“Johnny Get Your Gun (I)”


"One evenin' in de month of May, Johnny get your gun, get your gun, I met old Peter on the way... Moses wept and Abram cried... Satan's coming don't you hide." Johnny is advised to get his gun and fight Satan "to get to Heaven in de good ole way"


This piece does not really belong in a folk song catalog; the song in its original form does not seem to have gone into oral tradition. Rather, pieces of the complex whole survived. There is a nonsense version ("Johnny Get Your Gun (II)"), and the "dance" which concluded the piece provided the tune for George M. Cohan's "Over There." - RBW

Cross references


  1. RJackson-19CPop, pp. 97-101, "Johnny Get Your Gun" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Spaeth-WeepMore, pp. 113-114, "Johnny, Get Your Gun" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Fuld-WFM, p. 313, "Johnny Get Your Gun"
  4. BI, RJ19097


Author: F. Belasco (Monroe H. Rosenfeld)
Earliest date: 1886