When Johnny comes marching home again!

When Johnny come marching home again

For some reason this song was in my head this morning and as usual I just had the chorus and a few of the words.

Curiosity got the better of me so I asked my buddy Mr Google about it.

It was 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. It was written by the Irish-American band leader Patrick Gilmore during the American Civil War who for some reason put the song out under a pseudonym “Louis Lambert” (very fancy!).

He is said to have written the song for his sister Annie as she prayed for the safe return of her fiancé, Union Light Artillery Captain John O’Rourke (another Irishman?), from the Civil War.

The lyrics are quite hilarious in particular the use of the word “gay”, reminding us that not so long ago we used this word to describe someone who was happy..remember the chain of Irish female fashion stores Gaywear that changed their name to A-Wear?

Here goes, lets welcome home our darling boy ..

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

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.

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.

Let love and friendship on that day,
Hurrah, hurrah!
Their choicest pleasures then display,
Hurrah, hurrah!
And let each one perform some part,
To fill with joy the warrior’s heart,
And we’ll all feel gay when Johnny comes marching home

You can sing the song yourself to the American Military West Point Band if you are in the mood!

Greg Canty

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2 Responses to “When Johnny comes marching home again!”

  1. GP Cox Says:

    Long lost patriotism….

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