Johnny Jump Up

Traditional

Audio

This example of "Johnny Jump Up" is performed by Co. Cork singer Máirtín de Cógáin on his album The False Start, available from the Chivalry Music store.
Please refer to Cantaria's Copyright information

We have an unconfirmed report that this was written by Tim Jordan of Cork City, Co. Cork, Ireland in the 1940s. According to Kevin Manly, Tim Jordan was born and lived all his life in Cork city. The story behind the song was his friend was a landlord of a pub and he asked Tim to write a song about cider and to sing it in his bar to try to increase the sale of cider in his pub.

(There's no reason to disbelieve Kevin, authorship just hasn't been confirmed by corroboration with any published source or recognized folklore collector. This song is generally considered to be in the public domain.)

Guitar chords:
/Dm /D /C /C
/Dm /Dm /Dm C /Dm

Come, I'll tell you a story what happened to me
One day as I went down to Youghall [or Cork] by the sea
The day it was hot and the sun it was warm,
So says I a quiet pint wouldn't do me no harm

I went to an alehouse and I called for a stout
Says the barman, I'm sorry, all the beer is sold out
Try whiskey or Paddy, ten years in the wood
Says I, "I'll try cider, I've heard it was good. "

Chorus:
Oh never, Oh never, Oh never again
If I live to a hundred or a hundred and ten
I fell to the ground and I couldn't get up
After drinking a quart of the Johnny Jump Up
Ahhh...

After downing the third I went out to the yard
Where I bumped into Brody, the big civic guard
Come here to me boy, don't you know I'm the law?
Well, I up with me fist and I shattered his jaw

He fell to the ground with his knees doubled up
But it wasn't I hit him, 'twas Johnny Jump Up
The next bloke I met down in Youghall [or Cork] by the sea
Was a cripple on crutches and says he to me

I'm afraid of me life I'll be hit by a car
Won't you help me across to the Celtic Knot Bar? [insert name of your favorite bar]
After drinking a quart of that cider so sweet
He threw down his crutches and danced on his feet

Chorus...

I went down the lee road, a friend for to see
They call it the madhouse in Cork by the Sea
Well when I got there, sure the truth I will tell,
They had this poor bugger locked up in a cell

Said the guard, testing him, "say these words if you can:
Around the rugged rock the ragged rascal ran"
Tell him I'm not crazy, tell him I'm not mad
It was only a sip of the bottle I had

Chorus...

A man died in the mines by the name of McNabb
They washed him and laid him outside on the slab
Well after the parlors measurements did take
His wife brought him home to a bloody fine wake

Twas about 12 o'clock and the beer was high
The corpse sits up and says with a sigh
I can't get to heaven, they won't let me up
Til I bring them a quart of the Johnny Jump Up

Chorus...

So if ever you go down to Cork by the sea
Stay out of the ale house and take it from me
If you want to stay sane don't you dare take a sup
Of that devil drink cider called Johnny Jump Up

Chorus... (x2)