Roses Are Red
|"Roses Are Red"|
"Roses Are Red" is the name of a love poem and children's rhyme with Roud Folk Song Index number 19798. It has become a cliché for Valentine's Day, and has spawned multiple humorous and parodic variants.
A modern standard version is:
Roses are red
Violets are blue,
Sugar is sweet
And so are you.
Victor Hugo was probably familiar with Spenser, but may not have known the English nursery rhyme when he published his novel Les Misérables in 1862. A song by the character Fantine contains this refrain:
Les bleuets sont bleus, les roses sont roses,
Les bleuets sont bleus, j'aime mes amours.
Violets are blue, roses are red,
Violets are blue, I love my loves.
This translation replaces the original version's cornflowers ("bleuets") with violets, and makes the roses red rather than pink, effectively making the song closer to the English nursery rhyme.
Roses are red.
Violets are blue.
And so do you.
Cirrhosis are red,
so violets are blue,
so sugar is sweet,
so so are you.
The Benny Hill version:
Roses are yellow
Violets are bluish
If it weren't for Christmas
We'd all be Jewish.
- "Roud Folksong Index S299266 Roses are red, violets are blue". Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. English Folk Dance and Song Society. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
- Roud, Stephen (2010). The Lore of the Playground : One hundred years of children's games, rhymes and traditions. London: Random House Books. p. 420. ISBN 978-1-905211-51-7. OCLC 610824586.
- Spenser, The Faery Queene iii, Canto 6, Stanza 6: on-line text Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
- "Gammer G's Garland". British Library. Retrieved 2 January 2022.
- I. Opie and P. Opie (1951). The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (1997, 2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 375.
- "Les misérables, Tome I by Victor Hugo". Project Gutenberg. (Book Seven, Chapter Six)
- Hugo, Victor (1862). Les Miserables. Translated by Wilbour, Charles E. New York: The Modern Library. p. 212.
- S. J. Bronner, American Children’s Folklore (August House: 1988), p. 84.
- Liz Gooch (18 May 2005). "Jill Still Playing Jacks And Hopscotch Endures". Retrieved 17 September 2009.
- Jimmie N. Rogers (1983). The Country Music Message, Revisited. University of Arkansas Press. p. 194. ISBN 9781610751148.
- "Selected bits from Horse Feathers".
- Lawrence Dorfman (2013). Snark! The Herald Angels Sing: Sarcasm, Bitterness and the Holiday Season. Skyhorse Publishing.