Historic Sheet Music Collection


Irving Berlin

Document Type


Publication Date



As Featured by: Irving Berlin, Eddie Cantor, George Jessel, and Lew Cooper

New York: Irving Berlin Inc. (1919)

Some of these resources may contain offensive language or negative stereotypes. Such materials should be seen in the context of the time period and as a reflection of attitudes of the time. The items are part of the historical record, and do not represent the views of the library or the institution.


[Verse 1]
Johnny was bashful and shy
Nobody understood why,
Mary loved him,
All the other girls passed him by.
Ev’ry one wanted to know
How she could pick such a beau.
With a twinkle in her eye.
She made this reply.

[Chorus 1]
He’s not so good in a crowd but when you get him alone
You’d be surprised,
He isn’t much at a dance
But when he takes you home
You’d be surprised
He doesn’t look like much of a lover,
but don’t judge a book by it’s cover.
He’s got the face of an Angel but
There’s a devil in his eye.
He’s such a delicate thing but when he starts in to squeeze,
You’d be surprised,
He doesn’t look very strong but when you sit on his knee,
You’d be surprised
At a party or at a ball I’ve go to admit he’s nothing at all but in a morris chair,
You’d be surprised.

[Verse 2]
Mary continued to praise.
Johnny’s remarkable ways,
To the ladies
And you know advertising pays.
Now Johnny’s never alone
He has the busiest phone
Almost ev’ry other day.
A new girl will say.

[Chorus 2]
He’s not so good in the house but on a bench in the park
You’d be surprised,
He isn’t much in the light but when he gets in the dark
You’d be surprised
I know he looks as slow as the Erie
But you don’t know the half of it dearie
He looks as cold as an Eskimo
But there’s a fire in his eyes
He doesn’t say very much but when he starts in to speak
You’d be surprised,
He’s not so good at the start but at the end of a week
You’d be surprised
On a streetcar or in a train
You’ think he was born without any brain, but in a taxi cab,
You’d be surprised


The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.