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Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???

Related thread:
Tune Req: Jon Johnson - Sandburg Recording (8)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
My Name Is Yon Yonson (from Song Fest)
My Name Is Yon Yonson (from Songs for Swinging Housemothers)


Joe Offer 30 Nov 03 - 05:21 PM
open mike 30 Nov 03 - 05:26 PM
Joe Offer 30 Nov 03 - 05:46 PM
Barbara 30 Nov 03 - 05:54 PM
Acme 30 Nov 03 - 07:09 PM
Barbara 30 Nov 03 - 09:26 PM
Barbara 30 Nov 03 - 09:36 PM
Acme 30 Nov 03 - 10:08 PM
Barbara 30 Nov 03 - 10:20 PM
Joe Offer 30 Nov 03 - 10:45 PM
Coyote Breath 30 Nov 03 - 11:32 PM
Nigel Parsons 01 Dec 03 - 06:17 AM
Rapparee 01 Dec 03 - 09:04 AM
Acme 01 Dec 03 - 10:21 AM
Bill D 01 Dec 03 - 10:30 AM
Barbara 01 Dec 03 - 12:41 PM
Louie Roy 02 Dec 03 - 11:48 AM
Bill D 02 Dec 03 - 05:14 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Dec 03 - 05:55 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Dec 03 - 06:11 PM
Callie 02 Dec 03 - 06:33 PM
GUEST,Brett 15 Jun 04 - 07:04 PM
GUEST,Michael K 25 Jun 04 - 12:04 PM
Joe_F 25 Jun 04 - 07:05 PM
John M. 07 Oct 04 - 08:35 PM
GUEST 29 May 08 - 08:46 PM
kendall 30 May 08 - 07:26 AM
Ruth Archer 30 May 08 - 08:12 AM
Escapee 30 May 08 - 08:59 PM
GUEST 14 Aug 08 - 12:59 AM
GUEST,Sharl 28 Sep 08 - 01:04 AM
GUEST 28 Sep 08 - 08:58 PM
GUEST,JASE 26 Jan 09 - 07:17 PM
GUEST 09 Apr 09 - 07:28 PM
Bill D 09 Apr 09 - 07:34 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 10 Apr 09 - 06:57 AM
Jim Dixon 11 Apr 09 - 12:55 PM
GUEST,Texas 01 Jun 09 - 12:55 AM
GUEST,iancarterb 01 Jun 09 - 02:04 AM
Bill D 01 Jun 09 - 12:34 PM
Joe_F 01 Jun 09 - 09:46 PM
GUEST,applegal 23 Jun 09 - 05:06 PM
Azizi 29 Sep 09 - 09:11 AM
semi-submersible 07 Mar 10 - 02:39 PM
Jim Dixon 09 Mar 10 - 05:01 PM
Jim Dixon 09 Mar 10 - 05:12 PM
GUEST,Dan H. 22 May 10 - 07:20 PM
Tannywheeler 25 May 10 - 11:38 AM
GUEST,dopot 17 Aug 10 - 12:54 PM
GUEST,mjfox3 29 Nov 10 - 10:29 AM
GUEST 10 Jan 11 - 02:19 PM
GUEST 05 Sep 11 - 08:39 AM
GUEST,dulciquilt 30 Oct 11 - 09:02 AM
GUEST,another guest 14 Jul 13 - 05:53 PM
GUEST,The Dude 12 Aug 16 - 12:43 PM
keberoxu 12 Aug 16 - 12:57 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 12 Aug 16 - 03:15 PM
leeneia 13 Aug 16 - 01:02 PM
Joe Offer 13 Aug 16 - 06:10 PM
Mysha 14 Aug 16 - 02:53 AM
leeneia 14 Aug 16 - 09:10 PM
Mysha 15 Aug 16 - 01:55 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: MY NAME IS YON YONSON
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Nov 03 - 05:21 PM

I lived in Wisconsin from the age of 9 to 21, but somehow I never learned this song. People would talk about it, but they would get no farther than "My Name Is Yon Yonson, I comes from Visconsin." And everybody would laugh, and that would be then end of it. It was assumed that everybody knew the song, so nobody sang it. They sang "In Heaven There Is No Beer" until I learned it very well, and I learned lots of polkas, but not "My Name Is Yon Yonson." I found the following short piece - it this the whole song?
    My name is Yon Yonson
    I live in Wisconsin
    I work in a lumber mill there.
    All the people I meet
    when I walk down the street
    say "Hello, what's your name?" and I say:
    My name is Yon Yonson
    I live in Wisconsin...
    (repeat)
In this thread, Art Thieme, for whom I usually have the greatest respect, says "Yon Yonson" is about South Dakota. Can this be so?
Please help me. This is something that has bugged me for years, since I feel my education in my Wisconsin heritage is incomplete. I do know, however, that the song was quoted by Vonnegut in Slaughterhouse Five, and that Carl Sandburg recorded it.
It would be nice to have a tune to this one, you betcha.
-Joe Offer-

Here's the version from Vonnegut:
    My name is Yon Yonson
    I work in Wisconsin
    I work in a lumbermill there.
    The people I meet when I walk down the street,
    They say, "What's your name?"
    And I say:
    "My name is Yon Yonson
    I work in Wisconsin..."
This ditty is cited at least four times in the book, most completely on pp. 3-4.

Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry on this song:

My Name is Yon Yonson

DESCRIPTION: "My name is Yon Yonson, I come from Visconsin, I work in the lumber mills there, Ven I valk down the street, all the people I meet, say, 'Hello, vot's your name?' and I say...." and repeat until someone rebels
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1929 (Sinclair Lewis, _Dodsworth_)
KEYWORDS: humorous cumulative
FOUND IN: US
REFERENCES (2 citations):
ADDITIONAL: Walker D. Wyman, _Wisconsin Folklore_, University of Wisconsin Extension (?), 1979, pp. 71, ("My Name is Yon Yonson") (1 text)
Sinclair Lewis, _Dodsworth_, 1929

NOTES: The form quoted in the description does not appear to be original. Wyman's version is not in dialect (I've quoted Leisy's text, even though I've never heard a Norwegian who could pronounce "th" but could not pronounce "w"; it's either or neither). Also. Wyman's last line is simply "All the people I meet Ask how I came to be there." I suspect the latter form would not have been remembered had not someone "circularized" the poem. But since no author is known, there are variant texts, and Leisy has a tune, this *might* be a folk song. So here it is.
Credit to Jim Dixon for pointing out to me the 1929 version in Sinclair Lewis's Dodsworth. This is a version in true Scandihoovian dialect, and properly circular: "Ven I go down de street, All de people I meet, Dey saaaaaaay, 'Vot's your name?' And I sa-aaaaay: My name is Yon Yonson...." - RBW
Last updated in version 2.5
File: xMNIYY

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2016 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: open mike
Date: 30 Nov 03 - 05:26 PM

of course it is about Visconsin
which ise how you pronouce it
when you sing it


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Nov 03 - 05:46 PM

Well, Open Mike, that's what we lesser mortals might think, but Art Theime knows things about Wisconsin that nobody else knows. And the things he doesn't know about Wisconsin, he makes up.
What's more - people believe him!

OK, so I found it has been printed in Song Fest and in Songs For Swinging Housemothers, which isn't on the shelf where it's supposed to be. Here's the version from Song Fest, which isn't a whole lot different:
    My name is Yon Yonson
    I come from Visconsin
    I work in the lumber mills dere;
    Ven I valk down de street, all de people I meet,
    Dey say, "Hello, vat's your name?"
    And I say.... (start over)

Click to play


Now, I suppose this song was somewhat irrelevant to my upbringing because it was about Swedish and Norwegian immigrants, and all we had in Southeastern Wisconsin were Poles and Germans and some very Americanized Danes.
Dem Scandahoovians lived away up dere, almost to Minnysnapolis.
-Joe Offer, You Betcha-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: Barbara
Date: 30 Nov 03 - 05:54 PM

I think there are versions of this where Yon Yonson worked in a mattress factory, and it's a version of "My husband is a plumber"..
I very vaguely recall hearing a bawdy version of it in my college years in Michigan. I think there he sometimes came from Cheboygan.
Has anyone tried googling it?
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: Acme
Date: 30 Nov 03 - 07:09 PM

I haven't seen it written down. Growing up in a Norwegian community, I always assumed the title was written as Jan (or John) Johnson, and just pronounced properly (with the "Y" sound) for the Norsk character that he is. Silly me!

The second version is much closer to the one we sang as kids, except in that you show as

    Ven I valk down de street, all de people I meet,
    Dey say, "Hello, vat's your name?"

we sang (with the accent) as
When I walk down the street,
All the people I meet,
Say "Hello, What's your name?"
And I say. . .


It scans better without the extra "Dey."
SRS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: Barbara
Date: 30 Nov 03 - 09:26 PM

I remember! I remember! Put it in the old processor, and five hours later the answer floats to the surface, or part of it anyway. It was this song:
My name is Yon Yonson, I come from Visconsin
I yoost to work in a bakery
A lady come in for a cake one day
"Layer", she said, lay her I did
Now I don't work there anymore.

There are more, let me look...
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: Lyr Add: I USED TO WORK IN CHICAGO
From: Barbara
Date: 30 Nov 03 - 09:36 PM

Here: it's a variant on "I used to work in Chicago" which is here in the DT. Here are the verses from that song.
Blessings,
Barbara

My name is Yon Yonson, I come from Visconsin
I yoost to work in a bakery. I did, but I don't anymore.
A lady come in for a cake one day
"Layer," she said, so layer I did
I don't work there anymore.


A lady came in for a bird one day
"A goose," she said, so I gave her a goose
I don't work there anymore.

(similarly)
"Felt" she said, felt I did

A lady came in for a sleeper
"Upper" she said; Up 'er I did

A lady came in for a waterbottle
"Rubber " she said; rub 'er I did

A lady came in for a sweater
"Jumper, she said"; jump 'er I did

A lady came in for a ticket
"Bangor," she said; bang 'er I did

Also:
Hardware...nails....nail her I did
Hardware...screw....screw her I did
Fruit......plums....plumb her I did
Cinnamon...sticks...stick her I did
Peas.......split....split her I did
Milk.......cream....cream her I did
Covers.....spread...spread her I did
Rope.......jump.....jump her I did
Booze......liquor...lick 'er I did


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: Acme
Date: 30 Nov 03 - 10:08 PM

I sure didn't hear any of those verses when I was growing up! Whew!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: Barbara
Date: 30 Nov 03 - 10:20 PM

Well, SRS, I didn't hear them till I went away to college.
And I don't remember all the verses in the data base; but looking
at the footnotes I see that one source is the rugby players.
When I was a senior in HS and a freshman in college, I dated
a Canadian rugby player, and the team parties were the source
of many questionable songs I learned, this one included, I suspect.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Nov 03 - 10:45 PM

So, for the sake of this, I cleaned my office and found Songs for Swinging Housemothers. Not much different from the others, but I'll post it so it'll match the MIDI


    My name is Yon Yon-son, I come from Vis-con-sin
    I vork in the lum-ber mills dere
    Ven I valk down de street
    All de peo-ple I meet,
    Say, "Hel-lo, vot's your name?"
    And I say... (repeat)


Click to play


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 30 Nov 03 - 11:32 PM

Being from Visconsin I used to get annoyed when outsiders would quote this song to me! (well, I was young and foolish now I am old).

A friend of mine who was born and raised in International Falls used to sing it. He had the Swedish accent down pat (well he WAS a Swede). He was the only one could do that and make me laugh.

His favorite joke was:

"Vats the closest ting to a fish's asshole?

A Finn!"

He died trying to save a laptop computer. It was a late night, a few glasses of wine. He was driving a Taurus. The road was winding, he was going fast. The laptop started to fall off the front seat so he loosened his seat belt to reach over to grab it. He hit some black ice. He hit a tree. True story.

CB


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 01 Dec 03 - 06:17 AM

Is Yon Yonson perhaps related to John Jacob Jinkelheimer Schmidt ?

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: Rapparee
Date: 01 Dec 03 - 09:04 AM

My, NO! John Jacob is German, or, if you prefer, Dutch (Deutsch). The very idea, indeed. Hmmph!

We used to sing Yon Yonson in grade school, as a round. This was in west central Illinois, on the Mississippi, and no offense was intended. The words were the same as Joe Offer's last post...sung over and over and over and over and over....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: Acme
Date: 01 Dec 03 - 10:21 AM

So sad about your friend, Coyote Breath. It's all the sadder to lose a friend who has that vital spark of healthy good humor.

The last post from Joe contains the version I grew up with. Perhaps unrelated to my knowledge of the words (learned in the schoolyard, most likely), but I think I, too, have that book. Like Joe, I cleaned off my desk this weekend. Many of the contents went onto the wall behind it, where now resides an attractive set of bracket and board shelves, but that book would be in a different part of the office only reached by leaning across an armchair that usually has a cat sleeping in it. So I didn't bother to look. :)

SRS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: Bill D
Date: 01 Dec 03 - 10:30 AM

I have 'seen' all these versions, but the one I remember as a kid 50 years ago ended differently

"My name is Yon Yon-son, I come from Vis-con-sin
I vork in the lum-ber mills dere
Ven I valk down de street
All de peo-ple I meet,
Say, "Vat de Sam Hill you do dere?"
And I tell 'em!... (repeat)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: Barbara
Date: 01 Dec 03 - 12:41 PM

Sleep on it and a little more comes back.
The third line should be
"I yoost ta work in a [bakery] store" drop the "I don't work there anymore" in that line. I woke this morning sort of remembering the tune, and found I had too many words.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: Louie Roy
Date: 02 Dec 03 - 11:48 AM

I don't know how old this tune is but I lived in Idaho and learned the XXX rated version and I didn't know there was another version and I'm not about to print the version I learned


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: Bill D
Date: 02 Dec 03 - 05:14 PM

Barbara...that 'shop' variant is obviously a locally grafted thing.."I used to work in Chicago" and "Yon Yonson" are not usually related...the folk processor gets set on "puree" some times..*grin*


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Dec 03 - 05:55 PM

Th song must have been widespread because I learned it in New Mexico-Colorado in the 1935 period.
Two songs are united in the extended version given by Barbara with the "Did but I don't anymore" line.

A very old song with a non-scandahoovian origin. See Randolph and Legman, "Roll Me in Your Arms," # 179, pp. 571ff.

Lyr. Add:
MY NAME IS JIM TAYLOR

My name is Joe Taylor, my prick is a whaler,
My ballyx weigh ninety-four pounds.
I'll seize old Susanner, I'll fuck her, God damn her,
I'll pin her old ass to the ground!

Variants Jim, Joe, Bill Baker, gals named Anna (from Butte, Montana, she loves my banana), and etc.

Oh, her love is a sailor, his name is Jim Taylor,
He's gone in a whaler all out on the sea.
Oh, how he loves her, whenever he grabs her,
And then he sits down to drink tea.
(I remember this from childhood- something mis-remembered in the last line)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Dec 03 - 06:11 PM

Just remembered that we didn't have the line Hello, vot's yer name? where I learned it.

My name is Yon Yonson,
I bane fram Visconsin,
I vork in der lumber mills dere.
All de people I meet,
I tall on de street---

My name is Yon Yonson, ...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: Callie
Date: 02 Dec 03 - 06:33 PM

I learnt the song from a friend called Jan (Yan) - I always assumed the name was Jan Janssen.

Callie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: GUEST,Brett
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 07:04 PM

I only know this version, and to my knowledge this is the correct one:

My name is Yon Yonson,
I come from Wisconsin,
I work in the lumber mills there..
Every girl that I meet,
as I walk down the street,
Says, "Hello, what's your name, and from where?"
-(repeat)-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: GUEST,Michael K
Date: 25 Jun 04 - 12:04 PM

In 1987, a band called The Dave Howard Singers (Just Dave by himself to be honest) had a minor hit in the UK with a version of this song, set to a hip-hop/industrial beat.

It was pretty good.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: Joe_F
Date: 25 Jun 04 - 07:05 PM

Another Scandihoovian putdown, retailed IIRC by Carl Sandburg:

Q. What's dumber than a dumb Norwegian?
A. A smart Swede.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ben Johnson
From: John M.
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 08:35 PM

Here is another version of this song as sung in a rugby club in the Neatherlands.   You can listen to a poor recording of this song here:

   http://www.immortalia.com/00%20-%20My%20Name%20Is%20Ben%20Johnson.mp3   (117KB)

'My name Ben Johnson' - ERC'69 Rugby Team

My name Ben Johnson,
I come form Wisconson,
I work in the aardappelmeelfabriek, (dutch word means potatoflour factory)
They people i meet when i walk down the street,
They say HELLO, i say HELLO, They sayyyyyyyyyy

My name Ben Johnson,
I come form Wisconson,
I work in the aardappelmeelfabriek,
They people i meet when i walk down the street,
They say HELLO, i say HELLO, They sayyyyyyyyyy

Repeat this as much as you like, then to end the song:

My name Ben Johnson,
I come form Wisconson
I work in the aardappelmeelfabriek,
They people i meet when i walk down the street,
They say HELLO, i say FUCK YOU

Does anyone else know other bawdy versions of this song?

Thanks!

John Mehlberg
~
My bawdy songs, toasts and recitations website: www.immortalia.com

.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: GUEST
Date: 29 May 08 - 08:46 PM

When I was so young that us guys would repeat the dittys when adults couldn't hear, and I remember it this way:

My name is Jim Taylor
my dick is a whaler
my balls weigh forty nine pounds
so if you know a lady that wants baby
just tell her Jim Taylors in town

Forty nine pounds? We used to wonder at that.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: kendall
Date: 30 May 08 - 07:26 AM

Anyone know this one?

Ten thousand Swedes came creeping through the weeds to lick one sick Norwegian....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 May 08 - 08:12 AM

Here's one from my childhood which is clearly related (albeit distantly) to Yon Yonson:

My name is Ricardo
I am a retardo
I live on 31st street
I sit on the steeple
And spit on the people
And they say, "HELLOOOO!"
And I say, "HELLLOOOO!"
And they say, "What is your name?"
And I say...

As I remember it was recited quite quickly, except for the 'Hello', which was shouted slowly and accompanied by exaggerated waving.

Anyone else remember this? I reckon it must be a north-eastern adaptation.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: Escapee
Date: 30 May 08 - 08:59 PM

When I was a kid, Yon worked in a lumberyard. We didn't have mills in Toledo.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Aug 08 - 12:59 AM

I know the Ricardo one, but I learned it 112th street, not 31st. From some Turkish friends.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: GUEST,Sharl
Date: 28 Sep 08 - 01:04 AM

My dad is of Norwegian stock and peculiar humor, and this is the version I heard from him:
    My name is Yon Yonson
    I come from Visconsin
    I look for a yob

Not as clever as some of the others, mind, but I guess he was afraid to say the ruder ones because my mom is from Wisconsin ~grin~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Sep 08 - 08:58 PM

my
my name is Jon Jonson, I come from Wisconsin, I work in the lumber mills dere
As I walk down the street, all the girls that I meet, say,
What ya holdin' in your hand there? I say..
My name is Jon Jonson...

apologies for for both meter and subject matter


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: GUEST,JASE
Date: 26 Jan 09 - 07:17 PM

My name is Doc Taylor
My prick is a whaler
My balls weigh 89 pounds apiece
If you know any ladies who want any babies
Tell em' Doc Taylors in town
I'll wham em', I'll bam em', I fuck em' god damn em
I'll pin their young ass to the ground
If you know any ladies who want any babies
tell em' Doc taylors in town


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 07:28 PM

wow thats alot different than the one my dad taught me and ive been looking for online when i found this stuff. anyone heard this version? [though the thread is a little old now huh?]

my name is yon yonson a bastard i am
i come from the county of west abraham
i have a small cottage up in the hills
where i dont have to worry about any damn bills

i eat when im hungry i drink when im dry
if whiskey dont kill me ill live till I die
its whiskey whiskey whiskey i crave
if it wasnt for whiskey id be in my grave

there was another verse about a bed bug but i cant remember it which is why i was online searching.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 07:34 PM

My..you have mixed up 2 or 3 songs there.

"I eat when I'm hungry..." etc. is usually found in "Rye Whiskey"

I've never seen it paired with Yon Yonson

People's memories stitch odd things together. That IS the folk process.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 06:57 AM

GUEST - hope you come back - maybe this will prime your memory.

That is certainly a delightful hash of lyrics from multiple classics by GUEST

To help the memory along regarding the BEDBUG noted by GUEST

The opening line is similar to what I know as "Greer County Bachelor" from Ives's Song in America...
.so my bedbug guess might be along the lines of this found in similar lyrics:
Hurrach for Greer County the land of the free,
The land of the bedbug, grasshopper, and flea
I'll sing of its praises and tell of its fame
While starving to death on my government claim.

(Ives's entire "S in Am" version is substantially different from those in the DT)

Noted in the DT as Lane County Bachelor Then hurrah for Lane County, the land of the free
The home of the bedbug, mosquito and flea,
I'll sing loud her praises and never complain
While starving to death on my government claim.

(DT notes "L C B" as recorded by Ives but it is far from his printed version)

Noted in the DT as THE ALBERTA HOMESTEADER

The little bed-bug, so cheerful and bright,
He [It] keeps me up laughing two-thirds of the night
And the smart little flea with the tacks in his toes
Crawls up through my whiskers and tickles my nose.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

GUEST - pull off your coat and throw it in the corner - we would like to pluck your brain a little longer.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 12:55 PM

I am reminded of the old Swedish (or was it Norwegian?) lady who complained:
"It took me tventy yearce tu learn how tu pronounce j-j-jam and now everybody calls it yelly."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: GUEST,Texas
Date: 01 Jun 09 - 12:55 AM

My dad used to sing us this song (late 40's, early 50's). I thought he probably heard it in CCC camps in New Mexico.

My name is Jim Johnson,
I come from Wisconsin,
I work in the lumberyard there.
The folks I meet,
Upon the street,
They ask me my name,
And I tell them Jim Johnson,
(repeat)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: GUEST,iancarterb
Date: 01 Jun 09 - 02:04 AM

I read the whole thread, and did not see any other citation of precisely the variant that I learned ca. 1946-1950, on Long Island, which was
...I work in a lumberyard dere,
All de people I mmet as I walk down de street,
Dey say, hoo is dat walkin' down dere,
And I tell 'em, My name is Yon Yonson...

Carter


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: Bill D
Date: 01 Jun 09 - 12:34 PM

A song like this, as we see, seldom HAS exact duplicate versions in folks heads, except in local communities. It lends itself to 'processing' easily, and to having local names grafted in.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: Joe_F
Date: 01 Jun 09 - 09:46 PM

"Earliest date 1962" indeed! My mother taught it to me when I was little (early 1940s). She probably learned it when she was little (19teens).

*

What's dumber than a dumb Norwegian?
A smart Swede.
    -- recorded by Carl Sandburg somewhere


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: GUEST,applegal
Date: 23 Jun 09 - 05:06 PM

And MY Dad sang it to me when we lived in Minnysoda. It was 1936 and I was five years old.

Does anyone know the words to "Where do you worka John? On the Delaware Lackawan."?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: Azizi
Date: 29 Sep 09 - 09:11 AM

I happened upon this thread last night while looking for something else, and I found it a very interesting read.

Guest 09 Apr 09 - 07:28 PM gave an example that included this verse:

i eat when im hungry i drink when im dry
if whiskey dont kill me ill live till I die
its whiskey whiskey whiskey i crave
if it wasnt for whiskey id be in my grave

-snip-

That verse is very similar to this example from Thomas W. Talley's 1922 collection of African American songs:

I'LL EAT WHEN I'M HUNGRY

I'll eat when I'm hungry,
An' I'll drink when I'se dry;
An' if de whitefolks don't kill me,
I'll live till I die.

In my liddle log cabin,
Ever since I'se been born;
Dere hain't been no nothin'
'Cept dat hard salt parch corn.

But I knows what's a henhouse,
An' de tucky be charve;
Am' if de Mosser don't kill me,
I cain't never starve.

Thomas W. Talley, Negro Folk Rhymes, Wise and Otherwise (Kennikat Press Edition, 1968, p. 114; originally published by The Macmillan Company, 1922)

**

That same guest wrote that "there was another verse about a bed bug but i cant remember it".

I wonder that guest was referring to this rhyme that was also collected by Talley:

PARODY OF "NOW I LAY ME DOWN TO SLEEP"

Uh-Huh: "Now I lays me down to sleep!-
While dead oudles of bedbugs 'round me creep,-
Well: If dey bites me befo' "I" wake,
I hopes "deir" ole jawbone'll break.
Thomas W. Talley, Negro Folk Rhymes, Wise and Otherwise (Kennikat Press Edition, 1968, p. 115; originally published by The Macmillan Company, 1922)

-snip-

I remember my mother teaching the first two lines to my sisters and me as "Now I lay me down to sleep/while oodles of bedbugs around me creep". I don't remember the rest of it, but think we just said the "if I should die before I wake/I pray to God my soul to take" lines.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: semi-submersible
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 02:39 PM

Azizi, what does "de tucky be charve" mean?

"Ricardo" variant, c. 1980, British Columbia, Canada (is "Queen St." here a generic name, or the famous street in Toronto, thousands of miles from where I heard this?):

My name is Lenardo
I am a retard-o
I live at nine-nine-ninety Queen Street
I sit on the steeple
And pee on the people
And they say "What is your name?"
And I say...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 09 Mar 10 - 05:01 PM

Here's the oldest version I can find:

This text is quoted in the novel Dodsworth by Sinclair Lewis (New York: P.F. Collier, ©1929):

My name is Yon Yonson,
I come from Visconsin,
I vork on a lumberyard dere.
Ven I go down de street,
All de people I meet,
Dey saaaaaaay,
"Vot's your name?"
And I sa-aaaaay:
My name is Yon Yonson,
I come from Visconsin—


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 09 Mar 10 - 05:12 PM

My best guess:

tucky be charve = turkey be carved


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: GUEST,Dan H.
Date: 22 May 10 - 07:20 PM

The version of "Yon Yonson" that I learned from my dad had a bit of a twist:

My name is Yon Yonson
I come from Visconsin
I verk in the lumberyard there
Every girl that I meets there
Vhen I valk in the streets there
Says "Hello, vat's your name?" and I say

My name is Yon Yonson
I come from Visconsin
I verk in the lumberyard there
Every GUY that I meets there
Vhen I valk in the streets there
Says "Hello, vat's your name?" and I say
"None of your business!"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 25 May 10 - 11:38 AM

I heard this some in my early childhood/preteens. But I remember:
"My name is Yon Yohnson;
I come from Wisconsin;
My father makes Limburger cheese..." Tw


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: GUEST,dopot
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 12:54 PM

We young boys used to sing a different version in Southern Illinois in the early '50s.

My name is Yon Yonson
I come from Wisconsin
I make a three dollar a day
I go and see Nellie and
Bounce on her belly and
**** my three dollar away.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: GUEST,mjfox3
Date: 29 Nov 10 - 10:29 AM

My father taught Jon Jonson to us in the 40's in a version quite different from most:
My name is Yon Yonson
I come from Visconsin
I work in da lumberyards dere
Me mudder and fadder
Got drowned in de vater,
But I swim across
Like a froggy frog frog


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 02:19 PM

A little bit of Jan Jansen (pronouced: Yon Yonson) history can be found on the Wikipedia web site under:

* Yon Yonson
* Jan Sophus Jansen

The earliest date that the song was known to be sung was 1893 in Berlin, Wisconsin by Jan Sophus Jansen and played on his concertina. He did work in a lumberyard. Later becoming a carpenter and cabinet maker.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Sep 11 - 08:39 AM

Found it on the recording Carl Sandburg: The Flat Rock Ballads

Columbia Recording


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: GUEST,dulciquilt
Date: 30 Oct 11 - 09:02 AM

I know this is an old thread, but wanted to add one more version. It's similar to Ruth's version

My name is Yon Yonson
I come from Wisconsin
I live at one hundred thirteen, thirteen (second 13 said in high squeaky voice)
I sit on the steeple
and spit on the people
and they say "hello"
and I say "hello"
And they say "what's your name"
And I say....


The question/answer phrases are all spoken.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: GUEST,another guest
Date: 14 Jul 13 - 05:53 PM

Sooo funny! My Swedish Poppa taught us this version. He lived in Chicago in the very early 1900's. We sang it on car trips and on Christmas eve as a trick for our gifts (any other Scandinavian's do that?).I thought I had blended two memories until reading that last post! His went like this...
My name is Yon Yohnson. I come from Visconsin. I work for the C B and Q. I sit on the steeple and spit on the people. Oh, Yes! For the C B and Q! I do! I researched the C B and Q and believe it refers to the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad. The 'steeple'? I can't figure out!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: GUEST,The Dude
Date: 12 Aug 16 - 12:43 PM

I will add to this old thread my version since none here match it entirely and it has a different rhythm. In my head of course none of those printed here have the correct beat.

My name is Jon Johnson,
I come from Wisconsin,
I worked in the lumbermill there,
As I walk down the street,
All the people I meet,
Say what is your name and I say...

The major difference is the lack of the "Hello" which I just can't make work with the rhythm we used.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: keberoxu
Date: 12 Aug 16 - 12:57 PM

So I went through every version on this thread. Now, I grew up with the "Flat Rock Ballads" recording by Carl Sandburg, in which he punctuates the repeated verse (always the same verse, nothing cumulative or changing) with every kind of laughter there is: belly laughs, chuckles, guffaws, humming laughter with closed lips, giggles, catty purring growls....this is all absolutely FASCINATING to a very small child. We kids ended up giggling right along with Sandburg.

Many of the versions on this thread differ from Sandburg's singing.
This is what I remember:

My name is Yon Yonson
I come from Visconsin
I work in da lumber-mill dere (insert laughter)
Ven I go up da street
Da people I meet dey say:

"Vat's your name?"
an' I say.....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 12 Aug 16 - 03:15 PM

It looks as though you can play some of the Flat Rock Ballads recordings online through links at this page:

Flat Rock Ballads


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: leeneia
Date: 13 Aug 16 - 01:02 PM

Upthread, Joe Offer asked if this song could possibly have come from South Dakota. The answer is no. This is the song that comes from South Dakota:


My name is Yim Yoder
I'm from South Dakota....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Aug 16 - 06:10 PM

Well, actually, I said that Art Thieme said that "Yon Yonson" came from South Dakota. But then again, he must have been right, because I never knew Art to be wrong. "Yon Yonson" is the kind of song that people from outside Wisconsin would sing to give their impression of how Wisconsinites talk, but Wisconsinites don't really talk that way. Ena, hey?

So, "Yon Yonson" is a song sung by a South Dakotan trying to sound like a Wisconsinite, but failing miserably.

Look at the Traditional Ballad Index entry that I copy-pasted above, and note the literary sources of "Yon Yonson:
  • Was Carl Sandburg from Wisconsin? Nope, Illinois.
  • Was Sinclair Lewis from Wisconsin? Nope, Minnesota.
I rest my case.

-Joe Offer, born in Detroit but raised in Wisconsin-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: Mysha
Date: 14 Aug 16 - 02:53 AM

So, Yim, what do you do, in South Dakota?
                                                                  Mysha


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: leeneia
Date: 14 Aug 16 - 09:10 PM

I take wheat from da mills
to da tow'ring Black Hills.
When dey ask what my name is
I say :|


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: Mysha
Date: 15 Aug 16 - 01:55 PM

Almost there:

My name is Yim Yoder
I'm from South Dakota....
                     ... ay
I take wheat from da mills
to da tow'ring Black Hills.
When dey ask what my name is
I say:

(-:

Something or other "all day", maybe (if that's what they say in South Dakota)?

Bye,
                                                                Mysha


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: voyager
Date: 15 Aug 16 - 03:11 PM

The Yon Yonson lyrics segue nicely into Lumberjack Song (Monty Python)

"I'm a lumberjack and I'm OK...."

I used these two songs in a medley during a Boy Scouts Paul Bunyan
day program and walked off with the Blue Ox award.

Footnote - I'm not form Visconsin either
voyager


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: Mysha
Date: 16 Aug 16 - 04:09 PM

Hi,

And this Blue Ox Award is a good thing? Not like one of those rewards for the worst whatever it was?
I've seen a blue oxen, and is seems to bring up the rear, somewhat behind this Paul figure.

Bye
                                                                Mysha


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name Is Yon Yonson - that's all???
From: voyager
Date: 16 Aug 16 - 04:45 PM

The 'Blue Ox' award is actually fiction. Winning the Paul Bunyan
impersonation award was the real deal (summer scout program). The key to success for this event (couple of portly scout leader types) was a 2-part chorus....When asked "tell us about yourself Paul" I bellowed out the Yon Yonson refrain. When I got to the bit "....the people I meet when I walk down the street say..." the scout kids chimed in with the Lumberjack song "He's a lumberjack and he's OK". The song arrangements and 2-part chorus won the day.


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