“I'm My Own Grandpa”


Singer marries a pretty widow; his father marries her red-haired daughter. By tortuous logic, the singer explains that this makes him his own grandfather. Chorus: "I'm my own grandpa...It seems funny, I know/But it really is so/I'm my own grandpa"


This is included because it seems to have begun passing into oral tradition [or at least universal folklore - RBW] -- certainly it appears often enough on the internet (in geneology sites!) without attribution. The song is based on a short story by Mark Twain. - PJS

To make matters even more complicated, Fiddlin' John Carson's song "Papa's Billy Goat" (a version of what we index by its "urban" name of "Bill Grogan's Goat"), first recorded in 1923, concludes with this verse:

Then I acted an old fool, married me a widow,

And the widow had a daughter and her name was Maude;

Father being a widower married her daughter,

And now my daddy is my own son-in-law.

Obviously that isn't the whole burden of "I'm My Own Grandpa," but it's getting there, and Carson's version was popular enough that he was asked to re-record it twice. - RBW

Incidentally, Robert A. Heinlein eventually went this one better, and produced a story in which (by means of time travel and gender surgery) the main character became his own mother. And father. And, hence, grandmother and grandfather and.... (Wouldn't cloning have been easier?)

Not too surprisingly, that story ("All You Zombies," from 1959) mentions this song. It is, incidentally, the next-to-last short story Heinlein ever wrote (the last being "Searchlight," from 1962), and the last not associated with his "Future History" series. - RBW


  • Grandpa Jones, "I'm My Own Grandpa" (King 694, 1948)
  • Korn Kobblers, "I'm My Own Grandpaw" (MGM 10136, 1948)
  • Lonzo & Oscar, "I'm My Own Grandpa" (RCA Victor 20-2563, 1947)


  2. Roud #10444
  3. BI, DTowngrn


Author: Dwight Latham & Moe Jaffe
Earliest date: 1948 (recordings, Grandpa Jones, Korn Kobblers); reportedly copyright 1947
Found in: US