[Ads-l] Pronunciation

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Mar 1 13:59:32 EST 2017


Isn’t the original just Longfellow's one-verse version in _A child’s garden of verses_?

LH


> On Mar 1, 2017, at 1:42 PM, James A. Landau <JJJRLandau at NETSCAPE.COM> wrote:
> 
> I was curious about the origin of the "little girl/curl" poem, so I tried a Google Books search, specifying Nineteenth Century.
> 
> The earliest hit was The Ohio Farmer  for Saturday, Nov. 4, 1871.
> 
> https://books.google.com/books?id=zDo5AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA701&dq=%22was+bad+she+was+horrid%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjIouGdo7XSAhVq4oMKHRf9A7IQ6AEISDAJ#v=onepage&q=%22was%20bad%20she%20was%20horrid%22&f=false
> 
> A three-stanza version was printed without attribution:
> 
>   There was a little girl
>   Who had a little curl
>   Right in the middle of her forehead
>   When she was good 
>   She was very very good
>   But when she bad she was horrid
> 
>   She went up stairs
>   And her parents, unawares
>   Was a looking out of the window
>   She stood on her head
>   In her little trundle-beg
>   And nobody nigh to hinder
> 
>   Her mother heard the noise
>   And she thought it was the boys
>   A playing in the empty attic
>   But she ran up-stairs
>   And caught her unawares
>   And spanked her most emphatic
> 
> Recently ADS-L had a thread about "nouning adjectives".  "emphatic" is an 1871 example.
> 
> Another hit had a different second stanza:
> 
> St. Nicholas: An Illustrated Magazine For Young Folks
> vol VIII  May to October 1881
> 
> https://books.google.com/books?id=dxAbAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA850&dq=%22was+bad+she+was+horrid%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjIouGdo7XSAhVq4oMKHRf9A7IQ6AEIHzAB#v=onepage&q=%22was%20bad%20she%20was%20horrid%22&f=false
> 
>  There was a little boy
>  And he had a fur cap
>  Which came to the middle of his forehead
>  And when he was cold
>  He was very, very cold
>  But when he was warm he was torrid.
> 
> The Current, Volume IX, Number [illegible] for Saturday, December 3, 1887, page 389
> 
> https://books.google.com/books?id=YyfZAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA389&dq=%22was+bad+she+was+horrid%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiGwvLgpbXSAhUMw4MKHUXmBIY4ChDoAQgZMAA#v=onepage&q=%22was%20bad%20she%20was%20horrid%22&f=false
> 
> has a detailed attribution to Longfellow:
> 
> <quote>
> a lady told him she disliked the silly little poems written to children, such as 
>    <snip> But when she was bad, she was horrid.
> Mr. Longfellow laughed, and turning to his daughter who had just entered the room, said: "Do you remember who wrote that, Annie?"  "Oh, yes!" she answered, "you said that to baby one morning, when she refused to have her hair brushed."
> </quote>
> 
> A later copy of St. Nicholas, volume X, September 1883, page 876, a letters to the editor section, also has a detailed attribution:
> 
> https://books.google.com/books?id=xthDAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA876&dq=Longfellow%2Bhoughton+mifflin%2B%22had+a+little+curl%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj-2o2P-bXSAhXKSyYKHcL6C6wQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=Longfellow%2Bhoughton%20mifflin%2B%22had%20a%20little%20curl%22&f=false
> 
> <quote>
> In behalf of my little ones, Jessie and Harold, aged 8 and 4, who take great delight in your monthly visits, I answer your query as to the author of the jingle
>      "There was a little girl,
>       And she had a little curl" etc.
> by telling you that I have a letter from Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin & Co., Mr. Longfellow's publishers, saying that Mr. Longfellow did compose the one stanza beginning as above, but never published it.  The subsequent additions, or pardoeis, however ("There was a little boy", etc.) were made by other persons.   Yours truly,
>                         A. H. Nelson
> </quote>
> 
> - Jim Landau
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
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