Hot Cross Buns

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"Hot Cross Buns"
Nursery rhyme
Published c. 1798
Songwriter(s) Unknown

"Hot Cross Buns" is an English language nursery rhyme, Easter song, and street cry referring to the spiced English bun known as a hot cross bun, which is associated with the end of Lent and is eaten on Good Friday in various countries. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 13029.


The most common modern version is:[1]

Hot cross buns!
Hot cross buns!
One a penny, two a penny,
Hot cross buns!

If you have no daughters,
give them to your sons.
One a penny, two a penny,
Hot cross buns!


The earliest record of the rhyme is in Christmas Box, published in London in 1798.[1] However, there are earlier references to the rhyme as a street cry in London, for example in the Poor Robin's Almanack for 1733, which noted:

Good Friday comes this month, the old woman runs
With one or two a penny hot cross buns.[2]


  1. ^ a b I. Opie and P. Opie, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (Oxford University Press, 1951, 2nd edn., 1997), p. 197.
  2. ^ Charles Hindley, History of the Cries of London: Ancient and Modern (Cambridge University Press, 2011). p. 218.