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Re: We hardly knew ye

Posted by Bob on November 13, 2006

In Reply to: Re: We hardly knew ye posted by Smokey Stover on November 13, 2006

: : I was wondering the origin of the phrase: [goodbye/farewell] ___, [we/i] barely knew [thee/ye/you].
: : as in, "Farewell Pluto, we barely knew thee." I think the goodbye/farewell is optional as well.

: I think that those who are using similar phrases to the one about Pluto are harking back to the phrase, "Johnny, we hardly knew ye," Ken O'Donnell's memoir of JFK written shortly after his death. At the time of O'Donnell's book it seemed that the phrase may have been borrowed by him, but I've seen no earlier use of a similar phrase.
: SS

Old Irish ballad/lament:

Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye

While goin' the road to sweet Athy, hurroo, hurroo
While goin' the road to sweet Athy, hurroo, hurroo
While goin' the road to sweet Athy,
A stick in me hand and a drop in me eye,
A doleful damsel I heard cry,
Johnny I hardly knew ye.

With your drums and guns and drums and guns, hurroo, hurroo
With your drums and guns and drums and guns, hurroo, hurroo
With your drums and guns and drums and guns,
The enemy nearly slew ye
Oh my darling dear, Ye look so queer
Johnny I hardly knew ye.

Where are your eyes that were so mild, hurroo, hurroo
Where are your eyes that were so mild, hurroo, hurroo
Where are your eyes that were so mild,
When my heart you so beguiled
Why did ye run from me and the child
Oh Johnny, I hardly knew ye

Where are your legs that used to run, hurroo, hurroo
Where are your legs that used to run, hurroo, hurroo
Where are your legs that used to run,
When you went for to carry a gun
Indeed your dancing days are done
Oh Johnny, I hardly knew ye

I'm happy for to see ye home, hurroo, hurroo
I'm happy for to see ye home, hurroo, hurroo
I'm happy for to see ye home,
All from the island of Sulloon;
So low in flesh, so high in bone
Oh Johnny I hardly knew ye

Ye haven't an arm, ye haven't a leg, hurroo, hurroo
Ye haven't an arm, ye haven't a leg, hurroo, hurroo
Ye haven't an arm, ye haven't a leg,
Ye're an armless, boneless, chickenless egg
Ye'll have to put with a bowl out to beg
Oh Johnny I hardly knew ye

They're rolling out the guns again, hurroo, hurroo
They're rolling out the guns again, hurroo, hurroo
They're rolling out the guns again,
But they never will take our sons again
No they never will take our sons again
Johnny I'm swearing to ye