Posts Tagged ‘John C. Calhoun’

Robert Burns: “John Anderson, My Jo”

January 25, 2010

From: The News (Frederick, Maryland) Mar 28, 1924

Intriguing comment [excerpt] left by Astri on a previous post about Robert Burns and Auld Lang Syne:

I just discovered at a local Robbie Burns party celebrating his birthday last night, here in western Canada, what I, for 3 or more decades, have loved and sung in Norwegian as an old Norwegian folk song. This is “Jon Anderson, Min Jo”.

Last night at the party, I discovered the English-language song called “John Anderson, my Joe” – to nearly the same tune (some of the ancient natural-scale tones common in the Norwegian folk music had been anglicized or ‘normalized’ according to english folk tunes) and with basically the same verses, in English.

I said to my friend driving home in the car, “I wonder if Burns heard this song and ‘lifted’ it for its beauty and lovely sentiment,” ~  maybe while travelling in Norway, or in a pub meeting Norwegian travellers (brought together by the prospect of beer, ever-alluring to both our peoples, from early days of mead-making and viking-travel, on doubt!)!

It would be interesting to find out when the Norwegians first started singing this song.  Might turn out to be one of those chicken/egg things, but I would be interested in finding out more. I tried searching the Norwegian title, and I only got 2 hits, neither of which gave any information.

This comment jogged my memory of a temperance poem I had previously posted, which turned out to be a parody of “John Anderson, My Jo.”  I decided to see what else I could dig up on this same poem, being it is Robert Burns’ birthday. Evidently, this poem was so popular, it was parodied quite a bit. Below is a sample of what I found:

From the Murder by Gaslight blog (link below)

Looking for a sausage vat picture for this first parody, I was surprised to find the above image actually took me to a blog  post about the murder referenced in the parody! Link: Louise Luetgert: The Sausage Vat Murder

Rather sick sense of humor, I think:

SAID IN FUN.

John Anderson, my Jo, John,
When you and I first met
We loved each other well, John;
But not, already yet;
We had a little spat, John,
Not many months ago,
And you boiled me in a sausage vat,
John Anderson, my Jo.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Oct 21, 1897

SAID IN FUN.

John Anderson, my Jo John
When we again prepare
To kill the boar black pigs John,
That scent the perfumed air,
We’ll bribe our fellow men, John,
With cash before we go,
To haul them to the slaughter pen,
John Anderson, my Jo.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Nov 22, 1897

I saw the great regatta go
A half a mile from land;
The sons of Eli tried to row
Their boat to beat the band.
The oars sank deep, the men perspired,
I heard them puff and blow —
Too slow the pace, they lost the race,
John Anderson, my jo.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Jul 10, 1909

*****

Now, for a couple of advertisements:

The Ohio Democrat ( New Philadelphia, Ohio) Oct 18, 1888

SKIDOO!

John Anderson, my Jo, John,
When last it was we met,
Our winter supply of Coal, John,
Hand not been purchased yet.
“It’s time you was skidooing, John,”
I hear all the wise people speak —
There should be something doing, John,
Then do it now — this week.

No.2 Chestnut . . . $5.75 the ton
UNION COAL CO. 119 Main St.

The Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) Jun 25, 1906

*****

A political parody:

John C. Calhoun (Image from http://www.historycooperative.org

JOHN C. CALHOUN MY JO.

A COMIC POLITICAL SONG.
Tune – “John Anderson my Jo.”

John C. Calhoun my Jo John, I’m sorry for your fate,
You’ve nullify’d the Tariff laws, you’ve nullify’d your State;
You’ve nullify’d your party, John, and principles, you know,
And now you’ve nullified yourself, John C. Calhoun my Jo.

Oh! John how could you look into the face of Henry Clay?
The glory of the Western World, and of the World away;
You call’d yourself his ‘master,’ John, but that can ne’er be so,
For he ‘would not own you for a slave,’ John C. Calhoun my Jo.

The Father of the Tariff, and patron of the Arts,
He seeks to build his country up in spite of foreign parts;
And Harrison will soon upset the little Van & Co.
And renovate the ship of State, John C. Calhoun my Jo.

John C. Calhoun my Jo John, ambition in despair
Once made you nullify the WHOLE, the HALF of it to share;
The ‘whole hog now you’ve gone,’ John, with Kendall, Blair & Co.’
But ‘you’ve got the wrong sow by the ear,’ John C. Calhoun my Jo.

American mechanics, John, will never sell their votes
For mint drops or for Treasury bills, or even British coats;
They want no English coaches, John, while servants they forego,
For their carriage is of Yankee stamp, John C. Calhoun my Jo.

Oh! John he is a slippery blade with whom you’ve got to deal,
He’ll pass between your clutches too, just like a living eel;
You think he’ll RECOMMEND you, John, but Van will ne’er do so,
For he wants the fishes for himself, John C. Calhoun my Jo.

John C. Calhoun my Jo John, if this you dare to doubt,
Go ask the LIVING SKELETON who deals his secrets out;
His favorites are marked, John, the mark you cannot toe,
And you’ll soon repent the bargain made, John C. Calhoun my Jo.

This is dirty business, John, go wash your little hands,
And never bow your knee again to cunning Van’s commands;
‘How are you off for soap,’ John, I cannot say I know,
But ‘your mother does not know you’re out’ John C. Calhoun my Jo.

The brave sons of the South, John, will never own you more,
And Benton’s Mint Drops will not save — you’re rotten to the core;
The people will no power, John, on such as you bestow,
And you’ve jump’d your final sumerset, John C. Calhoun my Jo.

Then better men, my Jo John our sad affairs will fix,
Republicans in principle, the Whigs of Seventy six;
The offices they’ll purge, John, Swartwouters all must go,
And Sycophantic fellows too, John C. Calhoun my Jo.

The farmer of North Bend, John, will plough the weeds away,
And the terror of Tecumseh then will gain another day;
America will flourish John, mechanics find employ,
And our merchants will rejoice indeed, John C. Calhoun my Jo.

John C. Calhoun my Jo John, when one term shall expire,
He’ll drop the reins of power and with dignity retire,
To look upon a smiling land, that he has rendered so,
And every Whig will cry AMEN, John C. Calhoun my Jo.

MIDFORD BARD.
Poet’s Garret, Baltimore, January, 1840.

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Mar 7,  1840

Francis Scott Key

This last one is not a parody, but rather interesting, if Francis Scott Key actually penned these additional verses:

JOHN ANDERSON MY JO.

A Pipe Creek Man Awakens a Reminiscence of Francis Scott Key.

A correspondent of the Washington Evening Star writes: In your issue of Saturday you publish an added verse to Burns’ “John Anderson, My Jo,” written by a lady from Georgia.

Mr. Francis S. Key, the author of the “Star Spangled Banner,” wrote two additional verses to Burns’ poem, and not remembering having seen them published, I send them to you.

Mr. Key writes:

“There ought to be another —

John Anderson my Jo, John,
From that sleep again we’ll wake,
When another day’s fair light
On our opened eyes shall break.
And we’ll rise in youth and beauty
To that bright land to go,
Where life and love shall last for aye,
John Anderson, my Jo

OR

John Anderson, my Jo, John,
One day we’ll waken there,
Where a brighter morn than ever shone,
Our opened eyes shall cheer.
And in fresh youth and beauty
To that blest land we’ll go
Where we’ll live and love forever,
John Anderson, my Jo.”

Pipe Creek, October 13, 1842. B.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) May 21,  1885