Mudcat Café message #1430524 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #6969   Message #1430524
Posted By: GUEST,leeneia
09-Mar-05 - 09:21 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier
Somebody commented on the name Johnny, above. I remember the last line as "Daddy has gone for a soldier." This ties in better with the presence of a baby.

I looked up "ruck" in my unabridged dictionary. There are a few definitions, (a wrinkle in cloth, a ridge in a road, the pack of horses following the leader in a race), but none of them makes any sense in the second verse of this song. "Ruck" is probably a corruption, and it ought to be thrown out. Why? because as nonsense it distracts everybody from the meaningful parts of the song.

This calls for the folk process - think of a one-syllable object having to do with the production of woollen yarn or cloth and saleable by a woman. (We can assume she couldn't sell a field or farm on her own.) Sheep? ram? wool? Take your pick.

As for the nonsense syllables, I have searched my heart and decided that I cannot sing "bibba-bibba-boo" with a straight face. I've been playing this on my dulcimer and been having great fun improvising musical interludes between the verses. This is the first time I've done this, and it's great fun. My cat liked it too.