Still more lazy thoughts from this one…

A Friday the 13th Post (a reprise)

If you recall the old children’s nursery rhyme, Monday’s Child, you may or may not be aware that it’s gone through some changes since the 1800s (and likely, the rhyme is way older than that). Today’s prevailing version of this verse is as follows:

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 its living;
But the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.

However did you know, initially, it was Friday’s child that was full of woe in the rhyme? It was only later that Wednesday and Friday flip-flopped their day fortunes (the fate’s of Thursday and Saturday were also exchanged, but that takes us away from where I wish to go with the post). If you were born on a Wednesday, you have to feel a bit ripped off by this (BTW, if you don’t know what day of the week you were actually born on, you can find out here). Wikipedia reports that the original fortune-telling (by day of birth) for Friday likely reflected old traditional superstitions associated with back luck on Friday the 13th.

At least for me, that explains the reason for the title to one of the better original Star Trek series episodes. I wonder if my mother knew about this (its meaning, not the sci-fi TV show)? Or, what she would have felt toward it, since both of her surviving children were born on Friday? Hmm… As a kid, I recall her telling me that my father warned late in her pregnancy, in no uncertain terms on Thursday the 12th, that she better NOT have his child the very next day. I like to think that my mother took that admonition as a dare. As one would have expected, things didn’t work out for my dad/her husband and that talking-to. With 13 as my lucky number… and Friday being my favorite day of the week, I look at it as Mom winning that challenge.

18 Responses to “A Friday the 13th Post (a reprise)”

  1. Naomi Johnson

    I can’t win: Born on the 13th AND a Wednesday.

    I didn’t know the poem had changed though. I knew about Friday’s child (me being a Georgette Heyer fan and her having a novel of that title) being full of woe, didn’t know someone thought that needed to be changed. How generous of them to share the woe around.

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    • le0pard13

      Now that’s a number/day combo! Perhaps, they thought woe and Wednesday somehow went together. Either way, we 13s should stick together. Thanks, Naomi.

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    • Rachel

      Me neither, Naomi and also because of the Heyer novel. I thought it was a perfect title for the book (and a great story regardless:).

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  2. Novroz

    A very informative post,Michael :)
    Thanks for the link,I now know that I was born on Tuesday, which means I am a child who is full of grace :)

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  3. Ronan

    Thank you for the post Le0pard and for putting me in touch with that gorgeous bit of ryhme, somehow familiar but strange enough for me to remember (not word for though, my memory sucks, I’m not even going to insult any goldfish). I really like how you seem to give your posts a thoughtful complexion, really refreshing and entertaining to read. Thanks man.

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