Jenny Jenkins

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
EARLIEST DATE: 1823
KEYWORDS: dancing questions courting rejection clothes colors
FOUND IN: US(Ap,NE,Ro,SE,So)
REFERENCES (19 citations):
Randolph 453, "I'll Never Wear the Red Any More" (1 fragment, related to if not part of this song)
BrownIII 69, "Jennie Jenkins" (2 texts plus 1 excerpt and mention of 1 more)
BrownSchinhanV 69, "Jennie Jenkins" (3 tunes plus text excerpts)
JonesLunsford, pp. 240-241, "Jennie Jenkins" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hubbard, #76, "Jenny Jenkins" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-Singing, pp. 129-130, "Jennie Jenkins" (1 text, 1 tune)
Flanders/Brown, pp. 164-167, "Jennie Jenkins," "Jane Jenkins" (2 texts plus some odds and ends, 1 tune; one of the texts is from the Green Mountain Songster)
Linscott, pp. 299-300, "Will You Wear the Red? or Jennie Jenkins" (1 text, 1 tune)
SharpAp 260, "Will You Wear Red?" (1 text, 1 tune)
Boswell/Wolfe 39, pp. 69-71, "Jilly Jenkins" (1 text, 1 tune)
Owens-1ed, pp. 206-207, "Jenny Jenkins" (1 text, 1 tune)
Owens-2ed, pp. 118-119, "Jenny Jenkins" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-FSUSA 15, "Jennie Jenkins" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sharp/Karpeles-80E 65, "Will You Wear Red?" (1 text, 1 tune)
Opie-Game 58, p. 259, "(Jennie Jenkins)" (1 fragment)
Scott-BoA, pp. 48-49, "Jenny Jenkins" (1 text, 1 tune)
Arnett, p. 11, "Jenny Jenkins" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 346, "Jenny Jenkins" (1 text)
DT, JJENKINS JJENKIN2

Roud #731
RECORDINGS:
E. C. & Orna Ball, "Jennie Jenkins" (AFS 8, 1941; on LC02 [the latter listed as by Mr & Mrs. Estil C. Ball])
Warde Ford, "Jinnie Jenkins" (AFS 4198 B4, 1938; tr.; in AMMEM/Cowell)
Bascom Lamar Lunsford, "Jinnie Jenkins" (on BLLunsford02)
Margaret MacArthur, "Jenny Jenkins" (on MMacArthur01)
New Lost City Ramblers, "Jennie Jenkins" (on NLCR10)
Frank Proffitt, "Julie Jenkins" (on Proffitt03)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Hey Bonnie May, wi' Yer True Lovers Gay" (theme)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Jillie Jenkins
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
Last updated in version 4.1
File: R453

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