Sunday’s Child

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,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.

This rhyme was first recorded in A.E. Bray’s Traditions of Devonshire in 1838 and was collected by James Orchard Halliwell in the mid-19th century. The implication that the “Sabbath Day” is a Sunday suggests this version of the rhyme draws on Christianity – there are many religions which don’t mark Sunday as the Sabbath – but the tradition of fortune telling by days of birth is much older. However, the rhyme also functions as a teaching aid, used to associate children with the pattern of, and different names for, the days of week.

But I digress. Today is my birthday: I am a Sunday’s Child so that’s as good a reason as any to share John Martyn’s 1975 song of the same name:

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