Johnny Todd is an English Folk Song which may have originated in Liverpool, where it was sung by children to accompany skipping games. It was discovered by folk musicologist Frank Kidson and included in one of his Collections of Folk Songs, though other versions of the song were also discovered in other parts of Britain and documented in other Collections so its precise origins are uncertain. What is certain is that the song was known to musician Fritz Spiegl (1926-2003) and his first wife composer Bridget Fry. Together they arranged the melody as the theme for "Z-Cars" a BBC series set in Merseyside, first broadcast in 1962 and set to become a long-running police drama. Their arrangement was characterised by the sound of an Ulster-style "Fife and Drum" Marching Band, and Spiegl conducted the TV arrangement used on the Z-Cars series. The theme was also recorded in 1962 by the Scottish-born songwriter/arranger John Keating (1927-2015) and his Orchestra, and this recording also achieved high sales. The Z-Cars Theme became very popular and recognisable to TV audiences in the 1960s and 1970s, and was frequently referenced on other entertainment shows. Spiegl was born in Austria but left the country as a war refugee and later settled in Liverpool where he became principal flautist with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Fry and Spiegl also composed and arranged the themes for two follow-on TV series called "Softly Softly" and "Softly Softly: Task Force". The song Johnny Todd is also used as an anthem by the football club Everton and has been sung by fans of various other clubs.
This piano arrangement (including guitar chords) by Jim Paterson has two verses with slightly different arrangements, each of which can be played or repeated ad lib. You can download the sheet music, midi file and mp3 file for personal use.