“Jumpin' Judy”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1933
Keywords: prison hardtimes
Found in: US(Ap)


"Jumpin Judy, Jumpin Judy (x3) Was a mighty fine gal (or: All over this world)" The singer describes prison life, and the hope for escape. He hopes the guards will stop abusing him.


The version of this song in _Folk Songs of North America_ looks like a version of "The Midnight Special"; that in _American Ballads and Folk Songs_ rather resembles "Take This Hammer." Lead Belly sang a version which seems unrelated to either. I leave it to the reader to draw conclusions about the Lomax texts. - RBW

Cross references


  1. Lomax-FSNA 289, "Jumpin' Judy" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Lomax-ABFS, pp. 82-84, "Jumpin' Judy" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Roud #6712
  5. BI, LoF289