My Aunt Jane

Lyrics

(Irish folk song)

My Aunt Jane, she took me in,
She gave me tea out of her wee tin.
Half a bap with sugar on the top,
Three black lumps* out of her wee shop.

My Aunt Jane, she’s awful smart,
She bakes wee rings in an apple tart.
And when Halloween comes around,
For next that tart I’m always found.

My Aunt Jane has a bell on the door,
A white stone step and a clean swept floor.
Candy apples, hard green pears,
Conversation lozenges.

My Aunt Jane, she can dance a jig,
Sing a song ‘round a sweetie pig.
Wee red eyes and a cord for a tail,
Hanging in a bunch from a crooked nail.

My Aunt Jane she never cross,
She paid five shillings for an old wooden horse.
She jumped on its back, the bones let a crack,
You’ll play the fiddle till I get back.

*”black lumps” = “aniseed balls, popular with children at the time.” (source)

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  • Song with chords, Lesson ideas for Rhythm (Quarter notes & rests, Eighth rests, Half notes), Orff arrangement, Harmony (ostinati) (PDF)
  • MIDI file
  • Listen to the song

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3 thoughts on “My Aunt Jane”

  1. My grandmother sang this to us but only the first verse. And she also said half a penny Bap. She grew up in Ireland.

  2. I’m Irish too, I grew up there. Born 1939, I well remember aniseed balls during the 1940s-1950s. But hey were dark red, not black. I think the ‘black lumps’ were more likely to have been liquorice.

    In the lyrics, the last line should be “Forninst that door I’m always found”. Forninst is a word rarely heard outside Northern Ireland, where this song originates (Belfast). It means “in front of”, as in front of the aunt’s house door. It’s opposite is “ahint”, meaning “behind”, as in “its ahint you” (behind you).

    My father used to sing me the song when I was small . . . “Brandy balls and hard green pears . . .”.

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