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Old Johnny Buckle

[ Roud 19111 ; trad.]

Shirley Collins sang Old Johnny Buckle on her 2016 album Lodestar where she commented in her album notes:

Sung by Mrs Hewett, a ploughman’s wife of Mapledurwell, Hants, recorded by Bob Copper in July 1955. It’s an upside-down song, a daft little nonsense song of contradictions. A far nobler variant of this type of song is Nottamun Town.


Shirley Collins sings Old Johnny Buckle

Now old Johnny Buckle went out riding one day,
His horse got broke and his cart run away.
If old Johnny Buckle hadn’t come to a stop
He’d have fell from the bottom of the hill to the top.

Now old Mrs Buckle went out fishing one day,
She caught her left leg in the clay.
The toads and frogs all wobbled about,
She ran to get a shovel do dig herself out.

So old Mr Buckle went to Doctor Hook
And he dotted it down in a little black book.
Says, “Mr Buckle you must begin
To rub your wife’s left leg with gin.”

Now old Johnny Buckle thought it a great sin
To rub gis wife’s left leg with gin.
He poured the gin down his old groggle
And rubbed his wife’s leg with the bottle.

God made man, man made money,
God made the bees and the bees made honey.
God made Satan and Satan made sin,
Along came Satan and took Johnny in.

I do believe, I do believe,
Old Johnny Buckle was a gay old buckle
And old Mrs Buckle too.