“When Johnny Comes Marching Home”

Author: Words: "Louis Lambert" (Patrick S. Gilmore)
Earliest date: 1863
Keywords: home war return reunion nonballad
Found in: US

Description

The singer promises that Johnny will receive a hearty welcome when he returns home from the war. Everyone will turn out; all will be gay; the old church bell will ring; there will be shouting and flowers; they will wreathe his brow with laurel

Supplemental text

When Johnny Comes Marching Home
  Complete text(s)

          *** A ***

From sheet music published 1863 by Henry Tolman & Co.
Title page inscribed
                     To the
                  Army & Navy
                 OF THE UINON.                        <-- (sic)
         When Johnny comes marching home
Music introduced in the Soldier's Return March.
                       by
                GILMORE'S BAND
               WORDS & MUSIC BY
                LOUIS LAMBERT

   Solo                                      Chorus
1. When Johnny comes marching home again,    Hurrah, Hurrah,
   We'll give him a hearty welcome then,     Hurrah, Hurrah,
   The men will cheer, the boys will shout,
   The ladies, they will all turn out,       And we'll all feel gay,
                                             When Johnny comes marching home.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Let love and friendship on that day,      Hurrah, Hurrah,
   Their choicest treasures then display,    Hurrah, Hurrah,
   And let each one perform some part,
   To fill with joy the warriors heart,      And we'll all feel gay,
                                             When Johnny comes marching home.

Notes

Scholars continue to argue whether "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" or the doleful "Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye" is the original. "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" can be firmly dated to the beginning of the Civil War, while "Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye" does not appear until slightly later (1869) -- but as a traditional song. The earliest known printing is, in fact, that of "Johnny Fill Up the Bowl" (early 1863).

If I were to make a guess, I think I would put "Johnny Fill Up the Bowl" first; it's a logical tune for Gillmore to steal (and some anonymous Irishman to turn into an anti-war song). But what do I know? - RBW

Same tune

Cross references

Broadsides

Recordings

References

  1. RJackson-19CPop, pp. 233-236, "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Scott-BoA, pp. 327-329, "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Silber-CivWar, p. 94, "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Lomax-FSNA 51, "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Arnett, p. 130, "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" (1 text, 1 tune)
  6. Hill-CivWar, p. 204, "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" (1 text, 1 tune)
  7. Silber-FSWB, p. 282, "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" (1 text)
  8. Thomas-Makin', p. 54, (no title) (1 text, mostly "Johnny Fill Up the Bowl (In Eighteen Hundred and Sixty-One)" but with this chorus)
  9. Fuld-WFM, pp. 639-641, "When Johnny Comes Marching Home"
  10. DT, JHNMARCH*
  11. ST RJ19233 (Full)
  12. Roud #6673
  13. BI, RJ19233