Monday's Child

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the 1967 Argentine film, see Monday's Child (film).
"Monday's Child"
Roud #19526
Written by Traditional
Published 1838
Written England
Language English
Form Nursery rhyme

"Monday's Child" is one of many fortune-telling songs, popular as nursery rhymes for children. It is supposed to tell a child's character or future based on the day he or she was born and to help young children remember the days of the week. As with all nursery rhymes, there are many versions. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 19526.

Lyrics[edit]

Common modern versions include:

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.[1][not in citation given]

Origins[edit]

This rhyme was first recorded in A. E. Bray's Traditions of Devonshire (Volume II, pp. 287–288)[2] in 1838 and was collected by James Orchard Halliwell in the mid-nineteenth century.[1][not in citation given] The tradition of fortune telling by days of birth is much older. Thomas Nashe recalled stories told to "yong folks" in Suffolk in the 1570s which included "tell[ing] what luck eurie one should have by the day of the weeke he was borne on". Nashe thus provides evidence for fortune telling rhymes of this type circulating in Suffolk in the 1570s.[3]

There was considerable variation and debate about the exact attributes of each day and even over the days. Halliwell had 'Christmas Day' instead of the Sabbath.[1][not in citation given] Despite modern versions in which "Wednesday's child is full of woe," an early incarnation of this rhyme appeared in a multi-part fictional story in a chapter appearing in Harper's Weekly on September 17, 1887, in which "Friday's child is full of woe", perhaps reflecting traditional superstitions associated with bad luck on Friday – as many Christians associated Friday with the Crucifixion. In addition to Wednesday's and Friday's children's role reversal, the fates of Thursday's and Saturday's children was also exchanged and Sunday's child is "happy and wise" instead of "blithe and good".[4]

Cultural references[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Iona Opie and Peter Opie, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1951, 2nd edn., 1997), pp. 309–10.
  2. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=qw82psYn-eoC&lr&pg=PR2#v=onepage&q&f=false
  3. ^ A. Fox, Oral and Literate Culture in England, 1500–1700 (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), p. 182.
  4. ^ 'Children's charms and Oracles' New York folklore quarterly (1952), p. 46.
  5. ^ Kraft Television Theatre: Wednesday's Child on the Internet Movie Database.
  6. ^ http://www.nicolaruth.blogspot.com
  7. ^ [1] Episode 61 (Season 5, Episode 9), originally aired on CBC: February 27, 1994
  8. ^ http://www.thechameleons.com/lyrics/index.php?song=8

External links[edit]