Is there anyone who doesn’t know the rhyme Johny Johny, Yes Papa? We think not. It’s super popular around the world. Kids love to sing it aloud. It’s often among the top three rhymes kids recite when you ask them to.
But do you know when and how the nursery rhyme came into existence? Who wrote it? Are there any other versions of the rhyme? And what is the Indian connection to Johny Johny, Yes Papa?
We got answers to these questions and more. Continue reading to get details about the origins and backstory of the nursery rhyme.
Open your mouth
Ha ha ha!
Download the printable PDF with lyrics of Johny Johny, Yes Papa. Click here.
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Watch this adorable animated modern version of the rhyme:
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Origins and History
Johny Johny, Yes Papa is a highly popular English rhyme that follows the same melody as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. However, the origins of the rhyme are sketchy and confusing. There is no information about who wrote the rhyme or which country it belongs to. It’s said that the rhyme originated something in the early 20th century.
While a few people say that it might have come from India, there is no clear evidence for it. There are records of the rhyme being sung in 1980 in Kenya. Francelia Butler, an American scholar and writer of children’s literature, mentioned this piece of information in her book in 1989. Many of us and our parents heard the rhyme when we were young. Though the original dates are unknown, people consider the rhyme to be in the public domain.
In fact, Vinoth Chandar, the CEO of ChuChu TV (Indian YouTube Network for kids), said that the rhyme has achieved public domain status in 2018 (according to Indian copyright laws). Of course, we have been singing and reproducing it for years before this date. For example, the Indian commercial for the 5 Star chocolate brand used the rhyme in 2007.
Searching the web will give you endless versions of animated videos of the rhyme. Some creators have extended the lyrics. Some replaced sugar with candies, chocolate, ice creams, etc.
Johny Johny, Yes Papa became an internet meme in 2018. Billion Surprise Toys, an Indian YouTube channel, shared a video with ‘Johny and his daddy’ dancing popular moves like the Gangnam style. The video remixed the lyrics with the melody of the Baby Shark song.
Yes. Jeanne Mas recorded a single album with the title Johnny, Johnny in 1985. The song became a hit in France.
The rhyme talks about how kids lie when they get caught doing something they shouldn’t. It shows that the lie is exposed sooner or later.