When Johnny Comes Marching Home

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"When Johnny Comes Marching Home"
When Johnny Comes Marching Home - Project Gutenberg eText 21566.png
Cover, sheet music, 1863
Written byLouis Lambert (pseud. of Patrick Gilmore)
Published1863
Written1863
LanguageEnglish
 
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"When Johnny Comes Marching Home"
When Johnny Comes Marching Home - Project Gutenberg eText 21566.png
Cover, sheet music, 1863
Written byLouis Lambert (pseud. of Patrick Gilmore)
Published1863
Written1863
LanguageEnglish
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A June, 1898 recording of a United States patriotic song, made during the Spanish-American War.

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"When Johnny Comes Marching Home" (sometimes "When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again") is a popular song of the American Civil War that expressed people's longing for the return of their friends and relatives who were fighting in the war.

Origins[edit]

The lyrics to When Johnny Comes Marching Home were written by the Irish-American bandleader Patrick Gilmore during the American Civil War. Its first sheet music publication was deposited in the Library of Congress on September 26, 1863, with words and music credited to "Louis Lambert"; copyright was retained by the publisher, Henry Tolman & Co., of Boston.[1] Why Gilmore chose to publish under a pseudonym is not clear, but popular composers of the period often employed pseudonyms to add a touch of romantic mystery to their compositions.[2] Gilmore is said to have written the song for his sister Annie as she prayed for the safe return of her fiancé, Union Light Artillery Captain John O'Rourke, from the Civil War,[3][4] although it is not clear if the engagement already existed in 1863 and the two were not married until 1875.[5]

Gilmore later acknowledged that the music was not original but was, as he put it in an 1883 article in the Musical Herald, "a musical waif which I happened to hear somebody humming in the early days of the rebellion, and taking a fancy to it, wrote it down, dressed it up, gave it a name, and rhymed it into usefulness for a special purpose suited to the times."[6]

The melody was previously published around July 1, 1863, as the music to the Civil War drinking song Johnny Fill Up the Bowl.[7] A color-illustrated, undated slip of Gilmore's lyrics, printed by his own Boston publisher, actually states that When Johnny Comes Marching Home should be sung to the tune of Johnny Fill Up the Bowl.[8] The original sheet music for Johnny Fill Up the Bowl states that the music was arranged (not composed) by J. Durnal.[9] There is a melodic resemblance of the tune to that of John Anderson, My Jo (to which Robert Burns wrote lyrics to fit a pre-existing tune dating from about 1630 or earlier), and some have suggested a connection to the seventeenth-century ballad The Three Ravens.[10]

When Johnny Comes Marching Home is also sung to the same tune as Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye and is frequently thought to have been a rewriting of that song. However, Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye was not published until 1867, and it originally had a different melody.[11]

When Johnny Comes Marching Home was immensely popular and was sung by both sides of the American Civil War.[12] It became a hit in England as well.[13]

Other versions[edit]

Quite a few variations on the song, as well as songs set to the same tune but with different lyrics, have appeared since When Johnny Comes Marching Home was popularized. The alleged larcenous tendencies of some Union soldiers in New Orleans were parodied in the lyrics For Bales, to the same tune. A British version appeared in 1914, with the similar title, When Tommy Comes Marching Home.

Arcadhya (2011) - Brazil

Popular culture (after 1950)[edit]

Lyrics[edit]

The original lyrics as written by Gilmore, are:[18]

Illustration of a Zouave company on Civil War era broadside of "When Johnny Comes Marching Home".
When Johnny comes marching home again
Hurrah! Hurrah!
We'll give him a hearty welcome then
Hurrah! Hurrah!
The men will cheer and the boys will shout
The ladies they will all turn out
And we'll all feel gay
When Johnny comes marching home.
The old church bell will peal with joy
Hurrah! Hurrah!
To welcome home our darling boy,
Hurrah! Hurrah!
The village lads and lassies say
With roses they will strew the way,
And we'll all feel gay
When Johnny comes marching home.
Get ready for the Jubilee,
Hurrah! Hurrah!
We'll give the hero three times three,
Hurrah! Hurrah!
The laurel wreath is ready now
To place upon his loyal brow
And we'll all feel gay
When Johnny comes marching home.
Let love and friendship on that day,
Hurrah, hurrah!
Their choicest pleasures then display,
Hurrah, hurrah!
And let each one perform some part,
To fill with joy the warrior's heart,
And we'll all feel gay
When Johnny comes marching home.

Johnny Fill Up the Bowl[edit]

Johnny Fill Up the Bowl, which provided the tune for When Johnny Comes Marching Home, was a topical drinking song that commented on events in the American Civil War. It was frequently refitted with new words by soldiers and other publishers.[19]

A satirical variant of Johnny Fill Up the Bowl, entiled For Bales or, more fully, "For Bales! An O'er True Tale. Dedicated to Those Pure Patriots Who Were Afflicted with "Cotton on the Brain" and Who Saw The Elephant, was published in New Orleans in 1864, by A.E. Blackmar.

Lyrics[edit]

[1]
We all went down to New Orleans,
For Bales, for Bales;
We all went down to New Orleans,
For Bales, says I;
We all went down to New Orleans,
To get a peep behind the scenes,
"And we'll all drink stone blind,
Johnny fill up the bowl".

[2]
We thought when we got in the "Ring",
For Bales, for Bales;
We thought when we got in the "Ring",
For Bales, says I;
We thought when we got in the "Ring",
Greenbacks would be a dead sure thing,
"And we'll all drink stone blind,
Johnny fill up the bowl".

[3]
The "ring" went up, with bagging and rope,
For Bales, for Bales;
Upon the "Black Hawk" with bagging and rope,
For Bales, says I;
Went up "Red River" with bagging and rope,
Expecting to make a pile of "soap",
"And we'll all drink stone blind,
Johnny fill up the bowl".

[4]
But Taylor and Smith, with ragged ranks,
For Bales, for Bales;
But Taylor and Smith, with ragged ranks,
For Bales, says I;
But Taylor and Smith, with ragged ranks,
Burned up the cotton and whipped old Banks,
"And we'll all drink stone blind,
Johnny fill up the bowl".

[5]
Our "ring" came back and cursed and swore,
For Bales, for Bales;
Our "ring" came back and cursed and swore,
For Bales, says I;
Our "ring" came back and cursed and swore,
For we got no cotton at Grand Ecore,
"And we'll all drink stone blind,
Johnny fill up the bowl".

[6]
Now let us all give praise and thanks,
For Bales, for Bales;
Now let us all give praise and thanks,
For Bales, says I;
Now let us all give praise and thanks,
For the victory gained by General Banks,
"And we'll all drink stone blind,
Johnny fill up the bowl".[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lighter, pp. 16 - 17.
  2. ^ Lighter, p. 16.
  3. ^ Peterson, Patti Jo (August 30, 2007), "The House that O'Rourke Built", The Plattsmouth Journal, p. 5 
  4. ^ Peterson, Patti Jo (June 15, 2006), "The O'Rourke House", The Plattsmouth Journal, p. 11 
  5. ^ Lighter, pp. 70 - 71.
  6. ^ Lighter, p. 17.
  7. ^ Lighter, pp. 18 - 19.
  8. ^ Lighter, p. 21.
  9. ^ Lighter, p. 19.
  10. ^ Lighter, pp. 21 - 28.
  11. ^ Lighter, pp. 28 - 29.
  12. ^ Erbsen, p. 68
  13. ^ Lighter, p. 15.
  14. ^ Jay Nordlinger, "American Sounds: A little music with your politics – music at political conventions", National Review, 2000-09-11
  15. ^ [1], lyrics by Robert D. Singleton at National Institute of Health
  16. ^ http://www.imdb.com, Never Let Go (1960), Soundtrack.
  17. ^ "2006 World Cup - Nuremberg". YouTube. 2006-07-30. Retrieved 2012-03-14. 
  18. ^ Lambert, "When Johnny Comes Marching Home".
  19. ^ Lighter, p. 19.
  20. ^ For Bales (1864).

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]