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Origins: Ants Go Marching...

DigiTrad:
FIGHTING FOR STRANGERS
JOHNNY I HARDLY KNEW YE
JOHNNY I HARDLY KNEW YOU (2)
WHEN JOHNNY COMES MARCHING HOME


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New Book-'The Greatest Anti-War Song Ever Written' (19)
Review: Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye (25)
When Johnnie comes marching home (14)
(origins) Origin: Johnny I hardly knew ya (34)
Lyr Req: Johnnie We Hardly Knew Ye (22)
Lyr Req: Johnny Comes Marching Home (24)
Parody Challenge: The Aunts Go Marching (9)
(origins) Origins: Do we hardly know ye, marching, Johnny?? (2)
Lyr Add: When Johnny comes Hobbling Home (5)
Tune Req: johny comes marching home (whistle (4)
Lyr Req: Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye (4)


GUEST,Noel 19 Apr 05 - 02:46 PM
GUEST 19 Apr 05 - 02:48 PM
Padre 19 Apr 05 - 09:02 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Apr 05 - 10:59 PM
Crystal 20 Apr 05 - 09:56 AM
GUEST,Joe Offer 21 Apr 05 - 03:40 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Apr 05 - 08:35 PM
GUEST,ragdall 22 Apr 05 - 05:27 AM
Joe Offer 22 Apr 05 - 05:29 AM
Nigel Parsons 22 Apr 05 - 03:36 PM
Mrrzy 22 Apr 05 - 09:34 PM
LadyJean 22 Apr 05 - 10:05 PM
LadyJean 22 Apr 05 - 10:08 PM
Nigel Parsons 24 Apr 05 - 12:13 PM
Dave'sWife 20 Apr 07 - 09:49 PM
Joe_F 20 Apr 07 - 10:43 PM
Dave'sWife 07 Aug 07 - 08:21 AM
Joe_F 07 Aug 07 - 09:12 PM
KB in Iowa 08 Aug 07 - 05:13 PM
Dave'sWife 11 Aug 07 - 12:37 PM
GUEST,Aaron 26 Dec 11 - 08:32 PM
Joe_F 27 Dec 11 - 01:38 PM
Little Robyn 27 Dec 11 - 09:34 PM
GUEST 17 Feb 17 - 12:23 PM
Mrrzy 18 Feb 17 - 09:53 AM
Mrrzy 18 Feb 17 - 09:54 AM
Peter the Squeezer 18 Feb 17 - 04:23 PM
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Subject: Origins: Ants Go Marching...
From: GUEST,Noel
Date: 19 Apr 05 - 02:46 PM


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ants Go Marching...
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Apr 05 - 02:48 PM

Everyone knows the children's song about the ants going marching one by one (and so on); we also know that the tune is the American civil war tune When Johnny Comes Marching Home--but does anyone know when the Johnny song first acquired its "ant" lyrics? I learned it when I was a kid in the 1960s, but I'm certain it's much older than that. Any takers?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ants Go Marching...
From: Padre
Date: 19 Apr 05 - 09:02 PM

First learned it in 1946 @ kindergarten


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ants Go Marching...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Apr 05 - 10:59 PM

Verification from your kindergarten teacher, Padre?
Not in major school songbooks of the period, not in the couple of scoutbooks I have, but everywhere on the web, without dates.

Las hormigas marchan una por una, hurra, hurra (2x)
Las hormigas marchan una por una
La chiquita se para y chupa su dedo
Y después todas se marchan
debajo de la tiera, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM

Find the rest at Las hormigas marchan


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ants Go Marching...
From: Crystal
Date: 20 Apr 05 - 09:56 AM

One version I know sings very like yours Q

The ants go marching one by one hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching one by one hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching one by one,
The little one stopped to (insert appropriate noun and verb here!)
And they all went marching across the floor, under the door
out in the rain, down the drain
ZOOM, ZOOM, ZOOM

That is more modern though. I first heard it in the 80's, but the person I heard it from had had it from her mother, so 60's perhaps?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ants Go Marching...
From: GUEST,Joe Offer
Date: 21 Apr 05 - 03:40 AM

Hmmm. I can't remember where I learned this. The format was a bit different from Crystal's:
    The ants go marching one by one hurrah, hurrah
    The ants go marching one by one hurrah, hurrah
    The ants go marching one by one,
    The little one stops to (insert appropriate verb and noun here!)
    And they all go marching down to the ground
    To get out of the rain,
    BOOM, BOOM, BOOM

    one: suck his thuimb
    two: tie his shoe
    three: climb a tree
    four: slam the door
    five: do a hand jive (!!!)
    six: pick up some sticks
    seven: look up at heaven
    eight: close the gate
    nine: pick up a dime
    ten: to say THE END! (shouted)
    and end with
    Boom Boom Boom BOOM!!!

    Tune, of course, is "When Johnny Comes Marching Home."

    I guess I must have learned it in Boy Scouts in Wisconsin in the early 1960's.

    I sang this once for 1,200 Boy Scouts - and they didn't sing along. It was a very, very long song. Worked great with Cub Scouts, though - they're younger.

    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ants Go Marching...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Apr 05 - 08:35 PM

Three- take a pee.
1960s is about when I heard the song. Someone started in the bus and it got sung over and over, with some lines invented on the spot. We were all professionals, adults, on a conference field trip (Early second childhood? No, just bored). Never heard it as a child, or at least I don't remember it from childhood.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ants Go Marching...
From: GUEST,ragdall
Date: 22 Apr 05 - 05:27 AM

Sang it on hikes at summer camp in the '50's.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ants Go Marching...
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Apr 05 - 05:29 AM

Oh, yeah, "take a pee." Trouble is, as a leader, I couldn't sing THAT...
That's what's wrong about having to be an adult.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ants Go Marching...
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 22 Apr 05 - 03:36 PM

I thought we'd had this discussion, but can't find it using suitable string searches on SuperSearch.("you can't experience deja vu for the first time" Les Barker)

I remember this from late 50's early 60's UK, going on the church 'Whitsun Treat' (pile on the back of brewer's drays to be driven 10 miles to a field within easy walking distance!)

Whether it follows from, or preceeds, I also remember a version using different animals for each verse, with a slightly different (more biblical) chorus:

The animals went in two by two hurrah, hurrah;
The animals went in two by two hurrah, hurrah;
The animals went in two by two the elephant and the kangaroo
And they all went into the Ark, for to get out of the rain.

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ants Go Marching...
From: Mrrzy
Date: 22 Apr 05 - 09:34 PM

AH, so THAT's why they get out of the rain.

My oldest-known version is a combo of yours, intersting, where the ants went down (WHERE? shouted by everyone else) into the ground (WHY?) to get out (OF WHAT?) the rain, boom, boon, boom. And you could also just sing Down, into the ground, boom, boom, boom. I think my family knew the simple one and then my older sisters heard the call/resopnse version at camp.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ants Go Marching...
From: LadyJean
Date: 22 Apr 05 - 10:05 PM

The Ents go marching one by one Hurrah! Hurray!
The Ents to marching one by one Hurrah! Hurray!
The ents go marching one by one, to Isengard to have some fun, and the Ents go marching!
"Though Isengard be strong and hard with walls of stone! We go we go we go to war to hew the stone and break the door! Doom Doom Doom Doom!"
Two by two--to make orc stew


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ants Go Marching...
From: LadyJean
Date: 22 Apr 05 - 10:08 PM

Three by three--because it isn't nice to hurt a tree
Four by four--To hew the stone and break the door
Five by Five--and Saurman will not long survive
Six by six--Because someone turned their friends into sticks.
Seven by seven__and I don't think orcs go to heaven
Nine by nind--Merry and Pippin are feeling fine.
Ten by Ten--To the aid of the Rohan men.

My appologies to admirers of J.R.R. Tolkien, and lovers of good music everywhere, and to trees too.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ants Go Marching...
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 24 Apr 05 - 12:13 PM

LadyJean: a closet Filker!

No need to apologise, but scansion could probably improve:

Two by to-- To Isengard, to make orc stew
Three by three--'cos it's not nice to hurt a tree
Four by four--To hew the stone and break the door
Five by Five--and Saruman won't long survive
Six by six--Because someone turned their friends into sticks.
'cos someone's hewn their friends to sticks or
'cos someone turned their friends to sticks
Seven by seven__and I don't think orcs go to heaven
Nine by nine--Merry and Pippin are feeling fine.
Ten by Ten--To the aid of the Rohan men.
To bring their aid to Rohan's men


Cheers!
Nigel


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ants Go Marching...
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 20 Apr 07 - 09:49 PM

My husband brought this up wed. morning as we were driving back from an early morning docter's appt. he had justread a fairly chilling short story by Joe Hill (Also known as Stephen King's oldest son, Joseph Hillstrom King) and the song was used in a very creepy way. he wanted to know if there was any sinister origin to the song. We wound up discussing When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again, Johnny's Gone For a Soldier, ButterMilk hill and SHULE AROON among others.

FYI, the story is called "Voluntary Committal" from his collection 20th Century Ghosts. An Autistic boy who likes to build mazes, builds a giant maze with found objects and lures a neighborhood bully in there. From deep within the maze, people always hear kids singing the song. The bully goes in but he doesn't come out, kinda like a Roach Motel! However, when they pull apart the maze, they find nothing


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ants Go Marching...
From: Joe_F
Date: 20 Apr 07 - 10:43 PM

In my grade school we had a much briefer one:

The ants go marching through the grass.
They hunt about as on they pass.
If they should march across a worm,
They tickle him and make him squirm.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ants Go Marching...
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 07 Aug 07 - 08:21 AM

JOE_F - that's pretty cute! Never heard those lyrics before. Are there more?

Regarding the use of the song in that short story - it still creeps my husband out but he can't figure out why he find it so disturbing that the sining inside the maze was singing the Ants go marching. Anyone else associate that soing with menace of some kind?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ants Go Marching...
From: Joe_F
Date: 07 Aug 07 - 09:12 PM

Dave'sWife: No, that was the entire song. The tune in solfa (scale drmfsltDRMFSLT; it's minor, so la is the tonic) was

D.t.t.l.l.m.m.l.
D.t.t.l.l.m.m.l.
l.s.s.f.f.m.m.r.
r.mlDlt.m.l.....

Beverly Hills, CA, ca. 1945


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ants Go Marching...
From: KB in Iowa
Date: 08 Aug 07 - 05:13 PM

For the seven by seven verse we always sang 'the little one stops to go to heaven.'

This was all fine and dandy until the mother of some kids down the street commited suicide. After that their dad wouldn't let them sing that line. It made the whole thing very awkward and maybe worse for the kids than if they could just sing it. I suppose he didn't want to hear it but we never sang it by their house anyway. I guess his kids might have done so without the rest of us. We lived clear at the other end of the block, they could have sung it that way on our front porch and he would not have known but they never did.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ants Go Marching...
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 11 Aug 07 - 12:37 PM

KB in Iowa - yeah songs sometimes take on negative connotations in context of some tragedy. In another thread I posted how I went thru a period of being fascinated by early morbid rocakbilly or rock N Roll songs about death such as Tell laura i Love her, teen Angel and Endless Sleep.

Endless Sleep was my favortie since it was kinda the most mysterious and yet had a happy ending. nevertheless, I had to stop singing it after a local girl drowned in our town pool which was a large stream fed manmade lake. All of us teens on the swim-team had to dive for her body and link arms and walk through as much of the lake as possible. Her name was susan and she was about 6 If I recall. it was terribly sad becuase she was the youngest child of a familt with much older children. She had been born to her parents late in life and was the apple of their eye.

I don't think I sang Endless Sleep again until 20 years after the drowning.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ants Go Marching...
From: GUEST,Aaron
Date: 26 Dec 11 - 08:32 PM

My mom and I sand this in 1980. Now I sing it to my son all the time.

Though, she said "...marching, down, in the Earth, to get out of the rain..." but other than that it's the same.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ants Go Marching...
From: Joe_F
Date: 27 Dec 11 - 01:38 PM

Now that I think it was "The ants go *scouting* (not "marching").


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ants Go Marching...
From: Little Robyn
Date: 27 Dec 11 - 09:34 PM

What did the Ents do for eight by eight?
Robyn from Hobbiton


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ants Go Marching...
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Feb 17 - 12:23 PM

Here is a complete recording of "Ants Go Marching," sung on January 3, 1960, in Fayetteville, Arkansas, by Christopher Basore, who was going on ten years old at the time. http://digitalcollections.uark.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/OzarkFolkSong/id/222/rec/61


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ants Go Marching...
From: Mrrzy
Date: 18 Feb 17 - 09:53 AM

I knew 2 versions of the chorus as a kid, the one I really knew where they all go marching down into the ground, and the one my sisters learned at camp that involved (shouting):
And they all go marching down (WHERE?) to the earth WHY?) to get out (OF WHAT?) the rain, boom, boom, boom

And our eighth ants stopped to cry I'm late. Robyn from Hobbiton.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ants Go Marching...
From: Mrrzy
Date: 18 Feb 17 - 09:54 AM

No they didn't, they shut the gate. Don't know where I got the late thing.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ants Go Marching...
From: Peter the Squeezer
Date: 18 Feb 17 - 04:23 PM

My daughters used to sing

"The ants go marching two by two,
The little stopped to do a poo."


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