Gently, Johnny, My Jingalo
DESCRIPTION: The speaker successively places his hands on various portions of his love's anatomy, all of them respectable. She tells him, "Come to me, quietly, do not do me injury/Gently, Johnny, my jingalo". They marry.
AUTHOR: To all intents and purposes, Cecil Sharp
EARLIEST DATE: 1907 (Greig/Duncan7)
KEYWORDS: courting marriage sex derivative
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South),Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Greig/Duncan7 1412, "Johnny Jiggamy" (2 texts, 3 tunes)
Sharp-OneHundredEnglishFolksongs 65, "Gently, Johnny, My Jingalo" (1 text, 1 tune)
Reeves/Sharp-TheIdiomOfThePeople 34, "Gently Johnny My Jingalo" (1 text)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 158, "Gently Johnny, My Jingalo" (1 text)
cf. "A-Rovin'" (plot, theme)
cf. "Yo Ho, Yo Ho" (theme, floating lyrics)
cf. "Tickle My Toe" (theme)
NOTES [125 words]: [Sharp writes,] "The words were rather coarse, but I have, I think, managed to re-write the first and third lines of each verse without sacrificing the character of the original song." The second and fourth lines constitute a refrain, of course. With this in mind, I call this essentially a new song, written by CJS. Otherwise, it could well be listed under "A-Rovin'." -PJS
Ed Cray, following Reeves, notes that "Gently" was rewritten from "Yo Ho, Yo Ho," which follows the exact form of "A-Rovin'" although with even more explicit lyrics. Roud lumps the result with "Yo Ho." I say the amount of rewriting is so great to make them separate songs.
It is fascinating to find Greig/Duncan having something similar before Sharp did his bowdlerizing. - RBW
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