Frankie and Johnnie

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For works with similar titles, see Frankie and Johnny.
Frankie and Johnnie
Traditional
Frankie and Johnnie is a traditional folk ballad of unknown origin. There exist many different variations of the ballad, recorded by many different artists since 1928 (see "Frankie and Albert" by Mississippi John Hurt).

Frankie and Johnny was sweethearts, O Lord how did they love.
Swore to be true to each other, true as the stars above.
He was her man, he wouldn't do her wrong

Frankie went down to the corner, just for a bucket of beer.
She said "Mr. Bartender, has my lovin' Johnny been here?
He's my man, he wouldn't do me wrong."

"I don't want to cause you no trouble, I ain't gonna tell you no lie.
I saw your lover an hour ago with a girl named Nellie Bly.
He was your man, but he's doin' you wrong."

Frankie looked over the transom, she saw to her surprise:
There on a cot sat Johnny, makin' love to Nellie Bly.
"He's my man, and he's doin' me wrong."

Frankie drew back her kimona, she took out a little .44.
Rooty-toot-toot three times she shot right through that hardwood door.
Shot her man; he was doin' her wrong.

"Bring out the rubber-tired buggies, bring out the rubber-tire hack.
I'm takin' my man to the graveyard, but I ain't gonna bring him back.
Lord, he was my man, and he done me wrong."

"Bring out a thousand policemen, bring 'em around today.
Then lock me down in the dungeon cell and throw that key away.
I shot my man, he was doin' me wrong."

Frankie said to the warden, "What are they going to do?"
The warden said to Frankie "It's electric chair for you,
'Cause you shot your man, he was doin' you wrong."

This story has no moral, this story has no end.
This story just goes to show that there ain't no good in men.
He was her man, and he done her wrong.

Licensing[edit]

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was legally published within the United States (or the United Nations Headquarters in New York subject to Section 7 of the United States Headquarters Agreement) between 1923 and 1977 (inclusive) without a copyright notice.