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John Dough


Come gather 'round, ye little kids,
And listen unto me;
I'll tell you the interesting tale,
Of how I come to be,
For I am the man you've heard of oft,
But none of you may know,
I'm the man that the law
Has a warrant out for,
The original John Dough.

John Dough, John Dough,
They are looking for me high and low,
I'm wanted for that,
I'm wanted for this,
For any old thing that has gone amiss,
You know, John Dough,
I am second cousin to Richard Roe,
In "Do, Re, Me"
You plainly see
The original John Dough.

John Dough, John Dough . . .

I have been done brown a dozen times,
I do not care a rap,
Though kids on me commit all crimes,
My life's a gingersnap,
They've hung me in a window, marked
A penny each a throw,
And the girls on the street
Say I'm just fit to eat,
The original John Dough.

John Dough, John Dough . . .

A little boy buys me with a cent,
To his innocent delight,
And removes an arm or leg or two,
With a quick decisive bite,
As down his throat I gently float,
How can that hopeful know,
Unless he is told,
That he's stowed in his hold
The original John Dough.

John Dough, John Dough . . .

Tiger Tunes
John Dough

From the 1905 Broadway Musical
The Gingerbread Man
Music by A. Baldwin Sloane
Words by Frederic Ranken

Learn more about The Gingerbread Man

L. Frank Baum's John Dough and the Cherub was published in 1906. Baum almost certainly planned for the book to serve as the basis of a musical Extravaganza. It had a great comic lead in the title character, the Cherub would provide an androgynous trouser-role, and Para Bruin, the rubber bear, was a perfect role for an animal impersonator.

Alas, someone beat Baum to Broadway! The musical, The Gingerbread Man, opened on Broadway in 1905--the year before Baum's book was published. The musical featured a live Gingerbread Man named John Dough. The show also featured King Bun, and Sallie Lunn, characters coincidentally foreshadowing Baum's Bunbury town in Oz. Even more coincidentally, W. W. Denslow and John W. Bratton's 1905 musical The Pearl and the Pumpkin featured a song called "Who Makes the Finest Gingerbread?" sung by none other than a character named John Doe! This time Mr. Doe is the Baker not the baked. But he did have a sidekick named Jimmy Gingerbread!

It's hard to say whose John Dough was created first. To add fuel to the speculation it is worth pointing out that Baum and Sloane collaborated on some songs for the 1903 Wizard of Oz. It is not known if they ever discussed ideas for new projects (such as a musical featuring a live Gingerbread Man named John Dough). Baum always insisted that his was "the original John dough." But then Frederic Ranken the lyricist says the same thing in the song!

So, here is "John Dough" the song from The Gingerbread Man the Musical. You can download or play a MIDI of this delightfully catchy number; or you can download the sheet music in PDF format which will allow you to save it on disc or print copies for yourself.

Orchestration copyright 2001 James Patrick Doyle

View sheet music as a PDF View/Save a PDF of the Sheet Music Listen to the Orchestral MIDI for the song Listen/Save the MIDI

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