The ToneWay® Project: helping people play music


Johnson Boys [core]

Johnson boys, raised in the ashes
didn't know how to court a (5) maid
1 Turn their backs and hide their faces
(4) Sight of a pretty girl 5 makes 'em afraid

Refrain: 1 Sight of a pretty girl makes 'em afraid
Sight of a pretty girl 4 makes 'em 1 afraid
Sight of a pretty girl makes 'em afraid
Sight of a pretty girl 4 makes 'em 1 afraid

Johnson boys, went a-huntin'
Took two dogs and went astray
Tore their clothes and scratched their faces
Didn't come home till the break of day,...

Johnson boys, went a-courtin'
Coon Creek girls so pretty and sweet
They couldn't make no conversation
Didn't know where to put their feet,...

Johnson boys, went to the mountains
Johnson boys didn't mean to stay
They come back broke and hungry
Had no money for to pay their way,...

Johnson boys'll never get married
They'll stay single all their life
They're too scared to pop the question
Ain't no woman gonna be their wife,...

Johnson boys, getting mighty sassy
Johnson boys, think they're men
Comb their hair and wash their faces
Look pretty good for the shape they're in,...

Johnson boys, play your fiddle
Johnson boys, sing your song
Johnson boys, hug in the middle
Hug in the middle and you can't go wrong,...

Available in these books:

Get Started Plus:
Core Songs Edition
100 songs and our acclaimed play-by-ear learning method.
Big Print Songs
Over 200 songs.
Family Tradition
The reference manual, with lyrics to 330 songs.
The first two books feature large-print lyrics (20-point type) and include chords, historical info, jamming hints, and more.

...and on these CDs:

Five CDs, 100 songs. Recordings from the Abbott family and their friends.
Listen to sample tracks.

The MP3 collection has all 100 songs on one CD for a discount. See details.


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