Monday, August 5, 2013

Jenny Jenkins (folk song) with lyrics & video

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part III of a four part series that presents examples of and source songs/rhymes for the African American children's rhyme "Aunt Jenny Died" (or alternative titles).

This post presents information about and a text example of the song "Jenhy Jenkins". (or related titles). A video of that song is also included in this post.

Click for Part I of this post.
Part I presents examples of & information about the African American American playground rhyme "Aunt Jenny Died" (or variant titles).

Click for Part II of this series.
Part II of this series provides examples of the song "Jenny Jones" and versions of that folk song. for Part II of that series.


Part IV of this seriess provides an example of the Jamaican song "Come To See Janie".

The content of this post is presented for folkloric, recreational, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Editor's note:
The only relationship between the song "Jenny Jenkins" and "Aunt Jenny Died" is the fact that both of that song & that rhyme are derived from -or at least related to the song "Jenny Jones"- and both of those compositions feature the female name "Jenny".

It's also my position that the Jamaican folk song song "Come To See Janie" is a variant form of the Welsh (and Scottish, English) song "Jenny Jones" and might have been the direct source of the African American "Aunt Jenny Died" playground rhyme.


DESCRIPTION: The young man/men try to invite Jenny to the dance by asking her what color she will wear: "Will you wear the (red), O ne'er, o ne'er, o, Will you wear the red, Jenny Jenkins?" She objects to most colors, but at last may agree to one of them
AUTHOR: unknown
KEYWORDS: dancing questions courting rejection clothes colors

... NOTES: Often used as a courting game. The boy will ask the girl if she will wear a particular color. She is required to answer in rhyme (e.g. "Will you wear the blue... No, I won't wear the blue, for the color isn't true"). If she fails, she must kiss the boy or, perhaps, go to the dance with him.
This has been known to produce some rather strange rhymes -- "I won't wear purple; it's the color of a turtle"; "Orange I won't wear -- and it rhymes, so there!" "Oh, what do you care If I just go bare?" - RBW

Opie-Games: "And at some time, long ago, a song-writer in America turned it ['Jenny Jones'] into the song 'Jennie Jenkins.'" - BS
This is of course possible; certainly "Jenny Jenkins" appears to be primarily if not exclusively American. But given that "Jenny Jenkins" is attested at least as early as "Jenny Jones," I don't think we can be absolutely assured that the dependence is in the direction given. - RBW"
"The first song begins with a traditional fiddle tune known as "Jennie Jenkins." One source notes that the earliest mention of this song was by an old Revolutionary War soldier in a publication from 1823. The lyrics to this tune describe how a young man invites Jennie Jenkins to a dance by asking her over and over what color she will wear.

Will you wear white, oh my dear, oh my dear
Oh will you wear white, Jennie Jenkins?
I won't wear white
For the color's too bright."

In the end, Jennie finally does agree to accompany her suitor to the dance

(traditional / Public Domain)
Oh, will you wear blue, oh my dear, oh my dear?
Will you wear blue, Jenny Jenkins?
"No, I won't wear blue, 'cause it wouldn't match my shoe
I'll buy me a
Roll, Jenny Jenkins, roll!
[For additional verses, substitute other colors and rhyming phrases for the underlined words]
(Final Verse:)
So, what will you wear, oh my dear, oh my dear?
What will you wear, Jenny Jenkins?
"I'll just go bare, with a ribbon in my hair!
I'll buy me a
Roll, Jenny Jenkins, roll!
[Smart-alec kid: "But what color ribbon will you wear?"]
Lyr Req: Jenny Jenkins; Hat tip to masato sakurai for posting this example & three additional example.


Lisa Loeb "Jenny Jenkins" Music Video

lisaloebofficial,Uploaded on Feb 20, 2008

Lisa Loeb's music video for "Jenny Jenkins," which was a non-album single released in 2007.

This completes Part III of this series.

Thanks to all those who I have quoted in this post. Thanks also to the performer in the featured video and to the publisher of that video on YouTube.

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

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