Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye

AG: Then there’s the famous Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye” –  which goes to (William) Burroughs‘ writings and through movies all the time. You know.. Does anybody know that? [Allen begins singing the melody] – “Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye” – I think I remember the tune to that too – “While going the road to sweet Athy /Hurroo hurroo / While going the road to sweet Athy /Huroo hurroo/ While going the road to sweet Athy/ A stick in my hand and a drop in my eye/A doleful damsel I heard cry/ “Och, Johnny, I hardly knew ye!” –  Is that familiar?  or have I got it mixed with another ballad tune?

Student(s): “Johnny Comes Marching Home

AG: Similar.. Probably “Johnny Comes Marching Home” is a variant of this. But that’s very plaintive (this) – “Oh Johnny, I hardly knew ye!”  – So – but that “haroo, haroo” – (da-da da-da). So, that’s because it’s in movies. I think, in “The Informer“, they probably had that, in the movie with Victor McLaglen , in “The Informer”, John Ford‘s movie

[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately fifty-five-and-a-half minutes in and concluding at approximately fifty-five-and-three-quarter minutes in]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *