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
KEYWORDS: dancing questions courting rejection clothes colors
REFERENCES (28 citations):
Randolph 453, "I'll Never Wear the Red Any More" (1 fragment, related to if not part of this song)
McNeil-SouthernMountainFolksong, pp. 132-135, "Jennie Jenkins" (1 text, 1 tune)
Arnold-FolkSongsofAlabama, p. 85, "Jenny Jane" (1 text, 1 tune)
Browne-AlabamaFolkLyric 165, "Jennie Jenkins" (3 texts plus mention of 1 more, 1 tune)
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore3 69, "Jennie Jenkins" (2 texts plus 1 excerpt and mention of 1 more)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore5 69, "Jennie Jenkins" (3 tunes plus text excerpts)
Lunsford/Stringfield-30And1FolkSongsFromSouthernMountains, pp. 18-19, "Jinnie Jinkins" (1 text, 1 tune)
Jones-MinstrelOfTheAppalachians-Bascom-Lamar-Lunsford, pp. 240-241, "Jennie Jenkins" (1 text, 1 tune)
Burton/Manning-EastTennesseeStateCollectionVol2, p. 43, "Rover Jenny Jenkins" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hubbard-BalladsAndSongsFromUtah, #76, "Jenny Jenkins" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax/Lomax-OurSingingCountry, pp. 129-130, "Jennie Jenkins" (1 text, 1 tune)
Flanders/Brown-VermontFolkSongsAndBallads, 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-FolkSongsOfOldNewEngland, pp. 299-300, "Will You Wear the Red? or Jennie Jenkins" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sharp-EnglishFolkSongsFromSouthernAppalachians 260, "Will You Wear Red?" (1 text, 1 tune)
Wolfe/Boswell-FolkSongsOfMiddleTennessee 39, pp. 69-71, "Jilly Jenkins" (1 text, 1 tune)
Owens-TexasFolkSongs-1ed, pp. 206-207, "Jenny Jenkins" (1 text, 1 tune)
Owens-TexasFolkSongs-2ed, pp. 118-119, "Jenny Jenkins" (1 text, 1 tune)
Abernethy-SinginTexas, pp. 16-18, "Jennie Jenkins" (1 text, 1 tune, plus some verses from "Jenny Jones (Jennie Jo)" or some such)
Lomax/Lomax-FolkSongUSA 15, "Jennie Jenkins" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sharp/Karpeles-EightyEnglishFolkSongs 65, "Will You Wear Red?" (1 text, 1 tune)
Opie/Opie-TheSingingGame 58, p. 259, "(Jennie Jenkins)" (1 fragment)
Scott-TheBalladOfAmerica, pp. 48-49, "Jenny Jenkins" (1 text, 1 tune)
Arnett-IHearAmericaSinging, p. 11, "Jenny Jenkins" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 346, "Jenny Jenkins" (1 text)
Tobitt-TheDittyBag, p. 37, "Jennie Jenkins" (1 text, 1 tune)
GirlScout-PocketSongbook, "Jennie Jenkins" (1 text, 1 tune)
OneTuneMore, p. 39, "Jennie Jenkins" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #731
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" (Folkways FP 40, c. 1952) (on BLLunsford02)
Margaret MacArthur, "Jenny Jenkins" (on MMacArthur01)
New Lost City Ramblers, "Jennie Jenkins" (on NLCR10)
Frank Proffitt, "Julie Jenkins" (on Proffitt03)

cf. "Hey Bonnie May, wi' Yer True Lovers Gay" (theme)
Jillie Jenkins
NOTES [154 words]: 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/Opie-TheSingingGames: "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 6.3
File: R453

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