Old Johnnie Walker

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OLD JOHNNIE WALKER. AKA and see "Buffalo Gals (1)," "Lubly Fan." English, Air and Sword Dance Tune. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. The melody was collected by Cecil Sharp in December, 1910, from source Richard Major (Flamborough, Yorkshire), who told him it was the old original tune for the Flamborough Sword Dance. The tune is a version of air to the American minstrel tune "Lubly Fan," or, as it is better-known, "Buffalo Gals (1)" and was paired with "In and out the Windows" so that they were one long tune. Neal & Carey remark:

'This spirited dance is danced by the sailors at Flamborough, who perform it every year between Christmas and Plough Monday. The dancers are known locally as the "Plough Stots." The tune is, unfortunately, a poor one, and consists of several popular airs adapted and strung together. The first strain is a part of a song popular about thirty years ago, which the Headington dancers also utilised for a morris dance. The last strain will be easily recognizable by all as the tune which children sing to the game of " Round and round the village."

The lyric begins:

Old Johnny Walker’s dead and gone,
Dead and gone, dead and gone,
Old Johnny Walker’s dead and gone,
He never died before.

He used to steal old stowps and rails,
Stowps and rails, stowps and rails,
He used to steal old stowps and rails,
To make a fire on.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Neal & Carey (The Esperance Morris Book, Part II), 1912; p. 33. Kennedy (Fiddler's Tune Book, vol. 1), 1951; No. 56, p. 28 (appears as "Buffalo Girls"). Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 145.

Recorded sources:

See also listing at:
See notes on song/tune provenance at the Yorkshire Garland site [1]
See the Flamborough Sword Dance on youtube.com [2]




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