Saturday, November 3, 2012

Monday's Child

I was seriously surprised to learn that very few of my coworkers have heard this rhyme; since that conversation I've been asking random acquaintances if they know it.  While I've found a few people who are vaguely familiar with it, I haven't found anyone yet who knows Monday's Child - any of the versions - by heart.

This is curious to me. Hmmm - a puzzle!

 I don't think it's generational because just as many Gen X-ers as Gen Y and Millennials are unfamiliar with it. And I don't think its a Northern Thing because half the people I've polled are from north, or west, of Louisville.

Maybe it's only known these days in the Great Lakes region or around Chicago? Maybe only my people remember it. My grandfather's family is from northern England (Derbyshire) and Monday's Child originated in Devonshire...which is in the opposite end of the country, so that's a pretty leaky theory.

Most likely only rhyme-nerds with a fondness for English history can recite it on cue....

Monday's Child is actually considered a nursery rhyme, not a poem, but what's the difference? The meter repeats and it rhymes, so it's a poem says I.

To prevent this from becoming a nutrition-free junk food kind of post, here's a bit of history courtesy of Wikipedia:

"This rhyme was first recorded in A. E. Bray's Traditions of Devonshire in 1838, although the tradition of fortune telling by days of birth is much older. Stories told to young people in Suffolk in the 1570s included telling what luck one should have by the day of the week on which s/he was born."

Monday's Child (aka Saturday's Child)

Monday's child is fair of face
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.

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