Literature Study GuidesJohnny Got His GunThe Song That Gave The Novel Its Title

Johnny Got His Gun | Study Guide

Dalton Trumbo

Get the eBook on Amazon to study offline.

Buy on Amazon Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "Johnny Got His Gun Study Guide." Course Hero. 1 Mar. 2019. Web. 22 Sep. 2023. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2019, March 1). Johnny Got His Gun Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved September 22, 2023, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2019)



Course Hero. "Johnny Got His Gun Study Guide." March 1, 2019. Accessed September 22, 2023.


Course Hero, "Johnny Got His Gun Study Guide," March 1, 2019, accessed September 22, 2023,

Johnny Got His Gun | The Song That Gave the Novel its Title


The title Johnny Got His Gun corrupts a lyric from the popular 1917 George M. Cohan song "Over There," which urged American men to join World War I by invoking patriotic and idealistic words. By changing the tense of the lyric from "Johnny get your gun" to "Johnny got his gun," Trumbo shows the consequences of the song's foolishly optimistic rush to war.

The following is an excerpt:

Johnny get your gun, get your gun, get your gun. / Take it on the run, on the run, on the run. / Hear them calling you and me, / Every son of liberty. / Hurry right away, no delay, go today. / Make your Daddy glad to have had such a lad. / Tell your sweetheart not to pine, / To be proud her boy's in line. / Johnny get your gun, get your gun, get your gun. / Johnny show the Hun you're a son of a gun. / Hoist the flag and let her fly, / Yankee Doodle do or die. / Pack your little kit, show your grit, do your bit / Yankee to the ranks from the town and the tanks. / Make your Mother proud of you, / And the old red-white-and-blue.
Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about Johnny Got His Gun? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!