than the name that is described in this post from another Mudcat "Johnny Booker" thread:

thread.cfm?threadid=39032#553174

What I'm asking is did that other name-mentioned in that post-come first and then was changed to Johnny Bugger, and then in the USA was changed to Johnny Booker?


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Subject: RE: Old Johnny Pucker/Booker/Bugger/Bucker/Bucca
From: Azizi
Date: 06 Aug 07 - 07:34 PM

Sorry for the speaking around the point. I re-read that post and I see the name was "Johnny Poker" and not what I thought it was.

Well, I'm glad that got straigthened out.

[no pun intended]


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Subject: RE: Old Johnny Pucker/Booker/Bugger/Bucker/Bucca
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 06 Aug 07 - 08:03 PM

Better versions in thread 67154, plus background notes by Joe Offer, Claire Bear and others, so I have posted further versions of this old chanty there. Earliest chanty versions in print were either Johnny Bowker or Johnny Boker.
Old Johnny


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Subject: RE: Old Johnny Pucker/Booker/Bugger/Bucker/Bucca
From: GEST
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 09:18 AM

Ryan's Fancy did a rousing variant of this humourous song and recorded it in 1971 as Old Johnny Bucher on their album An Irish Night At The Black Night Lounge, from Marathon records. This lyrics page from GEST Songs of Newfoundland and Labrador includes a new YouTube video by oldirishladdie as well.


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Subject: RE: Old Johnny Pucker/Booker/Bugger/Bucker/Bucca
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 05:59 PM

Don't know about the other thread but this one seems to have confused two completely separate songs with the same title. The Minstrel>>shanty song, apart from the name, has nothing in common with the bar-room song. As to Bugger/Booker unless someone can come up with an origin or an earliest version it's all just conjecture. My own opinion is 'Johnny Booker' takes precedent, because of the line in the chorus 'Old Johnny Booker was a gay old bugger' although you could equally argue, if his name was 'Bugger' then you could get away with not swearing, Naah! FWIW as far as I can see the song does not go back beyond WWII. As someone has said Bob Davenport spread it far and wide on the Brit folk scene. It was very popular in pubs away from the folk scene during the 60s which is where I first came across it. Of course the 'God made man' verse is a commonplace and was well known by the middle of the nineteenth century on both sides of the Atlantic.


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Subject: RE: Old Johnny Pucker/Booker/Bugger/Bucker/Bucca
From: Betsy
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 06:39 PM

tHere's only one Johnny Booker - from Barnsley - the auld bugger


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Subject: RE: Old Johnny Pucker/Booker/Bugger/Bucker/Bucca
From: GUEST,Ca
Date: 01 Mar 13 - 06:12 AM

Old Johnny pucker was a gay old f..ker and a gay old f..ker was he, ya
Uh, ya uh.
Now old old Johnny pucker had a wife called fife and she woke up in the middle of the night singing I do believe that old Johnny pucker was a gay old f..ker and a gay old fucker was he.

I too last heard this about 30 years ago in a pub in Ireland. Hope this helps :).


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Subject: RE: Old Johnny Pucker/Booker/Bugger/Bucker/Bucca
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 01 Mar 13 - 02:39 PM

Scotus quite rightly says Bob Davenport sang this song (however spelt)
and I'd be pretty sure he got it from Jack Elliott of Birtley- it's on the 1961 Folkways LP 'Elliotts of Birtley' but was also in the repertoire of the late lamented Francis Shergold of the Bampton Morris. I used to sing it regularly at the 'Sibin' pub outside of Baltimore, West Cork about 15-20 years ago & once had the great pleasure of bringing Jack's son Pete & his wife Pat to the pub to sing what for me was the 'original' version...- they were very popular in West Cork on their visits.


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Subject: RE: Old Johnny Pucker/Booker/Bugger/Bucker/Bucca
From: GUEST,Susie
Date: 13 Jan 16 - 12:01 PM

I know that it was in the repertoire of the Union Folk up in Cheshire in the early 60s... quite where they got it from I don't know.


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