Solomon Grundy (nursery rhyme)

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"Here lies ye bodye of Solomon Grundy. Died on Saturday..." An illustration from Clara E. Atwood's 1901 A Book of Nursery Rhymes

"Solomon Grundy" is an English nursery rhyme. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 19299.[1]

Lyrics[edit]

The rhyme has varied very little since it was first collected by James Orchard Halliwell and published in 1842 with the lyrics:

Short version

Solomon Grundy,
Born on a Monday,
Christened on Tuesday,
Married on Wednesday,
Took ill on Thursday,
Grew worse on Friday,
Died on Saturday,
Buried on Sunday,
That was the end,
Of Solomon Grundy.[2][3]

Long version

Solomon Grundy, born on a Monday,
Christened on a stark and stormy Tuesday,
Married on a grey and grisly Wednesday,
Took ill on a mild and mellow Thursday,
Grew worse on a bright and breezy Friday,
Died on a grey and glorious Saturday,
Buried on a baking, blistering Sunday.
That was the end of Solomon Grundy.[4]

In popular culture[edit]

  • The nursery rhyme is the inspiration for the DC Comics character Cyrus Gold/Solomon Grundy, a large, strong zombie supervillain created in 1944 as an adversary for the Green Lantern, though later a common foe of Batman and Superman.[5]
  • In 1964, Jamaican singer Eric "Monty" Morris released the ska song "Solomon Gundie" whose lyrics were based on the nursery rhyme. It was covered in 1980 by French singer Amanda Lear to a chart success.
  • The premiere episode of Sesame Street (air date November 10, 1969) features a Solomon Grundy cartoon in which he washes only one part of the left half of his body each day. At the end of the week Solomon is still "half dirty".
  • Jamaican deejay Big Youth recorded the song "Solomon a Gunday" on his 1972 album Screaming Target, which was loosely based on the story of Solomon Grundy.[6]
  • "Hippopotamus" by Nokoinoko, a Japanese song, was based on the poem. It was aired on "Hirake Ponkikki", a TV show for kids, and became popular in 1970s. The strange lyrics made it a cult song and it was used in The Lost Village anime in 2016.
  • The poet Philippe Soupault adapted this rhyme and called it "The Life of Philippe Soupault".[7]
  • The comic book version of Solomon Grundy is mentioned in the song "Superman's Song" by the Crash Test Dummies.
  • Comic artist and writer Kaori Yuki wrote a short story concerning the poem using characters from her series Godchild, which was published at the end of book five.[8]
  • The name and structure of Ian McDonald's science fiction novella "The Days of Solomon Gursky" (Asimov's Science Fiction June 1998, reprinted in Mike Ashley's 2006 anthology The Mammoth Book of Extreme Science Fiction)[9] are based on the nursery rhyme. The title character (his name coincides with Mordecai Richler's 1989 novel Solomon Gursky Was Here) invents a way to resurrect the dead using nanotechnology, developed in McDonald's 1994 novel Necroville. The spin-off novella consists of seven episodical chapters (titled after the days of the week) showing in increasing intervals Gursky's life from the early 21st century through the posthuman future in space to the end of the universe when he constructs a Tipler machine to be reborn.
  • The Bluetones song "Solomon Bites the Worm" (1998) was based on this nursery rhyme.
  • Jamaican deejay Tapper Zukie released the song "Solomon a Gunday" on the 2003 re-release of his 1973 album Man ah Warrior.[10]
  • Solomon Grundy appears as a character (and suspect) in Jasper Fforde's novel The Big Over Easy: "'I'll be dead tired on Saturday,' he quipped to waiting journalists, 'but will bury myself in work again on Sunday.'"[11]
  • "Solomon Grundy" is the title of the ninth track of Mic Tyson, the third studio album of American rapper Sean Price.
  • In the 2016 movie The Accountant, Ben Affleck's autistic character recites the rhyme "Solomon Grundy" to calm himself down.
  • the 1992 film Buried on Sunday takes its title from some of the local children of the island Solomon Gundy singing their own version of this song, with the beat and the first and last lines the same, but the words for tuesday through Saturday different.
  • Solomon Grundy got to be a character of urban legends and comics. To alarm children who are not shrewd, it is said that Solomon Grundy will return on Monday, in a comparable way to a bogeyman[12].

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Roud Folksong Index S276827Solomon Grundy, born on a Monday". Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. English Folk Dance and Song Society. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  2. ^ I. Opie and P. Opie, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (Oxford University Press, 1951, 2nd edn., 1997), p. 394-5.
  3. ^ "Solomon Grundy". Rhyme Zone. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  4. ^ "Solomon Grundy". Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes.org. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  5. ^ Conroy, M. 500 Comicbook Villains (Collins & Brown, 2004), p. 262.
  6. ^ "Big Youth - Screaming Target at Discogs". www.discogs.com. Retrieved 2018-01-08.
  7. ^ Stewart, Susan. Nonsense: Aspects of Intertextuality in Folklore and Literature, Johns Hopkins, 1979, p. 191. ISBN 0-8018-2258-0
  8. ^ Yuki, Kaori. Godchild, vol 5, VIZ Media LLC, 2007.
  9. ^ The Days of Solomon Gursky title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  10. ^ "Tapper Zukie - Man Ah Warrior (CD, Album) at Discogs". www.discogs.com. Retrieved 2018-01-08.
  11. ^ Fforde, Jasper. The Big Over Easy (2006) p.163
  12. ^ "Solomon Grundy - Kids Songs". Baby Rhymes. 2018-07-04. Retrieved 2020-09-24.