Does Anyone Know the Rhyme, “As I was crossing humber-jumber janey”?

Terry Haun wrote asking for info about a rhyme:

My Grandmother sang a rhyme when she was a child (early 1900’s) and taught it to me and I taught it to my children. Although we have no idea where it came from, as she did not remember. Her great-grandfather was from England and came over around 1849 and I often wonder if it came from there.

As I was crossing humber-jumber janey
I met a rin-a-ma-jig stealing my kapaney,

If I’d a had my rit-ma-tit-ma-tat-ma-taney
I’d of surely shot that rin-a-ma-jig for stealing my kapaney.


As I was crossing London Bridge
I met a thief stealing my pony.

If I’d a had my rifle,
I’d of surely shot that thief for stealing my pony.

I’ve often wondered if anyone else has ever heard this…. or where it originated.

If anyone knows this rhyme or if you know anything about it, please let us know in the comments below.

Thanks in advance!

Mama Lisa


This article was posted on Thursday, January 18th, 2018 at 8:20 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, England, English, Languages, Mama Lisa, Nursery Rhymes, Questions, USA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

2 Responses to “Does Anyone Know the Rhyme, “As I was crossing humber-jumber janey”?”

  1. Colin Barnes Says:


    I remember my Aunt singing this song. It went to a Scottish dance tune called “The Frisky”. There a a couple of videos of the tune on youtube (search for “the frisky jig”) but I can’t find any with the words.

  2. Garry Greene Says:

    I am 63 years old and my Grandfather in Tennessee taught this to me when I was a small boy. The words were slightly different but mostly the same. I taught it to my Children and my Grandchildren.
    Thanks for the great memory.

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