The Late Movies: Songs About Guys Named Johnny
No matter which style of music you prefer, there’s always a guy named Johnny. Whether he’s a a runaway teen, a country singer or a convict, Johnny pops up in songs all the time. Here’s six notable musical Johnnys.
Written and recorded by Bruce Springsteen, the Johnny in this song is about an auto worker who gets laid off in Mahwah, New Jersey, and shoots and kills a night clerk. He is apprehended and is sentenced to 99 years in prison
Johnny B Goode
This Johnny is a poor, but very talented country boy who plays a guitar “just like ringing a bell,” and who might one day have his “name in lights.”
Johnny Come Home
The Fine Young Cannibals released this song as part of their debut album and chronicles the story of a runaway teen named Johnny.
When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again
The lyrics to this American Civil War tune were written by Irish-American bandleader Patrick Gilmore and published under the pseudonym “Louis Lambert.” The namesake of this song is Gilmore’s future brother in-law, a Union Light Artillery Captain named John O’Rourke.
Alice Cooper’s 1978 song is about a troubled man who was “a floor moppin’ flunkie.”
Johnny, Are You Queer?
Featured in films and written by Josie Cotton, “Johnny, Are You Queer?” was most notably covered by the Go-Go’s and relays the story of a boy being questioned about his sexuality.