The ToneWay® Project: helping people play music


Frankie and Johnny

Frankie and Johnny were sweethearts
Lordy how they did love
They swore to be true to each other
as true as the stars above
He was her man
He wouldn't do her wrong

Frankie went down to the corner
To get her a bucket of beer
She said, mister bartender
has my lovin' Johnny been here
He is my man
He wouldn't do me wrong

I ain't gonna tell you no stories
I ain't gonna tell you no lies
Johnny left here 'bout an hour ago
with a gal named Nellie Bly
If he's your man
I think he's doin' you wrong

Frankie looked over the transom
And much to her surprise
There on a cot sat Johnny
making love to Nellie Bly
He was her man
But he was doin' her wrong

Frankie pulled back her kimono
Took out her big forty-four
Root-a-toot-toot that gal did shoot
right through that hardwood door
She shot her man
'Cause he was doin' her wrong

Roll out your rubber tired buggy
Roll out your rubber tired hack
She's taking her man to the graveyard
But she ain't gonna' bring him back
She shot her man
'Cause he was doin' her wrong

This story has no moral
This story has no end
This story only goes to show
That there ain't no good in a man
He was her man
But he done her wrong


A song from the The ToneWay Mountain Music Collection, which offers lyrics and free Song Clips (recordings for learning the song by ear) for nearly 400 traditional songs, many of which are often heard in bluegrass and old-time jam circles. The ToneWay Project also offers songbooks, CDs, and a free online video series for learning to play music by ear. http://ToneWay.com