When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again

Song Video

Information About When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again

"When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again" was first published in 1863 and is connected to the American Civil War. The lyrics refer to family longing for the return of their relatives and friends from battle and was sung by both sides in the war.

Written in 1863 by the Union Army bandmaster Patrick S. Gilmore, this marching song, based on an Irish folk tune, became even more popular in the years after the Civil War. Gilmore himself was born in Ballygar in Galway County, Ireland, on December 25, 1829. His family emigrated to America in the 1840's just one step ahead of the famine. He was bandmaster for the U. S. Army when the War broke out and remained loyal to the Union.

The song was written by Patrick for his sister; the 'Johnny' of the title was apparently his future brother in-law.

According to some the song could have been influenced by "Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye", an Irish antiwar song from the 1820s.

Alternative Lyrics & Related Songs

Here's slightly different lyrics but just as good

When Johnny comes marching home again,
Hurrah! Hurrah!
We'll give him a hearty welcome then
Hurrah! Hurrah!
The men will cheer and the boys will shout
The ladies they will all turn out
And we'll all feel gay when Johnny comes marching home.

The old church bell will peal with joy
Hurrah! Hurrah!
To welcome home our darling boy,
Hurrah! Hurrah!
The village lads and lassies say
With roses they will strew the way,
And we'll all feel gay when Johnny comes marching home.

Get ready for the Jubilee,
Hurrah! Hurrah!
We'll give the hero three times three,
Hurrah! Hurrah!
The laurel wreath is ready now
To place upon his loyal brow
And we'll all feel gay when Johnny comes marching home.

Let love and friendship on that day,
Hurrah, hurrah!
Their choicest pleasures then display,
Hurrah, hurrah!
And let each one perform some part,
To fill with joy the warrior's heart,
And we'll all feel gay when Johnny comes marching home.

The following lyrics are the original ones and you might find it a little fun to try it out

JOHNNY I HARDLY KNEW YE.

While goin' the road to sweet Athy, hurroo, hurroo
While goin' the road to sweet Athy, hurroo, hurroo
While goin' 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 were so mild, hurroo, hurroo
Where are your eyes that were so mild, hurroo, hurroo
Where are your eyes that were so mild,
When my heart you so beguiled
Why did ye run from me and the child
Oh Johnny, I hardly knew ye.

Where are your legs that used to run, hurroo, hurroo
Where are your legs that used to run, hurroo, hurroo
Where are your legs that used to run,
When you went for to carry a gun
Indeed your dancing days are done
Oh Johnny, I hardly knew ye.

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.

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 have to put with a bowl out to beg
Oh Johnny I hardly knew ye.

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.

Listen to this song's music

5 Comments

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Haven, United States

8 October 2013 at 12:03am

I can't believe I like this song I have to do this for a social studies assignment 1 of my class mates bought it up so I'am mad I have to do it or I get a 0.I could have been watching dancing with the stars by now.

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Sarah, United States

12 March 2013 at 12:43am

Love it! Neat words and tune! I always wanted to know the words to it! Thanks for putting it on your website!

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Kyle E., Columbia,mo

23 April 2010 at 5:40pm

It was very good

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Brian, Naples, Fl

10 March 2010 at 11:51am

I remember this song from when I was a child. I now sing this song to a partially disabled ex-marine to motivate him while he walks for exercise. A great song!

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Kaity, Lakemary, Fl

13 May 2009 at 12:20am

It's such a beautiful song.

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This song has been printed from the BusSongs.com website.