Hot Cross Buns

DESCRIPTION: "Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns! One a penny, two a penny, Hot cross buns! If your daughters do not like them, give them to your sons...." Else, "eat them yourselves"
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1797 (_Christmas Box_, according to Opie-Oxford2)
KEYWORDS: food commerce nonballad
FOUND IN: Britain(England,Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (6 citations):
GreigDuncan8 1686, "Hot Cross Buns" (1 text, 1 tune)
Opie-Oxford2 84, "Hot Cross Buns!" (2 texts)
Jack, p. 75, "Hot Cross Buns" (1 text)
Dolby, p. 159, "Hot Cross Buns" (1 texT)
ADDITIONAL: Enid Porter, _The Folklore of East Anglia_, Batsford, 1974, p. 59, "(no title)" (1 text)
Marjorie Rowling, _The Folklore of the Lake District_, Rowman and Littlefield, 1976, p. 112, "(Hot Cross Buns, Hot Cross Buns) (1 short text)

Roud #13029
NOTES [111 words]: Opie-Oxford2: "This was formerly a street cry, as mentioned, for instance, in Poor Robin's Almanack for 1733." - BS
As the Opies note, this began life as a street cry. But the tradition of hot cross buns at Eastertide has become so strong that it appears the piece has gone into tradition.
There is a pretty good chance the buyers' daughters (as the song says) would not like them -- because (in Sussex at least) they were often kept for the entire year, as a good luck charm, and were said to never grow moldy. Which was probably true, because they were baked very dry and hard; see Jacqueline Simpson, The Folklore of Sussex, B. T. Batsford, 1973, p. 112. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.2
File: OpOx084

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 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.