Bobbin’ John three-two

Also known as Bob And Joan, Boban John, Bobbin Joan, Bobbin John, Bobbing Joan, Bobbing John, Love And Whiskey.

There are 7 recordings of this tune.

Bobbin’ John appears in 2 other tune collections.

Bobbin’ John has been added to 1 tune set.

Bobbin' John has been added to 44 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Four settings

1
X: 1
T: Bobbin' John
R: three-two
M: 3/2
L: 1/8
K: Ador
e2c2 A2B2 ~c4|e2c2 A2c2 Bcd2|e2c2 A2B2 ~c4|B2G2 G2c2 Bcd2:|
|:c2e2 g2f2 ~e4|c2e2 g2f2 e2g2|a3g f2e2 ~d4|B2G2 G2c2 Bcd2:|
2
X: 2
T: Bobbin' John
R: three-two
M: 3/2
L: 1/8
K: Ador
|:e2 c2 A2|B2 c4|e2 c2 A2|c2 B2 d2|
e2 c2 A2|B2 c4|B2 G2 G2|c2 B2 d2:|
|:c2 e2 g2|f2 e4|c2 e2 g2|f2 e2 g2|
a3g f2|e2 d3c|B2 G2 G2|c2 B2 d2:|
3
X: 3
T: Bobbin' John
R: three-two
M: 3/2
L: 1/8
K: Amin
|:e2A2 A2c2 B4|e2A2 A2c2 BcdB|e2A2 A2c2 B3c|d2G2 G2d2 BcdB:|
|:c2ef g2c2 e4|c2ef g2c2 e2g2|a3f g3f e4|d2G2 G2d2 BcdB:|
4
X: 4
T: Bobbin' John
R: three-two
M: 3/2
L: 1/8
K: Edor
|:B3G E2F2 G4|B3G E2G2 F2A2|B3G E2F2 G4|F3D D2G2 F2A2:|
|:G3B d2c2 B4|G3B d2c2 B2d2|e3d c2B2 A4|F3D D2G2 F2A2:|

Thirteen comments

Bob And Joan

There has been some discussion recently about 3/2’s that have crossed over from England to Ireland and turned into hop jigs, like the Lancashire tune “The Dusty Millar”. I thought this would be an ideal tune to play with James Kelly’s, as played by Matt Molloy.

I believe that there are some Irish versions of “Bob And Joan” too. In Northumberland this tune is usually played in the dorian mode, but elsewhere appears without the #6 (see JC’s tunefinder for some examples). I much prefer it with the #6.

This is such a simple tune but that’s what I like about it. Apparently there are many versions in different metres, and it is the cousin of “Lang Stayed Away” https://thesession.org/tunes/3024. The setting posted here comes from a recording by Nancy Kerr, her mother Sandra, and James Fagan, entitled “Scalene”. It’s similar to the version that appears in the William Vickers MS (1770). The Scalene version is interesting because they start out playing it as a sort of slow waltz type thing in 3/4:

M:3/4
L:1/8
|:e2 c2 A2|B2 c4|e2 c2 A2|c2 B2 d2|
e2 c2 A2|B2 c4|B2 G2 G2|c2 B2 d2:|
|:c2 e2 g2|f2 e4|c2 e2 g2|f2 e2 g2|
a3g f2|e2 d3c|B2 G2 G2|c2 B2 d2:|

…and then they switch to 3/2 rhythm for going into the next tune in the set.

Apparently this was originally Scottish, and entitled “Boban John” or “Bobbin John”. A quote from the Fiddler’s Companion:

“Williamson (1976) says: “‘Boban’ or ‘Bobbin John’… was a nickname for the Earl of Mar, a supporter of James Stuart, The Old Pretender”.

Although this is more commonly known as “Bob And Joan” where I come from, I’ve decided to change this to its original name. The history behind it is too interesting to ignore. A Google search produced this:

“On 6th September, 1715, one of the more memorable Braemar Gatherings took place when John Erskine, 24th Earl of Mar, raised the Standard for King James VIII and III on the spot now covered by the Invercauld Arms Hotel. The Earldom of Mar is one of Europe’s oldest titles, and at that time the Earl held a large area of land in Aberdeenshire. “Bobbin’ John”, the 24th Earl, however, was a politician of fickle loyalties (hence the title Bobbing) who bore a grudge after having been snubbed by George I”.

A Scottish version

And just for the record, I’ve nicked this aeolian version from the Fiddler’s Companion for easy comparison with my dorian setting and also “Lang Stayed Away”:

K:Amin
|:e2A2 A2c2 B4|e2A2 A2c2 BcdB|e2A2 A2c2 B3c|d2G2 G2d2 BcdB:|
|:c2ef g2c2 e4|c2ef g2c2 e2g2|a3f g3f e4|d2G2 G2d2 BcdB:|

Strange memory jar -

This immediately came to hand after playing this, ‘The Rocky Road to Dublin’, I started singing to ‘Bobin’ John’ first, and then:

https://thesession.org/tunes/593

Thanks for the addition Dow… I’m still wanting to learn to dance to these things…

Key?

I was taught this tune in the key of D major (I think?!?- One note up at least). I think it gives it a bit more lift and when I play the tune in the two different keys, I just don’t feel this version sounds quite finished. My version has a few diff notes, like in the first bar the rest is up a note from this version but the 3rd note is still and A. Does anybody else prefer my different key?

the butterfly

Nah…

yea! that last one is well worth checking out;
it’s a classic song and tune so it is!
heard it on a great Tannahill Weavers album (they all are)

“Bobbin’ John” / “Bobbin’ Joan” / “Bob and Joan” ~ rescued duplication

Submitted on December 1st 2009 by fiddlerdan.
~ /tunes/10069

X: 4
T: Bob And Jone
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
R:
K: Edor
|: B>G EF G2 | B>G EG FA | B>G EF G2 | F>D DG FA :|
|: G>B dc B2 | G>B dc Bd | e>d cB A2 | F>D DG FA :|

I believe this tune to be of Northumbrian origin. I learned it from the accordian playing of Robert Lunceford.

# Posted on December 1st 2009 by fiddlerdan

X: 4
T: Bob and Joan
M: 3/2
L: 1/8
R: three-two
K: Edor
|: B3G E2F2 G4 | B3G E2G2 F2A2 | B3G E2F2 G4 | F3D D2G2 F2A2 :|
|: G3B d2c2 B4 |G3B d2c2 B2d2 | e3d c2B2 A4 | F3D D2G2 F2A2 :|

X: 4

# Posted on December 1st 2009 by fiddlerdan

Re: Bobbin’ John

It seems as though this tune had made it to colonial Australia by the early 1800’s, as it’s (presumably) referenced in this amusing police report in The Sydney Gazette, 1832:

“Jeremiah Byrne, an itinerant, who is in the habit of spliting the ears of the groundlings at the two-penny hop shops on the rocks, was placed at the bar, having been taken out of one of those public nuisances at a very late hour of the night. A man named Brown to whom he is assigned, denied that he had his permission to be absent from home, and the Bench accordingly called upon him to know what he had to say for himself,

“Why may it please your Worship” said, Jeremiah Byrne, “I’m a musicianer, and I plays on the flageolet, I can play, ‘Bobbing Joan’, ‘Darby Kelly’, ‘Paddy Ward’s pig,’ or ‘Judy Callaghan’ with any musicianer in the country;” and thereupon Jeremiah Byrne placed his flageolet to his mouth, and struck up a tune that had well nigh inflicted the Cholera Morbus on all present.

“Do you call that playing?” exclaimed the constable at his elbow, snatching the instrument, “ I’ll show you how to play you imposter. What will your Honor please to have?“ His Honor however, being perfectly satisfied with the piper’s specimen, declined hearing the indignant constable’s variations, and ordered Jeremiah Byrne, as he must be pretty well tired of piping, to dance for the next seven days.“