Little Johnny Brown


(American folk song, Georgia Sea Islands)

Little Johnny Brown,
Lay your comfort down,
Little Johnny Brown,
Lay your comfort down.

Fold down the corner,
Johnny Brown*,
Fold another corner, Johnny Brown.
Fold another corner, Johnny Brown (repeat)
Take it to a friend, Johnny Brown (repeat)
Show them a motion, Johnny Brown (repeat)
Lope like a buzzard, Johnny Brown (repeat)
Give it to your friend, Johnny Brown (repeat)

Each Call is the instruction, and each Response is “Johnny Brown.”


Formation: Students stand in a circle, one student (“It”) stands in the middle.

“It” walks around the middle of the circle, then puts a handkerchief on the ground. “It” sings the “Call” while turning down one corner of the handkerchief at a time.
“Show them a motion” = “It” goes over to a person in the circle (with handkerchief in hand) and does a motion (optional: Other student can imitate the motion.)
“Lope like a buzzard” = Both of those students can fly like a bird around the circle or make those motions in place.
“Give it to your friend” = “It” gives the handkerchief to the other person, who becomes the “It” as the game begins again.

See also


  • Song with chords (PDF)
  • MIDI file
  • Listen to the song
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