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Pub Songs aren't just songs about drinking. For host Marc Gunn, The Celtfather, these are fun songs you can sing-along and enjoy. Some are Irish. Some are Scottish. Others are smash hits at science fiction conventions. Pub Songs Podcast highlights the music of Marc Gunn and the music he loves, while occasionally commenting on Celtic and Geek topics. You'll enjoy this music over a pint at your local pub or while hanging out in your local game store. It's a show to make you smile.

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Dec 5, 2005

Which came first the chicken or the egg. I first learned about "Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye" from a popular American version written during the Civil War. That song "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" was first published in 1863 as "Words and Music by Louis Lambert," which was a pseudonym for Patrick Sarsfield, 1829-1892. Patrick was a native of Ireland who emigrated to Boston. "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" is a rousing song about a hero returning from war.

The first published version of "Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye" came out several years after Sarsfield's song. Nevertheless, it is strongly believed to have originated in Ireland.

It's a much more somber song that tells about the woes and horrors of war in the popular folk tradition of describing the body parts blown off a soldier who does not come home to his love.

Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye Lyrics:

While on the road to sweet Athy, hurroo, hurroo
While on the road to sweet Athy, hurroo, hurroo
While on the road to sweet Athy
A stick in me hand and a drop in me eye
A doleful damsel I heard cry,
Johnny I hardly knew ye.

With your drums and guns and drums and guns, hurroo, hurroo
With your drums and guns and drums and guns, hurroo, hurroo
With your drums and guns and drums and guns
The enemy nearly slew ye
Oh my darling dear, Ye look so queer
Johnny I hardly knew ye.

Where are your eyes that look so mild, hurroo, hurroo
Where are your eyes that look so mild, hurroo, hurroo
Where are your eyes that look so mild
When my poor heart you first beguiled
Why did ye run from me and the child
Oh Johnny, I hardly knew ye.

chorus

Where are your legs with which ye run, hurroo, hurroo
Where are your legs with which ye run, hurroo, hurroo
Where are your legs with which ye run
When first you learned to carry a gun
Indeed your dancing days are done
Oh Johnny, I hardly knew ye.

chorus

I'm happy for to see ye home, hurroo, hurroo
I'm happy for to see ye home, hurroo, hurroo
I'm happy for to see ye home
All from the island of Sulloon
So low in flesh, so high in bone
Oh Johnny I hardly knew ye.

chorus

Ye haven't an arm, ye haven't a leg, hurroo, hurroo
Ye haven't an arm, ye haven't a leg, hurroo, hurroo
Ye haven't an arm, ye haven't a leg
Ye're an armless, boneless, chickenless egg
Ye'll be having to put a bowl to beg
Oh Johnny I hardly knew ye.

chorus

I'm happy for to see ye home, hurroo, hurroo
I'm happy for to see ye home, hurroo, hurroo
I'm happy for to see ye home
All from the island of Ceylon;
So low in the flesh, so high in the boon.
Johnny I hardly knew ye.

chorus

Extra lyrics I found:

They're rolling out the guns again, hurroo, hurroo
They're rolling out the guns again, hurroo, hurroo
They're rolling out the guns again
But they never will take our sons again
No they never will take our sons again
Johnny I'm swearing to ye.