Early early early advertising

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?  IMG_2381.JPG

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.



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