WHEN JOHNNY COMES MARCHING HOME

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs
  • WHEN JOHNNY COMES MARCHING HOME
    “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” 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. Some believe the tune is that of the Irish antiwar song Johnny I Hardly Knew
    Ye“, presumed to be the original on the basis of oral evidence, although no published
    version is known to pre-date “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again”. However,
    expert James Fuld, author of the standard text on popular music, “The Book of World
    Famous Music”, states on page 640 of that volume that Donal O’Sullivan, the Irish
    authority, has written the Library of Congress that he does not consider the melody of
    “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” as Irish in origin.
    As stated, no printed music of Irish origin has been discovered that predates American
    publication in September of 1863 by Henry Tolman in Boston under the title “When
    Johnny Comes Marching Home”. Library of Congress records do show a title “Johnny
    Fill Up The Bowl” that was published in July of 1863 by John J. Daly that appears to
    contain the song’s melody. The lyrics, written by Irish-American bandleader Patrick
    Gilmore, and published under the pseudonym ‘Louis Lambert’, effectively reverse those
    of “Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye”, in which Johnny returns home blind and crippled, to the
    woman he abandoned in order to join the army. The “Johnny” so longed for in the song is
    Patrick Gilmore’s future brother in-law a Union Light Artillery Captain named John
    O’Rourke. The song was written by Patrick for his sister Annie Gilmore as she longed for
    the safe return of her Captain from the Civil War.
    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
    That joyful day when Johnny comes marching home
    Get ready for the Jubilee, Hurrah! Hurrah!
    We’ll celebrate the victory, Hurrah! Hurrah!
    We’ll all join in the big parade
    And let the soldier have his day
    That joyful day when Johnny comes marching home
    America, America, when Johnny comes marching home
    America, America, when Johnny comes marching home
    We’ll sound the horns and beat the drums
    Salute them for a job well done
    That joyful day when Johnny comes marching home
    The old church bell will ring with joy, Hurrah! Hurrah!
    To welcome home our girls and boys, Hurrah! Hurrah!
    Cause Janey too has done her best
    She’s fought as hard as all the rest
     She’ll march along 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, the boys will shout
    The ladies they will all turn out
    That joyful day when Johnny comes marching home
    Twill be so good to have ’em home
    They’ve been so far and gone so long
    What a joyful day when Johnny comes marching home
    America, America, when Johnny comes marching home
    America, America, when Johnny comes marching home
    We’ll sound the horns and beat the drums
    Salute them for a job well done
    That joyful day when Johnny comes marching home
    That joyful day when Johnny comes marching home