Solomon Grundy

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Not to be confused with Salmagundi or Solomon Gundy.
For other uses, see Solomon Grundy (disambiguation).
"Solomon Grundy"
Roud #19299
Song
Written United Kingdom
Published 1842
Form Nursery rhyme
Writer(s) Traditional
Language English

"Solomon Grundy" is an English nursery rhyme. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 19299.[1]

Lyrics[edit]

The rhyme has varied very little since it was first collected by James Orchard Halliwell and published in 1842 with the lyrics:

Solomon Grundy,
Born on a Monday,
Christened on Tuesday,
Married on Wednesday,
Took ill on Thursday,
Grew worse on Friday,
Died on Saturday,
Buried on Sunday,
That was the end,
Of Solomon Grundy.[2]

In popular culture[edit]

  • The DC Comics character Cyrus Gold/Solomon Grundy, a large, strong zombie supervillain created as an adversary for the Green Lantern in 1944, and also a foe of Batman, was named for this nursery rhyme.[3] In Batman: The Long Halloween Grundy repeats the first line and it is Harvey Dent who teaches Grundy the rest of the poem. He appears in the television series Challenge of the Super Friends and often recites the poem. He appears in the games Batman: Arkham City and Injustice: Gods Among Us, where he recites parts of the lyrics while performing certain moves.
  • Comic artist and writer Kaori Yuki wrote a short story concerning the poem using characters from her series Godchild, which was published at the end of book five.[4]
  • "Hyppopotamus" by Nokoinoko, a Japanese song, was based on the poem. It was aired on "Hirake Ponkikki," a TV show for kids, and became popular in 1970s. The strange lyrics made it a cult song and it was used in the "The Lost Village" anime in 2016.
  • The poet Philippe Soupault adapted this rhyme and called it "The Life of Philippe Soupault".[5]
  • The name and structure of Ian McDonald's science fiction novella "The Days of Solomon Gursky" (Asimov's Science Fiction June 1998, reprinted in Mike Ashley's 2006 anthology The Mammoth Book of Extreme Science Fiction)[6] is based on the nursery rhyme. The title character (his name coincides with Mordecai Richler's 1989 novel Solomon Gursky Was Here) invents a way to resurrect the dead using nanotechnology, developed in McDonald's 1994 novel Necroville. The spin-off novella consists of seven episodical chapters (titled after the days of the week) showing in increasing intervals Gursky's life from the early 21st century through the posthuman future in space to the end of the universe when he constructs a Tipler machine to be reborn.
  • The Bluetones song "Solomon Bites the Worm" (1998) was based on this nursery rhyme.
  • The premiere of Sesame Street (air date November 10, 1969) features a Solomon Grundy cartoon in which he washes only one part of the left half of his body each day. At the end of the week Solomon is still "half dirty".
  • The 1992 song "Mars Ultras, You'll Never Make The Station" by the band Half Man Half Biscuit refers to the song in the lines: "Surrogate Grundy, sold on a Monday, to Richard and Judy".
  • Brian Dewan set the poem to music in an eponymous song on his 2001 album The Operating Theater.
  • Solomon Grundy, a feature film based on the poem and its structure, was released in 2013. Grundy is portrayed as a child's imaginary friend, and each of the poem's days is represented as a stage in the development of their relationship.
  • Solomon Grundy appears as a character (and suspect) in Jasper Fforde's novel The Big Over Easy: "'I'll be dead tired on Saturday,' he quipped to waiting journalists, 'but will bury myself in work again on Sunday.'"[7]
  • The outro to The Pogues' song "Billy's Bones" is based on Solomon Grundy.
  • Solomon Grundy is mentioned in the song "Superman's Song" by the Crash Test Dummies.[8]
  • The chorus of the song "President" by Wyclef Jean may be a reference to this poem. "If I was President I'd get elected on Friday, Assassinated on Saturday, Buried on Sunday. They go back to work on Monday."

Versions[edit]

Long version:

Solomon Grundy, born on a Monday,
Christened on a stark and stormy Tuesday,
Married on a gray and grisly Wednesday,
Took ill on a mild and mellow Thursday,
Grew worse on a bright and breezy Friday,
Died on a gray and glorious Saturday,
Buried on a baking, blistering Sunday.
That was the end of Solomon Grundy.[9]

Short version:

Solomon Grundy,
Born on a Monday,
Christened on Tuesday,
Married on Wednesday,
Took ill on Thursday,
Worse on Friday,
Died on Saturday,
Buried on Sunday.
That was the end
Of Solomon Grundy.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Roud Folksong Index S276827Solomon Grundy, born on a Monday". Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. English Folk Dance and Song Society. Retrieved May 20, 2016. 
  2. ^ I. Opie and P. Opie, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (Oxford University Press, 1951, 2nd edn., 1997), p. 394-5.
  3. ^ Conroy, M. 500 Comicbook Villains (Collins & Brown, 2004), p. 262.
  4. ^ Yuki, Kaori. Godchild, vol 5, VIZ Media LLC, 2007.
  5. ^ Stewart, Susan. Nonsense: Aspects of Intertextuality in Folklore and Literature, Johns Hopkins, 1979, p. 191. ISBN 0-8018-2258-0
  6. ^ The Days of Solomon Gursky title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  7. ^ Fforde, Jasper. The Big Over Easy (2006) p.163
  8. ^ Superman's Song
  9. ^ www.nursery-rhymes.org[1]
  10. ^ www.rhymezone.com[2]

External links[edit]