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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Roses Are Red

I gotta be honest; I’m not going to miss January this year. I’d like to sing “Thank God and Greyhound She’s Gone” for her, but the bus is stuck in the snow! January may be gone, but it seems she left little sister, February, with her ugly weather. Like I asked Mother Nature in the letter I wrote her “Is it ‘that time’ of the century for you?” Holy PMS (Plethora of More Snow) Mother Nature needs a BIG Midol!
Weather aside, welcome to February, the month of love! We’ll see Hallmark ads that will move us on TV, best of music collections all about being in love, 10% sales on items with hearts and flowers; items that have been marked up %25 for Valentine’s Day to begin with and the biggest true love sign of all; pitchers and catchers report to Florida and Arizona!

I had a burning question this morning when I woke up. I’m prone to waking up with silly thoughts, questions or earworms that make me wonder what the heck I was dreaming about before I woke up. Today’s odd thought was about “Roses are red, violets are blue.” That verse had really become an example of trite expression but at some point it was new and sweet. There was a time when it was an actual profession of love or at least a verse in a greeting card that was sincere and not funny.

As recently as 1962, Bobby Vinton had a hit song and album titled “Roses are Red” which included the lyric “Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet my love, but not as sweet as you.” In the song it was a verse that signed a high school yearbook, but that verse would be a joke-verse in a high school yearbook now

I did some searching and found an interesting Wikipedia entry about it that traced “roses are red, violets are blue” back to a 1784 English nursery rhyme:

The rose is red, the violet's blue,
The honey's sweet, and so are you.
Thou are my love and I am thine;
I drew thee to my Valentine:
The lot was cast and then I drew,
And Fortune said it shou'd be you.

The Wikipedia article notes a form of that the verse in Les Miserables in 1862 that was more likely influenced by Sir Edmund Spenser’s stanza in The Faeire Queene in 1590.

It’s an interesting little pre-valentine look at the evolution of something that was once heartfelt and endearing that became:

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Onions stink,
And so do you.

Okay so I gave you Bobby Vinton in 1962. When is the most recent time you heard or read about something that stared “roses are red,” that was sincere?


Edna B said...

I'm not sure about the most recent time I heard or saw those words, but I still have that Bobby Vinton record in my collection, and on my laptop. I love the oldies. February and March are obviously still part of Winter, but we are that much closer to Spring too. I'm at work tonight, well it's almost this morning (11:49 pm. Mrs was good tonight and is sleeping nicely now. So I think I'll go curl up on the sofa and maybe catch a few winks. You have a great night, hugs, Edna B.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

That was a great song! Enjoy February. My husband gets to be in the UK on Valentine's Day so I have to find something special to do that day....maybe a casino!