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What is a 'Jimmy John'?

GUEST,the4cathouse 18 Mar 00 - 11:16 PM
W y s i w y G ! 18 Mar 00 - 11:31 PM
catspaw49 19 Mar 00 - 12:16 AM
Bill in Alabama 19 Mar 00 - 12:51 AM
catspaw49 19 Mar 00 - 01:03 AM
Bill in Alabama 19 Mar 00 - 01:11 AM
GUEST,who doesn't know much 19 Mar 00 - 06:04 AM
Banjer 19 Mar 00 - 07:00 AM
kendall 19 Mar 00 - 07:45 AM
GUEST 19 Mar 00 - 09:04 AM
GUEST,Randy 19 Mar 00 - 09:08 AM
GutBucketeer 19 Mar 00 - 12:51 PM
dick greenhaus 19 Mar 00 - 12:57 PM
Bill D 19 Mar 00 - 01:12 PM
Bill in Alabama 19 Mar 00 - 01:54 PM
tar_heel 19 Mar 00 - 02:05 PM
catspaw49 19 Mar 00 - 02:06 PM
Bill in Alabama 19 Mar 00 - 04:03 PM
Sourdough 20 Mar 00 - 03:04 AM
Doctor John 20 Mar 00 - 01:23 PM
GUEST,Gene 20 Mar 00 - 07:52 PM
Bill in Alabama 20 Mar 00 - 08:26 PM
Sourdough 21 Mar 00 - 03:59 AM
catspaw49 21 Mar 00 - 04:24 AM
catspaw49 21 Mar 00 - 04:29 AM
Jim Krause 21 Mar 00 - 05:11 PM
GUEST,the4cathouse 21 Mar 00 - 05:37 PM
GUEST,the4cathouse 21 Mar 00 - 05:45 PM
GUEST,the4cathouse 21 Mar 00 - 05:50 PM
catspaw49 21 Mar 00 - 07:50 PM
Seamus Kennedy 22 Mar 00 - 08:26 PM
Eluned 22 Mar 00 - 08:43 PM
Billy the Bus 23 Mar 00 - 04:10 AM
catspaw49 23 Mar 00 - 11:23 AM
Ferrara 23 Mar 00 - 01:08 PM
MarkS 23 Mar 00 - 07:06 PM
E.Michael 23 Mar 00 - 07:41 PM
catspaw49 23 Mar 00 - 07:51 PM
GUEST,Seamus Kennedy 23 Mar 00 - 10:30 PM
catspaw49 23 Mar 00 - 11:01 PM
E.Michael 23 Mar 00 - 11:53 PM
Eluned 24 Mar 00 - 01:47 AM
Billy the Bus 24 Mar 00 - 03:18 AM
GUEST,Seamus Kennedy on the road 24 Mar 00 - 01:43 PM
MarkS 24 Mar 00 - 05:03 PM
catspaw49 24 Mar 00 - 06:35 PM
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Subject: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: GUEST,the4cathouse
Date: 18 Mar 00 - 11:16 PM

Any Gandydancers out there? In the song "The Gandydancer's Ball" there is mention of dancing around the "Jimmy John" (not sure of the spelling). Does anyone know what a Jimmy John is?


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: W y s i w y G !
Date: 18 Mar 00 - 11:31 PM

Could it be demi john?


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 12:16 AM

Think you can give us the line or lines as you think they are for a context? I assume we're talking RR terms here which I have some familiarity with, but this doesn't ring any bells........If you have a bit more of the context, maybe it would help.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 12:51 AM

It's a demijohn--the term is a well-intrenched southern dialectism. It appears also in the phrase *Hot corn, cold corn, bring along the jimmy john* in the song *Hot Corn*.


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 01:03 AM

Thanks Bill......from a railroad standpoint, this one was driving me nuts. Any relation to Hoppin' John? This one I had never run across. Glad all that banjo pickin' hadsn't sapped your brain!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 01:11 AM

'spaw--

In spite of the 5-string AND the jimmy john, I reckon I've got a few cells left--even after I used up most of what I had learning Blue Clicky Things here this morning.


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: GUEST,who doesn't know much
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 06:04 AM

what's a demijohn?


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: Banjer
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 07:00 AM

I can't say for sure what a 'demijohn' is but it seems that a 'semijohn' would be a facility for halfassed people. A half holer as a opposed to the more traditional one or two holers.


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: kendall
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 07:45 AM

we sing it hot corn, cold corn bring along the Porta-John.


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 09:04 AM

dem·i·john (dĕm'ç-jŏn') n. A large, narrow-necked bottle made of glass or earthenware, usually encased in wickerwork.


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: GUEST,Randy
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 09:08 AM

A "demijohn" is a large earthenware jug. Mountain folks in the Appalachian region used it for carrying whiskey on mules. Course that wasn't it's only purpose, it could also carry wine. (Never waste a good demijohn on water)I would imagine it was French.


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 12:51 PM

JimmyJohn is what my parents would call my twin brother and me when we were growing up. If it wasn't that it was just the boys. :-)

JAB (jimmy)


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 12:57 PM

and Hoppin' John is a southern dish consisting primarily of black-eyed peas and salt pork. Good, though.


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 01:12 PM

demi-john is a prime candidate for becoming a "Mondegreen"...it is almost an archaic term, so people hear what they want to hear, and it gets changed


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 01:54 PM

The word demijohn is itself a mondegreen, mis-heard from the Old French term dame Jeanne.


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: tar_heel
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 02:05 PM

it's a large earthenware,pottery,jug,etc.,often used to carry moonshine(whatelse) by the settlers in the early days of the appalachian mountain region.it's really, demijohn!!! i still have some the remains of some made by my greatgrandfather,who raised his family in the mountains of yadkin county,yadkinville,n.c..


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 02:06 PM

Hey...Mister HTML WHIZZ........Care to elaborate on how that happened???

BTW, the "Hoppin' John" thing was a joke. We have it about once a month, my youngest LOVES the it!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 04:03 PM

Spaw--

I could tell you, but it ain't really that interesting. I'll tell you next time I see you.

Bill


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: Sourdough
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 03:04 AM

As I recall reading somewhere long ago and far away, that particular style of jug got the name from its appearance reminding someone of a particular barmaid. The handles coming out below the neck and looping down to meet the body at teh "hip" looks to some like a woman with arms akimbo. I guess Dame Jeanne was somewhat plump.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: Doctor John
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 01:23 PM

Lead Belly on the L of C recordings where he sings "Green Corn" tells Alan Lomax who asks that it is a whisky jug. Dr John


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: GUEST,Gene
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 07:52 PM

Sure sounds like Frankie Laine sings--

JIMMY JOHN - listen for yourself and decide---

* CLICK HERE - GANDY DANCER'S BALL *


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 08:26 PM

Gene--

There's no doubt--that's what he's singing; it's a common pronunciation of the word demi-john.


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: Sourdough
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 03:59 AM

Is the story true that the Gandy Co. of Chicago made shovels used by the track lining crews?

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: catspaw49
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 04:24 AM

Gandy Tool actually made several of the tools used by the section gangs and is generally attributed as the name source.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: catspaw49
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 04:29 AM

Sorry.......Also meant to say that the method used to force ballast underneath the ties (backfilling) involved a jumping and swinging back and forth on the shovel....hence, "Gandy Dancer."

Spaw


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: Jim Krause
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 05:11 PM

I knew demijohn was a sort of earthenware jug. What I wanna know is what was the capacity of them things? A gallon? Two? Or maybe a half-gallon?


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: GUEST,the4cathouse
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 05:37 PM

Actually Gandy was the name of the company that made the rails and Gandydancing came from the motion the track layers had to do to coordinate their movement so as not to get foot tied.


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: GUEST,the4cathouse
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 05:45 PM


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: GUEST,the4cathouse
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 05:50 PM

Guest:Gene is correct. Frankie Laine's version is were my question originated. "They danced on the ceiling, they danced on the walls at the Gandydancer's ball. Swing around, swing around, swing around the JIMMY JOHN, swing your pretty girl around the JIMMY JIMMY JOHN". It is the refrain of the song


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: catspaw49
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 07:50 PM

Not to be argumentative, but, uh.............

Gandydancers, railroad MOW workers, used tools, including shovels, mauls, and lining bars made by the Gandy Tool Co. of Chicago. For several large railroads, they were the main supplier and specifically for the larger eastern roads {NYC, Pennsy, and Chessie) they were virtually the only supplier.

The second half of the name came from several sources, The first, as I described, was the "shovel dance" needed to force ballast underneath ties. Another was the from the teamwork associated with laying and placing rail. Yet another may have come from the spiking.

Almost all of the MOW and inspection work done today is automated and especially the ballasting which was usually considered one of the hardest tasks in terms of doing the job properly. Of course, if you consider that the end of a spike maul is only the size of a 50 cent piece and the head of a spike is slightly smaller, driving spike was no mean feat in itself. As everyone is probably aware, at the "Driving of the Golden Spike" the big shots missed the spike entirely and it was driven in by a gandydancer, later replaced with the gold one temporarily. Gold is much too soft for a spike!

I haven't encountered Gandy as a producer of rail. Most railroads were tied in with the steel and coal companies through interlocking directorates or virtually sole ownership like Carnegie, and the rail business moved from the right pocket to the left.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 22 Mar 00 - 08:26 PM

Catspaw, not to be argumentative, but: Fred Gandy who played Gopher on the old Loveboat show, and subsequently was elected to Congress was not only a fine actor, but was also a superb master of terpsichore. He developed a technique for dancing with various agricultural implements which was named for him. This is not to be confused with the old Indian dancing style perfected by the Mahatma and Indira, known as Ghandi dancing. All the best, Seamus


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: Eluned
Date: 22 Mar 00 - 08:43 PM

What does getting "foot tied" mean?


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 23 Mar 00 - 04:10 AM

Hey Soddy - the OED (Oxford English Dict) gives demijohn as 3-10gal (real Imperial ones that is) and also attribute origin to the French dame-jeanne (Lady Jane). They also note that they were usually encased in wickerwork.

The demijohns I blew in jug bands in NZ the best part of 40 years ago were glass, and 1-2 gal capacity.

Couldn't get a damned note out of them when they were full - they were much more musical when empty - and I was full..;^)

Hey, Spaw - thanks for the info on Gandy tools - used to wonder where the "Gandydancer" term came from, decades back when I first heard some of your Yankee railroad hollers.

Now a question Spaw - what is MOW in Yankee Railway terminology?

MOW, here in NZ was "Ministry of Works" - a Government Department, in charge of road, railway, and hydro-dam building etc. Their nationally-acclaimed "logo" - two guys leaning on "banjos" (shovels) - getting ready for "smoko" (a cup of tea)....;^)

The MOW no longer exists - "privatised"...;^(

Cheers - Sam


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Mar 00 - 11:23 AM

Hi Sam....First, congrats on the Cup! A really fine defense and it looks as though the depth of Team NZ will make it tough for the next time! I would have preferred to see Cayard take on Coutts simply because their skills as match racers may have made a more interesting finals. Prada was not well served in the tactical aggression department. But there is certainly no denying that the crew of the black boat is the finest collection of racing sailors ever assembled as one crew. Simply fantastic!!!

I grew up with the railroad, coming from a railroad town with a father who was an engineman. All my Dad ever did in his life was work on the railroad. Hired out on the section gang as soon as he graduated high school in '37 and went into engine service as a fireman in '40, was in a rail battalion during WWII and came back to the Pennsy in '46. He was a fireman til '55 and after that worked as an engineer til he died in '73. As a kid, trains and railroads were a BIG part of my life.

Anyway, MOW is railroad slang here for Maintenance of Way. The railroads always seem to like terms like that when it would be easier to say track repair of something. MOW work though does include more than the track as they also maintain signals, crossings, and other things along the track.

Sorry...Didn't mean to get so long winded.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: Ferrara
Date: 23 Mar 00 - 01:08 PM

F'r what it's worth, my mom, who was born & raised in Georgia, used to sing "Hot corn, cold corn, swing around the jimmy-john," but she told me that the song had originally been "Bring along a demi-john," and that a demijohn was an earthenware jug, usually with whiskey in it. When she was a kid they also sang "Swing around, swing around, swing around the Jimmy-John, Swing around, swing around the Jimmy-Jimmy-John" as a kind of second verse to Hot Corn. This is exactly the words used in Gandy Dancer's ball, but they use another tune.

So. Gandy Dancer's Ball is much more recent and refers to older songs including Cotton-Eyed Joe. I think that the little chorus of "Swing around the Jimmy-John" is supposed to be something people would dance to, maybe a version of Hot Corn that had been turned into a play-party song that people danced to, although I can't remember if Mom said anything about that.... I think they just threw it in to give the feeling of an old fashioned barn dance going on.


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: MarkS
Date: 23 Mar 00 - 07:06 PM

You got "foot tied", I think, when the rail crew who were carrying a length of rail in iron pincers dropped it to the ties so it could be guaged prior to spiking. If you dropped it on your foot, you were "foot tied" At about 19 lbs per linear foot, dropping a rail on your foot was not a nice experience. Miss the old jargon too. Anybody tell what a crew of gandydancers was doing when they were "tamping a frog?"


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: E.Michael
Date: 23 Mar 00 - 07:41 PM

MarkS, I'm not sure what 'tamping a frog' refers to ,but I know that frogs are used to re-rail a de-railed engine or car truck [set of wheels]. Why Gandy dancers would be doing that is beyond me as Gandy dancers were the crews that realigned the rails; a task that was done by hand with 'tamp bars' [originally made by The Gandy Co.] The work was done to rythmical singing and became known as Gandy Dancing. I am not familiar enough with railroading procedures to know any other place that frogs would be used other than for re-railing a de-rail.


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Mar 00 - 07:51 PM

E. Michael.......a frog is part of a switch and must line up perfectly and therefore must also be "tamped" into position at the right angle and height. Go back to a previous post of mine and you'll also see that the Gandy DANCING probably first came from the "shovel dance" needed to backfill ballast under ties.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: GUEST,Seamus Kennedy
Date: 23 Mar 00 - 10:30 PM

Catspaw, am I to infer from your insistence on "tamping" that Fred, Indira and the Mahatma are completely irrelevant to this discussion? If so, I will desist forthwith (or forthwithout), for that matter. All the best, Seamus


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Mar 00 - 11:01 PM

Only Indira would have had any relevance to "tamping" here....and Seamus buddy, I wouldn't have tamped her even using YOUR tamper!!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: E.Michael
Date: 23 Mar 00 - 11:53 PM

Catspaw49- Thanks for the info on switch frogs. Around here there are also re-railing frogs, but they are for an entirely different purpose. Whatever the true history of Gandy Dancers may be, railroad history is fascinating in all its aspects.


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: Eluned
Date: 24 Mar 00 - 01:47 AM

Seamus, you are forthright! 'spaw.....(in a motherly voice) "now bo-oys, Tamper, tamper!"


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 24 Mar 00 - 03:18 AM

Hi Spaw,

Thanks for the compliments about our Kiwi yachties - guess they started in P-Class or Sharpies..;^)

Our railway(road) engineers were pretty sharp 120 years ago, adapting your Yank technology to 3'6" gauge...;)

Now, since we're way off "demijohn" topic and "tamping frogs" here's a red "herring" (no that's another current thread) - OK railway buffs - "Frog" - Wasn't that also the open-mouth thingie, that Europeans bolted to "sleepers" (ties to you), to tie down their bull-head rails?

Maybe "tamping frogs" was driving in the two wedges to tie the rail to the frog that tied it to each and every tie ("Sleeper" to me) - hey - weren't us Colonials more practical with our flat base rails, that you spiked direct to the sleepers...;^)

Spaw, I'm sam@southnet.co.nz get in touch.

When I've time, and worked out the Mudcat posting complexities, I'll throw the words for a few Kiwi railway songs your way.

Cheers - Sam


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: GUEST,Seamus Kennedy on the road
Date: 24 Mar 00 - 01:43 PM

Catspaw, let's get together sometime and tamp a few switch frogs in Tampa.Perhaps we could tamper with them in a frenzy - a tamper tantrum, if you will -then roll them into little white cotton cylinders and go fishing for sailfish, or tampon tarpon-fishing, if the tamperature is suitable, of course. All the best. Seamus


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: MarkS
Date: 24 Mar 00 - 05:03 PM

With that last post, I suggest that we all attampt to put and end to this thread, unless Seamus wants to go for a new title, "Tampion at keepin em punnin"


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Subject: RE: What is a 'Jimmy John'?
From: catspaw49
Date: 24 Mar 00 - 06:35 PM

I dunno....Tampa is a tamptation, but the thought of a tampon tarpon has me a bit ill..........I think we should attampt to put a tamper on this thing.

Spaw


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