Frankie and Johnny WPA poster

“The Federal Dance Project frequently looked to folk music for inspiration. The ballet Frankie and Johnny was inspired by the blues song of the same name and told the story of love, betrayal, and murder. American Pattern described the difficult choices faced by a modern woman dissatisfied with her conventional life. Both programs sought to appeal to audiences unfamiliar with classical ballet.”

Grabbed from the National Archives’ website here– I must visit the National Archives before I let slip this mortal coil.

Frankie and Johnny was a song that I learned in summer camp and have loved ever since. Here are the memorable final lines:

Now, bring round your ruber-tired buggy
And bring round your rubber-tired hack
I’m taking my man to the graveyward
I ain’t gonna bring him back
He was my man, but he done me wrong
Well this story has no moral
And this story has got no end
Well the story just goes to show you women
That there ain’t no good in men
He was her man, but he done her wrong


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