As I rejoice in the seasonal reappearance of hot cross buns in shops – I suddenly wondered today if they were part of the first advertising campaign?
Here in the UK, there is a familiar childhood song
“Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns! One a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns! Give them to your daughters, give them to your sons – one a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns!”
(There seems to be an interesting flexibility about pricing there, which I don’t think Lord Alan Sugar would care for, if manifested in a wouldbe apprentice).
Was it an early jingle? Well, it was a street cry or vendor’s hawking cry – very likely a variation based on one recorded in 1733 (in “Poor Robin’s Almanac”). According to Wikipedia (you can see how deep this research has gone) the recorded cry was: “Good Friday comes this month, the old woman runs. With one or two a penny hot cross buns”.
Maybe it’s time to seek out a family tree for that old woman, I’ve a feeling I’ll be in a branch of it. Mmm.