“Johnny Bull, My Jo, John”


"Oh, Johnny Bull, my jo John, I wonder what you mean, Are you on foreign conquest bent, or what ambitious scheme?" The Americans warn their "brother" (England) that their invasions have failed. John is advised to "remain on your fast-anchored isle."


A broadside from the War of 1812, based on Burns's "John Anderson My Jo, John." This tune seems to have been very popular for political songs at the time; Huntington (pp. 172-174) has another such song, "John Bull's Epistle" (which we might subtitle "Colly Strong"). - RBW

Historical references

  • Sept 10, 1813 - Battle of Lake Erie. The Americans under Perry defeat the British.
  • Aug 24, 1814 - A British force under Robert Ross captures Washington, D.C. after brushing aside the incompetent defenders. (Madison's administration had already fled). Two days later the British leave for Baltimore.
  • Jan 8, 1815 - Battle of New Orleans. Although a peace had already been signed, word had not yet reached Louisiana, which British General Pakenham sought to invade. Andrew Jackson's backwoodsmen easily repulse Pakenham.

Cross references


  1. Scott-BoA, pp. 118-120, "Johnny Bull, My Jo, John" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Silber-FSWB, p. 291, "Johnny Bull, My Jo, John" (1 text)
  3. DT, JOHNAND4*
  4. BI, SBoA118


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1966
Found in: US