Days of the Week Poem: Monday's Child

Girl on a Swing

Of poems referring to all the days of the week, Monday's child is probably the oldest. It first appeared in 1838 in a book about the Traditions of Devonshire, by A. E. Bray. So the poem itself is likely much older. The author is unknown. It is part of a tradition similar to astrology that a person's fate can be determined by knowing upon which day of the week he or she was born.

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 his living,
And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good, and gay.

Though not as popular as other children's poems, "Monday's Child" is well-known enough that references to it are found throughout literature, even in book titles. Wednesday's child seems to get the most play, perhaps because it has the best potential for drama. However, Thursday's child could be the subject of an epic. One wonders if Odysseus was born on a Thursday. Though the poem purports to tell the future, it is not popularly consulted or even remembered by parents. Most people believe that inheritance plays a bigger factor than the day of the week upon which a child is born.

There has been some speculation that each line bears a reference to the mythological god represented by the day. However, it should be noted that some of these relationships are extremely tentative.

Months of the Year Poem

< Cucumbers in the Bible | Donnes Meditation XVII >

Interesting Fact:

Not all cultures have had seven day weeks. The French Revolutionary Calendar had ten day weeks.

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