Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier


Jim Adams’ challenge this week is to write about a song that has Jack or John in its lyrics.  Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier is a folk song which dates back to at least the Seventeenth Century, and was popular in the American War of Independence, the Napoleonic conflicts, and the American Civil War.

The exact origins of the song are unknown, but it may draw from the Irish tune Siúil A Rún.

There have been many covers of the Johnny version, and they have been performed by both male and female artists.  John Tams’ version featured in the Sharpe series of Napoleonic dramas.

Other versions have taken a more America Civil War theme in their arrangement and presentation.



Here I sit on Buttermilk Hill
Who can blame me, cryin’ my fill
And ev’ry tear would turn a mill
Johnny has gone for a soldier
Me, oh my, I loved him so
Broke my heart to see him go
And only time will heal my woe
Johnny has gone for a soldier
I’ll sell my rod, I’ll sell my reel
Likewise I’ll sell my spinning wheel
And buy my love a sword of steel
Johnny has gone for a soldier
I’ll dye my dress, I’ll dye it red
And through the streets I’ll beg for bread
For the lad that I love from me has fled
Johnny has gone for a soldier
Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Alice Parker / Robert Shaw
Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier lyrics © Wb Music Corp.

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