There’s a flower named “Jack-jump-up- and-kiss-me”! Really!

Flower johnny jump up 3

Searching for the source of the name “Johnny Jump Up”, I didn’t find an answer but I discovered an even more fun name: “Jack-jump-up-and-kiss-me”! That’s what I’ll call it from now on!

Viola tricolor, Also known as Johnny Jump up (though this name is also applied to similar species such as the yellow pansy), heartsease, heart’s ease, heart’s delight, tickle-my-fancy, Jack-jump-up-and-kiss-me, come-and-cuddle-me, three faces in a hood, or love-in-idleness, is a common European wild flower, growing as an annual or short-lived perennial. It has been introduced into North America, where it has spread. It is the progenitor of the cultivated pansy, and is therefore sometimes called wild pansy; before the cultivated pansies were developed, “pansy” was an alternative name for the wild form.

Almost as amazing as the long list of adorable names for this adorable flower is that it is the name of an Irish drinking song:

Johnny Jump Up

Well,I’ll tell you a story that happened to me 
One day as I went out to Youghal by the sea 
The day it was hot, the sun it was warm 
Says I “A quick pint wouldn’t do any harm” 
I went in and called for a bottle of stout 
Says the barman,”I’m sorry the beer’s all sold out 
Try whiskey, young Paddy, ten years in the wood” 
Says I, “I’ll have cider; I’ve heard that it’s good.” 

But I’ll never, oh never, oh never again 
If I live to a hundred or a hundred and ten 
Well I fell to the ground and I couldn’t get up 
After drinking the quart of the Johnny-Jump-Up 

After leavin’ the third I came out by the yard 
Where I walked into Brophy the big civic guard; 
“Come ‘ere to me boy don’t you know I’m the law?” 
I upped with me fist and I shattered his jaw. 
Well he fell to the ground with his knees doubled up 
‘Twas not I that hit him, but Johnny Jump-Up 
The next thing that I met down by Youghal by the Sea 
Was a cripple on crutches and he said to me 

“I’m afraid for me life I’ll be hit by a car 
Won’t you help me across to the railwayman’s bar?” 
But after drinkin’ a quart of the cider so sweet 
He threw down his crutches and danced in the street. 
Well I went down the Lee road a friend for to see, 
They call it the Madhouse in Cork by the Sea 
But when I got there sure the truth I will tell 
They had the poor bugger locked up in a cell 

Said the guard, testing him, “Say these word if you can: 
‘Around the rugged rock the ragged rascal ran.” 
“Tell them I’m not crazy, tell them I’m not mad 
‘Twas only the sup of the bottle I had. 
A man died in the Union by the name of McNabb 
They washed him, they laid him outside on a slab 
And after O’Connor his measurements did take 
His wife took him home for a bloody fine wake 
Well, about twelve o’clock and the beer it was high 
The corpse he sits up and says he with a sigh 
“I can’t get to heaven, they won’t let me up 
‘Till I bring them a quart of Johnny Jump-Up 


Published by

Carrie Staples

Author, illustrator of "The Yarn Animal Book", probably the only craft book with instructions for making such unique yarn animals as an orangutan, an ant eater, a llama and a star-nosed mole and "The Single Minded Prince, a fairy tale for all ages about a boy and a pirate captain who both misbehave. The books and a booklet series based on each different yarn craft topic covered in "The Yarn Animal Book" (pompoms and other really easy yarn crafts, knitting, crocheting, rya, needlepoint and embroidery), are available on Amazon and Kindle.

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