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Lyr Req: Little Johnny England

15 Jan 99 - 06:36 PM (#54298)
Subject: Looking for: Little Johnny England
From: Missouri Pam

It's an old camp song we're getting ready to record, but there's one word in dispute, having been learned by rote for many years. The refrain:
    Little Johnny England, he went a-wanderin',
    He went a-wanderin' all day long.
    He went a-wanderin', tossing up his pennigan,
    He went a-wanderin' all day long.
No one seems to know what "pennigan" is, or even if that's the correct word. The concensus is that it must be a cap or small pouch.

If anyone can solve this mystery or point me to a definitive resource, you have my profound thanks.


17 Jan 99 - 06:58 PM (#54576)
Subject: RE: Looking for Little Johnny England
From: Robin

I keep looking to see if my hunch is right but no definate solutions. According to Webster a penni[g] is a small or copper coin and a gan is an enclosed place or maybe that's where the pen comes in. I believe it must be a coin purse but I've been wrong before and I am unfamiliar to the song and new to the web. love the sight.Good luck on your search.


21 Jan 99 - 02:57 AM (#55013)
Subject: RE: Looking for
From: Missouri Pam

Thanks, Robin - I saw "penni" in my dictionary, too, but I didn't think to check "gan" by itself. It makes perfect sense, whether or not the word is authentic.

I appreciate your research and reply.


14 Jun 04 - 04:09 PM (#1207157)
Subject: RE: Looking for "Little Johnny England"
From: GUEST,chrispetz

Hi there
I'm searching with some urgency for the words and music for Little Johnny England to put into a school play we are producing in mid July.
I see from the notes that you might be able to help?
regards
Chris


14 Jun 04 - 07:22 PM (#1207302)
Subject: RE: Looking for "Little Johnny England"
From: Compton

It's sung on "Grandson of Morris On"...Ashley Hutchings, et al.Maybe someone can get it from there!


14 Jun 04 - 07:39 PM (#1207309)
Subject: RE: Looking for "Little Johnny England"
From: Snuffy

How about Pannikin - " a small metal (usu. tinned iron) drinking vessel; also the contents of this" Shorter Oxford Dictionary.


15 Jun 04 - 03:44 PM (#1207988)
Subject: RE: Looking for 'Little Johnny England'
From: gnomad

As a child I heard this sung by one person as pannikin, and by another as penny cake.

As penny bread cakes were available at the time the latter concept made better sense to me, but nobody would tell me WHY he would want to toss anything, in fact I would still like to know.


15 Jun 04 - 08:19 PM (#1208178)
Subject: Lyr Add: LITTLE JOHNNY ENGLAND
From: Tinker

LITTLE JOHNNY ENGLAND

Little Johnny England he went a wandering
He went a wandering all day long
He went a wandering with his little penniken
He went a wandering all day long.

You are the butchers. You are the bakers.
You are the candlestick makers.
You're the linen weavers. You're the linen drapers.
You are the brokers. You're all the broker's men.

Little Johnny England he went a wandering
He went a wandering all day long
He went a wandering with his little penniken
He went a wandering all day long.

We are the butchers. We are the bakers.
We are the candlestick makers.
We're the linen weavers. We're the linen drapers.
We are the brokers. We're all the broker's men.

Learnt this in 1968 at Camp Bonnie Brae in East Otis Massachusetts. We were told that a penniken was a type of cane.   It was often mangled into pelican. The song leader would divide the group into parts during the first verse and each section would wave their arms as their name was sung. Everyone joined in as the brokers men.

tinker


15 Jun 04 - 08:32 PM (#1208191)
Subject: RE: Looking for 'Little Johnny England'
From: GUEST,jtagnes@yahoo.com

From my girl scout days: Little Johnny was a beggar. He held out his pannikin, a small cup, asking people to drop in coins.
Thanks for giving me a fun song to sing this evening.


17 Jun 04 - 11:11 AM (#1209147)
Subject: RE: Looking for 'Little Johnny England'
From: GUEST,ChrisPetz@aol.com

Thanks Tinker, Compton and the others.
You've saved my bacon.
Chris


20 Apr 08 - 10:59 PM (#2321184)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Johnny England
From: GUEST,idebbi

i believe the correct word is 'pannikin' which i believe is a small metal dish....


22 Jan 11 - 08:58 PM (#3080386)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Johnny England
From: GUEST

a pannikin is another word for a hobo bindle- the stuff in a bandanna tied to the end of a stick. Im 100% positive thats what a pannikin is


23 Jan 11 - 01:17 PM (#3080762)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Johnny England
From: Les in Chorlton

FiddlerNick | 15 September 2008 | 2 likes, 0 dislikes
The tune for LJE came from a song used in a traditional game played in the playground of Moulton primary school. In the 1970's it was adopted for a rather destructive sort of dance. Count the number of broken sticks replaced during this performance. Recorded Bromyard Festival 08

Recorded by Little Johnny England

L in C#


23 Jan 11 - 02:10 PM (#3080818)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Johnny England
From: GUEST,Its Pennycake.

Its 'pennycake in' the version we recorded. Don't know what ashleys source was.


09 Jan 12 - 11:12 PM (#3287850)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Johnny England
From: GUEST

what a cool site! my mom taught us pennikin in tne 1970's


01 Jun 19 - 09:44 AM (#3994784)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Johnny England
From: GUEST,Guest ::::: Chris Thomas

I've known this little campfire Song a long time and I know it well!

He went A-Wandering tossing up a >>>>>>>>>PENNYCAKE<<<<<<<<<
Which simply refers to our Johnny walking and flipping a coin into the air. PENNYCAKE was a knickname for the coin itself


01 Jun 19 - 02:14 PM (#3994821)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Johnny England
From: GUEST,LynnH

Since there's no other way it'll get into circulation, here's a version I made up based on a pub sign in Chepstow:

OLd Johnny England aka The Five Alls:

1. Old Johnny England he went a'wandering,
   All alone where the four winds call
   He went a'wandering, tossing up a penny cake
   He went a'wandering all day long
CHORUS: Old Johnny England he went a'wandering
       He went a'wandering all day long.
       He went a'wandering, tossing up a penny cake
       He went a'wandering all day long

2. Private Tommy Atkins was the first one he met with
   Musket on his shoulder on the sentry-go.
   "I'll fight for all, no matter if they're rich or poor"
   "Well you're a friend," says Johnny,"and a good man to know."

3. Outside a church he met the Reverend Clergyman
   Blessing his flock as they took their leave.
   "I pray for all and not just on a sunday:"
   Says Johnny,"You're a good man, in that I do believe."

4. In an office in the city he met with Billy Lawyer
   Studying a brief on a poor man's claim.
   "I believe in justice and so I will plead for all."
   "You're a friend," says Johnny,"that's worthy of the name."

5. And the next one they met with was none but the king himself
   Weighed down with worry and creased with care.
   "I rule all and must try to do it fairly."
   "Come with us," says Johnny,"and our troubles we can share."

6. And when they were together they went to an alehouse
   Their friendship to seal in the proper style.
   "Now Johnny," they said, "tell us what you do?"
   "I must pay for all," Johnny wryly smiled.

If anybody wants to sing this....GREAT!! Credit, if and where necessary, to Lynn H.Wise - I'd be grateful!


07 Jun 19 - 04:01 AM (#3995486)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Johnny England
From: GUEST,LynnH

Oh dear, I really must sort out my song archives! The version posted above -1.June '19- is the 1977 Mk.I version. The 'official' Mk.II version (1978) has a different first verse:

Old Johhny England he went a'wandering
All alone where the four winds call.
Looking for friends to travel along with him
With arts and skills they would use for all.
CHORUS:

The idea came from the pub sign of The Five Alls Inn in Chepstow.

Tune & chorus: Traditional. Verses: Lynn H. Wise 1978


18 Apr 20 - 11:02 AM (#4046837)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Johnny England
From: GUEST

Wow! I had no idea how many different ways there were to mondegreen that predicate noun! My own mondegreen was "He went a wandering with his little pentagon". Knew that couldn't be right so went looking for the answer and wound up here.