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No John, No

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Performer: Goode, Archer
Place Collected: Cheltenham
Date collected: 1975 (4 Jan)
Collector: Davies, Gwilym
Roud Number: 146

This little song with the play on words has been around for some time. Many will know it as “No, John, no” whilst schoolchildren knew it as a singing game “Yonder Stands a Spanish Lady”. The ‘trick’ of the words is that the lady’s answer of ‘No’ to her suitor eventually becomes an equivalent of ‘Yes’. It does not seem particularly old and most versions date from the early 20th century, since when it has been collected on both sides of the Atlantic in various forms.

Mr Goode learnt his version from Sam Bennet, the Ilmington Morris dancer.


Notes by Gwilym Davies 27 May 2015