Jenny Jones (Jennie Jo)

DESCRIPTION: "We've come to see (Miss) (Jenny/Ginnie/Jennia) (Jones/Jan), Miss Jenny Jones, Miss Jenny Jones, We've come to see... And how is she today?" Mother answers she is busy/sick/dead. The discuss what color she shall wear
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1842 (Robert Chambers, _Popular Rhymes of Scotland_, according to Opie-Game)
KEYWORDS: playparty disease courting children colors
FOUND IN: Britain(England,Scotland(Aber)) US(MA,MW,NE,SE,So) Canada(Ont) Ireland West Indies(Jamaica)
REFERENCES (15 citations):
GreigDuncan8 1597, "Georgina" (1 text)
Reeves-Circle 77, "Jinny Jan" (1 text)
Linscott, pp. 26-30, "Jennia Jones" (1 text, 1 tune)
Leyden 20, "Jenny Jo" (1 text, 1 tune)
Morris, #121, "Miss Jennie Jones" (1 text, 1 tune)
Opie-Game 58, "Jenny Jones" (4 texts, 1 tune)
Newell, #11, "Miss Jennia Jones" (1 text plus excerpts); #174, "Miss Jenny Jones" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Arnold, pp. 132-133, "Miss Jennie O. Jones" (1 text, 1 tune)
Carawan/Carawan, p. 111, "Water My Flowers" (1 text, 1 tune)
BrownSchinhanV, p. 508, "Jennie Jones" (1 short text, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: Martha Warren Beckwith and Helen Roberts, _Folk-Games of Jamaica_ (Poughkeepsie: Vassar College, 1922 ("Digitized by Internet Archive")) #36 pp. 45-46, "I Come to See Jennie" (1 text, 1 tune)
Jean Olive Heck, "Folk Poetry and Folk Criticism, as Illustrated by Cincinnati Children in Their Singing Games and Their Thoughts about These Games" in The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. XL, No. 155 (Jan 1927 (available online by JSTOR)), #7 pp. 11-12 ("We come to see Miss Jennia Jones") (1 text)
Olive Lewin, "Rock It Come Over" - The Folk Music of Jamaica (Barbados: The University of the West Indies Press, 2000), pp. 67-68, "I Come to See Janie" (1 text, 1 tune)
Olive Lewin, Forty Folk Songs of Jamaica (Washington: General Secretariat of the Organization of American States, 1973), pp. 49-51, "Come to See Janie" (1 text, 1 tune)
F.W. Waugh, "Canadian Folk-Lore from Ontario" in The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. XXXI, No. 119 (Jan 1918 (available online by JSTOR)), #633 pp. 50-51 ("We come to see Miss Jenny Ann Jones") (1 text)

Roud #1047
Janie Hunter and her children, "Water My Flowers" (BeenStorm1)
Jinny Jan
Ginny Jones
Jenny Ann Jones
We've Come to See Miss Jennie Jones
NOTES: Newell and Linscott both trace the name of this song to "Jennie Jo," a title which survives in Scotland. Linscott, whose version describes Jennia's death and is a discussion of the clothes in which she shall be buried, ends with Jennia coming to life and trying to snatch one of the audience, who then becomes her mother for the next round of the game.
Paul Stamler asks if, given the catalog of colors mentioned in the song, it might not be somehow connected with "Jenny Jenkins." I see his point, but this song feels very different somehow -- in this song, our heroine is never even seen. Sort of Jenny Jenkins meets the mother in "The Lass of Roch Royal." - RBW
Last updated in version 4.2
File: Lins026

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2017 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.