I have just come across this version of the Hop-tu-Naa song from Castletown. It is from Wikipedia and contains no source other than it is “The 1970s Southern version from Castletown.” It was either sung them and remebered by the contributor or was “cooked up” in the 1970s.

Does any one have any further information on this version? I have tried to reformat it as best as I can.

This is ’Ald Hallow-tine Night
The moon shines clear and bright
Hop-tu-naa, traa-la-laa
Jinnie the Witch jumped over the College
To fetch the stick to stir the porridge
Hop-tu-naa, traa-la-laa
Castletown Square is mighty bare,
There isn’t a statue that should have been there
Hop-tu-naa, traa-la-laa
The castle is grey, and Parliament gone,
The harbour is quiet, no smugglers run
Hop-tu-naa, traa-la-laa

When [the] lights were turned out and no sweets were given we also sang a further chorus:

This is Old Hallow-tine Night
The moon is shining bright
If you’re going to bring us money
You better bring it quick
As we may start to sing again
And your neighbors will think you’re thick
Hop-tu-naa, traa-la-laa

Jinnie the Witch is over the mill
If you don’t give us something quick
She will come and get you.

It does suggest to me to be a contemporary piece, the mention of Parliament and not the Keys or Tynwald seems to be to be a little odd and the reference to the missing statue of Governor Smelt seems well out of place.

Does any one have any further information at all?



2 thoughts on “Hop-tu-Naa

  1. Sorry, did tweet a reply. I don’t have a reference, but I know Leighton Stowell made up his own version and refused to give sweets/money to children in Castletown if they didn’t sing ‘his’ version. He would have been in Castletown at the time. He was also partial to writing the odd verse. I would start with looking for his version to see if they match. Cinzia

    • Thanks for that! I must remember to have a look at the papers in the MNHL and see if I can come across a copy there. I have worked through them before and did not spot anything that time but as ever I was likely to be looking for material on other topics.

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