“Oh, Johnny, Johnny”


A conversation between two former lovers, comprised mostly of floating lyrics. The singer tells Johnny that she loves him; he was the first boy she ever loved. He tells her that she betrayed him, and he now has a new sweetheart. He regrets her infidelity


If one had deliberately set out to create an amalgam of every lost love cliche in folk song, one could hardly do better than this. Without even trying, I observe elements of "Waly, Waly," "Love is Teasing," the "Tavern in the Town" cluster, and "Fair and Tender Ladies," as well as parallels to everything from "Peggy Gordon" to "Barbara Allen."

I suppose one of these songs is the "original," and all the others simply offered verses to be incorporated into the whole, but at this point there is no telling the original source. - RBW

Cross references


  1. SHenry H16, pp. 392-393, "Oh Johnny, Johnny" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. BI, HHH016


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1924 (Sam Henry collection)
Found in: Ireland