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I'm My Own Grandpa

I'm My Own Grandpa
Written by Dwight Latham & Moe Jaffe, ca 1947

Many many years ago, when I was twenty-three,
I was married to a widow as pretty as can be,
This widow had a grown-up daughter who had hair of red,
My father fell in love with her and soon the two were wed.

     I'm my own grandpa, I'm my own grandpa.
     It sounds funny, I know, but it really is so --
     I'm my own grandpa.

This made my dad my son-in-law and changed my very life,
For my daughter was my mother, for she was my father's wife.
To complicate the matter, even though it brought me joy,
I soon became the father of a bouncing baby boy.

My little baby thus became a brother-in-law to dad,
And so became my uncle, though it made me very sad,
For if he was my uncle then that also made him brother
To the widow's grown-up daughter, who of course was my step-mother.


Father's wife then had a son who kept them on the run.
And he became my grandchild for he was my daughter's son.
My wife is now my mother's mother and it makes me blue,
Because although she is my wife, she's my grandmother, too.

Oh, if my wife's my grandmother then I am her grandchild.
And every time I think of it it nearly drives me wild.
For now I have become the strangest case you ever saw --
As the husband of my grandmother, I am my own grandpa.


I had that this song had been written by Shel Silverstein, until Howard Jaffe wrote me the 22nd of March, 2000 and told me that his father, Moe Jaffe and Dwight Latham had written it.  It was recorded by many artists, such as Shel Silverstein, Lonzo & Oscar, Homer & Jethro, Ray Stevens, Dave Grisman.  The all-female bluegrass band Sidesaddle, turned it into "I'm My Own Grandma" on their album, "Girl From The Red Rose Saloon".

Howard Jaffe stated to me that the song "I'm My Own Grandpa" was inspired by an anecdote that Mark Twain related in a book, proving how a person could become his own grandfather.  Howard said "in addition to this song, my father wrote a handful of Tin Pan Alley standards, including "Collegiate," "The Gypsy In My Soul," "Bell Bottom Trousers," "If You Are But A Dream," and "If I Had My Life To Live Over."

There is another site with info about this song at:

My dad used to sing this song to all of us when we were little kids, hopefully just because he liked it  ...CR

Charlotte Curlee Ramsey

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