DESCRIPTION: "Here comes old Johnny Cuckoo ... What did you come for ... I come for be a soldier ... You look too black and dirty ... I'm just as clean as you are On a dark and stormy night."
EARLIEST DATE: 1959 (Bessie Jones, et al)
KEYWORDS: storm dialog nonballad playparty soldier
FOUND IN: US(SE)
Janie Hunter and her children, "Johnny Cuckoo" (on BeenStorm1)
Bessie Jones, George Cohen, Jerry Harris, Leola Harris, Emma Lee, Viola McQueen, Ruth Ozell. "Johnny Cuckoo," St Simons Island October 1959, ref=T926R05, accessed December 30, 2015 from http://research.culturalequity.org/rc-b2/audio-ix-recording.jsp?d-446288-p=2
NOTES [95 words]: The Bessie Jones, et al, recording verses follow the pattern: "Here comes old Johnny Cuckoo / Cuckoo, cuckoo, / Here comes old Johnny Cuckoo / On a cold and stormy night." The current description is based on this text.
The BeenStorm1 song has a different form ("Is one Johnny Cuckoo / On a rainy day my darling / Is one Johnny Cuckoo / On a bright and starry night") and different tune.
Both Sea Island versions start slowly, pick up speed and end with syncopated clapping. The tempo speed-up and syncopated clapping is like what you hear on many Sea Island hymns.- BS
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