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,
And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay1
Both sets of grandparents would sing the above to me and for years, I was sad I had been born on a Wednesday. So, to combat this fortune-telling song, I declared I would be the opposite, which I can only assume was my first foray into the age-old discussion of nature versus nurture. Imagine my delight, years later, when I came across a decidedly different version as noted in the featured image above.
The above poems were one of many fortune-telling songs repurposed as nursery rhymes for children. The idea was that each day offered different characteristics and was supposed to suggest a child’s character or future. It’s dual purpose, however, was to teach young children the days of the week. Though the second version was first printed in St. Nicholas magazine in 1873, a century before I was born, fortune telling poems like it had been circulating in Suffolk since the 1570s. There’s just something about the 70s decade, isn’t there?