Do You Know the Muffin Man?

TITLE: Do You Know the Muffin Man?
AUTHOR: unknown
CATEGORY: traditional, public domain
KEYWORDS: playparty food commerce
EARLIEST DATE: 1837 (Hone); c.1820 (Bodleian Douce Adds. 134(8), according to Opie-Game)
HISTORICAL REFERENCES:

319px-Muffin_man_-_Project_Gutenberg_eText_20338In researching this song, I’ve found that despite its being a part of our collective subconscious, the song’s origins are quite obscure. In The Every-Day Book and Table Book, Vol. II (London, 1837), author William Hone says, “In Bath, [England] before Sally Lunas were so fashionable, … muffins were cried with a song beginning — ‘Don’t you know the muffin man! Don’t you know his name! And don’t you know the muffin man! That lives in Bridewell-lane!'” And although this quote points to the songs origins, I was consumed with the question, “What’s a Sally Luna?”. What tasty treat replaced the muffin? 

After spending a little time researching Sally Lunas I came across the following in Bread and Bread-Making by Sarah Tyson Heston Rorer (1899, Arnold and Company, Philadelphia).

Quick Breads with Baking Powder:

Sally Lunns: Scald one pint of milk; add to it two tablespoonfuls of butter; when lukewarm, add one compressed yeast cake dissolved in four tablespoons of cold water. Stir in, beating all the while, three half pint cupfuls of flour. Cover, and stand aside for three hours; separate and beat four eggs, add the yolks, then the whites, and stand again for one hour; then pour carefully into greased layer cake pans, and bake in a moderately quick oven fifteen to twenty minutes. In pouring it out be careful not to break the air bubbles in the dough, pour it as gently as possible.

The instructions continue to include baking for three-quarters of an hour and cutting as you would a sponge cake.

OTHER TITLES AND VARIATIONS:

  • Have You Seen the Muffin Man?
  • O Do You Know the Muffin Man
  • The Muffin Man

YOUTUBE VIDEO:

YOUTUBE AUDIO: download
LYRIC & CHORD PRO CHART:
download
PPT LYRICS FOR THE CLASSROOM: download
BONUS YOUTUBE VIDEO:

BONUS YOUTUBE VIDEO:

Do You Know the Muffin Man

Oh, do you know the muffin man,
The muffin man, the muffin man,
Oh, do you know the muffin man,
That lives on Drury Lane?

Oh, yes, I know the muffin man,
The muffin man, the muffin man,
Oh, yes, I know the muffin man,
That lives on Drury Lane.

Oh, we all know the muffin man,
The muffin man, the muffin man,
Oh, we all know the muffin man,
That lives on Drury Lane?

SOURCES:

  • Folk Song Index: A Comprehensive Guide to the Florence E. Brunnings Collection, Florence E. Brunnings, Garland Publishing, Inc., New York and London 1981—Amazon Books

NOTICE: I’m not the best guitar player or vocalist, but no one loves these songs more than I do. The tune and lyrics are in the public domain unless otherwise noted. The recording © copyright 2013 by Stephen Griffith and may be used by permission of the copyright holder. The variation of the song I’m posting is the version I perform and is not exactly replicating the sources cited, but is always in the same song family. If anyone has more details about this song, or believes I’ve stated something in error, please let me know. I’m also open to suggestions to improve the site. Thanks. sgg

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