Johnny Get Your Gun (I)
DESCRIPTION: "One evenin' in de month of May, Johnny get your gun, get your gun, I met old Peter on the way... Moses wept and Abram cried... Satan's coming don't you hide." Johnny is advised to get his gun and fight Satan "to get to Heaven in de good ole way"
AUTHOR: F. Belasco (Monroe H. Rosenfeld)
EARLIEST DATE: 1886 (Source: Jon W. Finson, _The Voices That Are Gone: Themes in Nineteenth-Century American Popular Song_, Oxford University Press, 1994, p. 220)
KEYWORDS: Devil nonballad fight religious
REFERENCES (4 citations):
RJackson-19CPop, pp. 97-101, "Johnny Get Your Gun" (1 text, 1 tune)
Spaeth-WeepMore, pp. 113-114, "Johnny, Get Your Gun" (1 text, 1 tune)
Messerli, pp. 200-202, "Johnny Get Your Gun" (1 text)
Fuld-WFM, p. 313, "Johnny Get Your Gun"
cf. "Johnny Get Your Gun (II)" (chorus, tune)
NOTES [83 words]: This piece does not really belong in a folk song catalog; the song in its original form does not seem to have gone into oral tradition. Rather, pieces of the complex whole survived. There is a nonsense version ("Johnny Get Your Gun (II)"), and the "dance" which concluded the piece provided the tune for George M. Cohan's "Over There" (published in 1917, and very popular in the World War I era).
For background on Monroe H. Rosenfeld, see the notes to "Those Wedding Bells Shall Not Ring Out!" - RBW
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