Frankie and Johnny, Revisited

About 100 years ago, three guys got together and wrote a song called Frankie and Johnny.

frankie-and-johnnyI became aware of it as a kid because one of the dads in my neighborhood used to sing a refrain from it every time I came over to his house to play with his kids.

I really hated that. I hated being called Frankie and didn’t want in any way to be connected to some ancient song.

Then one day, for some reason, I felt inspired to write a song modeled after it. And these days I call myself Frankie. Ain’t life strange kids?

In the original version, Frankie is the girl and Johnny “was her man, and he was doin’ her wrong.”

In my version the story gets turned around. The guy finds out his woman is running around on him but decides he doesn’t mind that as long as she doesn’t make it so obvious.

Much like the original version, which was written as a Ragtime tune, I play my song in a barrel house piano style with a walking left hand. At the very end I reprise the original melody line. See if you recognize it.

BTW: Sorry about the poor fidelity. This was recorded in a small room with a single mic hanging from the ceiling!

Frankie and Johnny, Revisited

I went downtown a fortnight ago
Saw my old lady with my old buddy Joe
Found out that night she don’t love me no more
Baby been messin’, leave me all alone

Baby oh Baby why you do me this way?
Everybody knows how you run and play
And now people been talkin’ my name into the mud
How’s about some discretion?
‘Preciate it if you would

I really don’t care if you don’t love me
I only really care what other people see
Let’s show ’em we’re happy and so much in love
You can have other lovers but let’s us be in love

Performed with my Butterface bandmates, George West on guitar (and “vocals”) and Adam Mason on drums.

Copyright 2008

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