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Poem Number 967
Little Orphan Annie's come to our house to stay
To wash the cup and saucers up, and brush the crumb away
To shoo the chickens off the porch
And dust the heart and sweep
And make the fire, and bake the bread, and earn her board and keep
And all us other children when the supper things is done
We sit around the kitchen fire an has the mostest fun
and listenin to the witch tales that annie tells about
And the goblind will getchya if you dont watch out
nice! ...but aven't i read this som'eres before?
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yeap...i thought so!
James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916)
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
A-list'nin' to the witch-tales 'at Annie tells about,
An' the Gobble-uns 'at gits you
Onc't they was a little boy wouldn't say his prayers,--
So 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 wasn'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 was thist his pants an' roundabout--
An' the Gobble-uns'll git you
An' one time a little girl 'ud allus laugh an' grin,
An' make fun of ever'one, an' all her blood an' kin;
An' onc't, when they was "company," an' ole folks was 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 was 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
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 parents, an' yer teachers 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
Whats your name?
I got paid fifty cents for memorizing this when I was little. I recite it every Halloween, just to make sure I haven't forgotten it, but I always forget a lot of it!! And its always fun to relearn it. Now I tell it to my neices and nephews on summer nights at the family re-onion.
Other poems of his are just as wonderful, Raggedy-Man, etc.
I got extra credit in Jr. High English for memorizing this poem. Anyone know who the author is?
I believe this was actually written by Alfred Lord Tennyson. But I'm not sure.
I read this over 60 years ago in a Collier's Junior Classics volume of poetry. So delighted to find the whole poem again...it was a favorite then. Wish someone could confirm the author.
The author is James Whitcomb Riley. I remember loving this poem as a little girl. I memorized it and can still recite most of it.
My grandfather would tell this poem to us when we were very little....its my fondest memory of him.
One of my favorite recitations from childhood. I can still recite all but the last verse. Thanks for the last verse and thanks to you, Annie Miller, for my introducing me to the "Little Orphan".
I was raised in my grandparents home. In my early childhood -- almost 70 years ago -- my grandmother recited poems instead of making up stories to tell me -- Little Orphan Annie was one of my favorites.
My youngest aunt was more like a big sister to me . . . and she was the storyteller. One of her principal characters was Witch Woozie. Witch Woozie lived with her underlings (called molecules) in the black smoke that came from the steam locomotives that passed on the track near our house. I could almost make out the form of that witch in the engine's smoke.
I remember having to learn this poem at school when we had a speech competition between all the classes and our whole class had to recite it. I've never forgotten it and my children used to love to hear me recite it to them. They remember it well, in fact only recently one of my daughters wanted me to type it out so that she could read it to her children. A wonderful poem which can be said with such a lot of feeling. Brilliant memories. Thenk you for rekindling them.
This is one of my grandmothers favorite poems from her childhood. She shared it with me, along with others, but his one is a favored one. Brings back very fond memories of my childhood and my grandmother.
John E Armstrong
I am so happy to finally have found this favorite poem of mine. I'm almost 60 and recite it to my grandchildren all the time but didn't quite have the last few sentences or who the author was. My teacher Mrs Munter told it to our class and it's one of the few things I could remember after all these years. Now I can finally write it down CORRECTLY for them to keep. Dixie
My Mom and I were just remembering how much I loved this poem as a little girl, I am going to print it out and make sure we keep the tradition going-Francki
My mother used to recite this to me many times. She remembered it from her childhood.
'twas one of my favorite ones too! JWR was poet Lauriiet of Indiana I believe. Learned this in grade school in milwaukee and it was so wonderfully scarey for little ones our whole class was enchanted when it was read to us!!!
I learned it at home at a very early age. We traveled a lot in the 1930s, and we once went to see Riley's home in Greenfield, Indiana. My mother made it a point to show me the rafter room (attic) and the cubbyhole (probably a closet). The dialect of children of that age is priceless. I have a 78 rpm recording of Riley reading a verse or two of the poem. He also wrote many poems which are in an anthology of his work.
My sister and I were looking for this poem that she used to recite to me when I was little... it was in book of children's stories and poems. Thank you so much!
Susan Johnson Privette
I loved this growing up and at 24 years old I still absolutely love it! When I was younger my mom read it tomy sister and I. My sister would get scared but I would ask her to read out every night! I used to recite it to my godson when he was a baby but never could for the life of me remember end last verse.
My Grandmother used to tell me this at bedtime!! And I loved it, I'm now 64. She has been gone
many years, had asked my mother but she couldn't remember it either. My grandchildren are
all over 18 now, but maybe the will humor me and let me read it to them one time What fun.
I used to quote this to my Dad -- along with many others.
He loved poetry.
May I add some more lines?
The author of the poem is James Whitcomb Riley, and you can visit his boyhood home in Greenfield, Indiana where the rafter room, cubby hole and press are located. Little Orphant Annie was really an Orphant Allie as in Mary Alice Smith. The poem was originally entitled the Elf Child with Orphant Allie, but in a later edition a typesetter misread the handwriting and changed the Allie to Annie. Riley complained but his publisher said the edition was selling well and to leave it. Ho to: www.jwrileyhome.org or visit our Facebook page at www.facebook/jameswhitcombrileyboyhoodhome.com. You can also find out more about Little Orphant Annie at www.facebook/orphananniesauthor.com
My mother who is now 76, was (and still is) quite the hoot when in grammar school. She was raised along side her 7 brothers and found herself in trouble with the teacher for acting so much like a boy. As one of her punishments, her teacher made her memorize this poem overnight and be ready to recite to entire school the next morning. And boy am I glad she did! To this very day, my mother can recite this entire poem upon request. Sometimes her little brothers will call her on the phone and ask her to say it to them like she used to when they were little. She passed this wonderful little poem onto all EIGHT of her children, TWENTY NINE grandchildren and now starting on her SEVENTEEN great-grandchildren. What a terrific legacy. Thank you James Whitcomb Riley for your creative work!
Poem # 967 "Little Orphant Annie"
I was so glad to find this poem again. I was thinking ahead to the fall holidays coming up and thought of this poem. We had to memorize it in elementary school. I still remember most of it but wanted to send it in to a magazine that publishes old memories, etc. and didn't know who the author was. I was also wondering if anybody remembers a poem called "Granny Mariah". (Granny Mariah jumped in the fire...the fire was so hot, she jumped in the pot...the pot was so black, she jumped in the crack....the crack was so high, she jumped in the sky....the sky was so blue, she jumped in the slough (slew)...the slough was so shallow, she jumped in the tallow...the tallow was so rotten, she jumped in the cotton...the cotton was so white, she stayed all night! I grew up in Alabama. My grandmother used to tell this to the kids and it was passed down. I am passing it on to my grandchildren. I taught it to my 4 year-old granddaughter Sophia....along with the "Pledge of Allegiance". Now she says the pledge and immediately goes into "Granny Mariah". Too cute.
My mother recited this to us when we were little. My sis & I were scared to death but when she finished the story we begged her to tell us again. Our mom is now 93 and just recited almost the entire poem. Thanx for the memories.
I am 84 and have always loved this poem since my childhood. I had forgotten part of the poem
thank you so much for bringing it back into my memory. My mother loved poetry and read to
my sister and I often. I believe my love for poetry was instilled in me from that experience.
I know enjoy writing poetry for my grandchildren.
. I now enjoy writing childrens poetry
When Fall and the hard freezes started to happen, my mother would get down her book of poetry by James Whitcomb Riley and start with Little Orphant Annie. It would be followed by The Raggedy Man and other selections. Because it was the time of year you could talk about the Natives in our family she would go on to read Hiawatha..........By the shores of Gitche Gumi, By the shining big sea waters, stood the wigwam of Nocomus...........
Longfellow, Ogden Nash, Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost, etc. One strange poem that found its way into our reciting was, There once was a Puffin. How odd. I read these things to my children, and now I read them to my grandchildren. So goes three generations, at least, sharing their love for poetry.
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