Little Orphant Annie – Poem with an MP3 Recording

orphant_annieLittle Orphant Annie is a poem written by James Whitcomb Riley in 1885.  The language is a little different from standard English because it was written in the Hoosier dialect of Indiana.

You can find the poem below with two different mp3 recordings.  The first recording is more emotive, while the 2nd is very clear to understand.  You can choose which you prefer to listen to.

MP3 of Little Orphant Annie

2nd MP3 of Little Orphant Annie

Little Orphant Annie

Little Orphant Annie’s come to our house to stay,
An’ wash the cups an’ saucers up, an’ brush the crumbs away,
An’ shoo the chickens off the porch, an’ dust the hearth, an’ sweep,
An’ make the fire, an’ bake the bread, an’ earn her board-an’-keep;
An’ all us other childern, when the supper-things is done,
We set around the kitchen fire an’ has the mostest fun annie_stories
A-list’nin’ to the witch-tales ‘at Annie tells about,
An’ the Gobble-uns ‘at gits you
Ef you
Wunst they wuz a little boy wouldn’t say his prayers,–
An’ when he went to bed at night, away up-stairs,
His Mammy heerd him holler, an’ his Daddy heerd him bawl,
An’ when they turn’t the kivvers down, he wuzn’t there at all!
An’ they seeked him in the rafter-room, an’ cubby-hole, an’ press,
An’ seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an’ ever’-wheres, I guess;
But all they ever found wuz thist his pants an’ roundabout:–
An’ the Gobble-uns ‘ll git you
Ef you
An’ one time a little girl ‘ud allus laugh an’ grin, orphant_annie2
An’ make fun of ever’ one, an’ all her blood-an’-kin;
An’ wunst, when they was "company," an’ ole folks wuz there,
She mocked ’em an’ shocked ’em, an’ said she didn’t care!
An’ thist as she kicked her heels, an’ turn’t to run an’ hide,
They wuz two great big Black Things a-standin’ by her side,
An’ they snatched her through the ceilin’ ‘fore she knowed what she’s about!
An’ the Gobble-uns ‘ll git you
Ef you
An’ little Orphant Annie says, when the blaze is blue,
An’ the lamp-wick sputters, an’ the wind goes woo-oo!
An’ you hear the crickets quit, an’ the moon is gray,
An’ the lightnin’-bugs in dew is all squenched away,–
You better mind yer parunts, an’ yer teachurs fond an’ dear,
An’ churish them ‘at loves you, an’ dry the orphant’s tear,
An’ he’p the pore an’ needy ones ‘at clusters all about,
Er the Gobble-uns ‘ll git you
Ef you


1st Recording by Chris Jones
2nd Recording by Matthew Reece

The moral of the poem is for children to be good and to help those less fortunate.

This article was posted on Friday, June 14th, 2013 at 4:04 pm and is filed under Mama Lisa. 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 “Little Orphant Annie – Poem with an MP3 Recording”

  1. Deb Well Says:

    Thank you for your website. I have had an enjoyable time looking around. I came here after I googled Lttle Orphant Annie. I was reminiscing about the late 1950’s when my grade-school grandmother used to read this poem to me. I needed to see it again. Thanks!

  2. Michael Case Says:

    My parents and grandmother scared me with this. Now at age 65 I am dealing with PTSD and infantile guilt. I am afraid every day day that if I don’t do right I will be taken taken by ‘two great big black things’. Not funny, dear parents. It’s easy to torture the helpless for your own amusement, but it’s wrong.

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