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Thursday, 12 March 2015

And Now Harry's Walked Away With Johnny's Wife


Yesterday's Goodbye Johnny post started me thinking about the appearance of Johnny in songs. He crops up quite often- it's a good lyrical name, sounds youthful and rebellious (see Marlon Brando in The Wild One- 'What ya rebelling against Johnny?' he gets asked. 'Whaddya got?' he snarls back), it scans well and sings well.

Johnny is the victim in The Wedding Present's 1989 masterpiece Kennedy. Harry walks away with his wife. Maybe he'd eaten too much apple pie. I've never fully understood the lyrics to this song. The Kennedy in the title is (presumably) John F Kennedy, another Johnny, but the 35th President of the USA didn't lose his wife to a man called Harry. Confusing.

The guitars on Kennedy are superb, frenetic and trebly and rushing their way through the song. And the breakdown with the bass riff is hairs-standing-up-on-the-back-of-the-neck stuff.

Kennedy

15 comments:

drew said...

Leo's favourite song, only he calls it "too much apple pie"

Anonymous said...

Aristotle ?

Anonymous said...

Drew- I remembered this morning that one of your boys loved it.

Anon- Aristotle?
Swiss Adam

The Swede said...

'Kennedy' is a fantastic song. I'm glad you mentioned the lyrics, cos I've never quite understood them either!
From 'Johnny B Goode' to 'Johnny Too Bad', you're right, there are a lot of them about

Erik Bartlam said...

Maybe Harry's the one who had Kennedy killed. No whackier than most of the theories out there.

Simon said...

Favourite Johnnys in music - Prefab Sprout's Goodbye Lucille #1, Patti Smith's Land and The Clash Protex Blue. That's number 1 in the list for me. Still cracks me up.

Anonymous said...

ARIstotle Onassis !

Swiss Adam said...

Anon-Ah! Got it now. Duh!
Simon- Protex Blue is on my list.
The Swede- Johnny's Be Good and Too Bad also occured to me

Walter said...

What a great song, Adam. Please give us more of Johnny. I am in to it.

drew said...

It's getting close to that time of the year so I'll throw in Johnny Was and apparently Johnny's Got A Boom Boom

charity chic said...

Johnny Are You Gay? by The Hillbilly Moon Explosion would fit rather neatly into your Friday rockabilly slot

Brian said...

Loving everything about this post and comment thread. Simon's Prefab Sprout mention got an "oooh" out of me. Well done, sir. CC's vote reminded me of Johnny, Are You Queer? made a little famous by the Go-Go's and a little more famous by Josie Cotton... although neither of them wrote it. Then there's Johnny Come Home by one of CC's favorites, Fine Young Cannibals. Just found that out the other day. Obviously, Adam beats everyone with the Wedding Present.

john serpico said...

Brilliant. And what a fine set of 'Johnny' posts. My names's John but when ever anyone calls me Johnny it's always done with affection. Always a good sign.
I've got some catching up to do with your posts but I shall listen to them all.
Thank you. And those guitars and that bass riff in Kennedy are exactly as you describe.

Swiss Adam said...

Thanks John. And Hello!

Swiss Adam said...
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