Frankie and Johnny BY THOMAS BENTON
Frankie and Johnny the ballad that has given so many people with submerged of
fun on convivial evenings, began to evolve in the midnineteenth century,
and has been evolving ever since. It has less than a dozen absolutely
traditional verses, and scores of extras that vary from locality to locality .
For the purposes of Bentons Lithograph it is only necessary to know that
Frankie and Johnny were Lovers …but he done her wrong .
For the purposes of Benton’s lithograph, it is only necessary to know
Frankie and Johnny were lovers … but he done her wrong.”
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The thrilling drama of revenge runs its inevitable course, rising to a climax in the verses:
“Frankie went to the Dance Hall,she rang the Dance Hall Bell
She said Clear out you people,I’m going to blow this man to Hell : He was my Man and He done me Wrong
Frankie Shot Johnny the first time ;Frankie Shot Johnny Twice
Frankie shot Johnny the third time ,and she took that Gamblers Life
He was her man ,but he done her wrong”
Benton has devoted one of his most vigorous Lithographs to this catastrophe
It throbs with action and Melodrama
Primarily,it is exciting ,which it is meant to be.