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James Whitcomb Riley

(7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana)

Johnson's Boy


The world is turned ag'in' me,
And people says, 'They guess
That nothin' else is in me
But pure maliciousness!'
I git the blame for doin'
What other chaps destroy,
And I'm a-goin' to ruin
Because I'm 'Johnson's boy.'

THAT ain't my name--I'd ruther
They'd call me IKE or PAT--
But they've forgot the other--
And so have _I_, for that!
I reckon it's as handy,
When Nibsy breaks his toy,
Or some one steals his candy,
To say 'twas 'JOHNSON'S BOY!'

You can't git any water
At the pump, and find the spout
So durn chuck-full o' mortar
That you have to bore it out;
You tackle any scholar
In Wisdom's wise employ,
And I'll bet you half a dollar
He'll say it's 'Johnson's boy!'

Folks don't know how I suffer
In my uncomplainin' way--
They think I'm gittin' tougher
And tougher every day.
Last Sunday night, when Flinder
Was a-shoutin' out for joy,
And some one shook the winder,
He prayed for 'Johnson's boy.'

I'm tired of bein' follered
By farmers every day,
And then o' bein' collared
For coaxin' hounds away;
Hounds always plays me double--
It's a trick they all enjoy--
To git me into trouble,
Because I'm 'Johnson's boy.'

But if I git to Heaven,
I hope the Lord'll see
SOME boy has been perfect,
And lay it on to me;
I'll swell the song sonorous,
And clap my wings for joy,
And sail off on the chorus--
'Hurrah for 'Johnson's boy!''

Submitted: Friday, April 09, 2010

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