Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Do you remember receiving your first valentine? I do, although the person who sent it never signed a name ... so I don't have a clue about its origin. My mother typically purchased a sheet or two of valentine cards for my brother and me to give to our friends. We'd carefully cut them out and decide who each would go to, but I don't think we signed many of them, either. I also recall that quite a few of those little cards had printed verses that began with "Roses are red, violets are blue..."  Recently, while looking for something else, I ran across the supposed original of that verse. It was in a collection of English nursery rhymes: Gammer Gurton's Garland (1784). That version went like this:

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

That's not the version I learned. It was only the first line and read:  "Roses are red, violets are blue, honey is sweet, and so are you." I guess things change over time . . .  Anyway, have a valentine day!

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