Curly hair is a boon in itself. Wild hair paired with flowing tresses, we've all wanted curls in our hair at least at some point in our lives. There is a poem that helps appreciate this beauty – Curly Locks.
The nursery rhyme talks about a maiden with this gorgeous hair that is told to sit calmly on a cushion and sew a fine seam. She is said to keep away from worrying her hands over washing dishes or feeding swine.
If you have adored this poem during childhood, it is time to learn about its long history! Read on.
Remember how this beautiful rhyme used to go? Here's how:
Curly Locks, Curly Locks,
Will you be mine?
You shall not wash dishes,
Nor feed the swine,
But sit on a cushion
And sew a fine seam,
And sup upon strawberries, sugar, and cream.
Print these lyrics for you or your children's room now! Grab your copy here.
Sing along to the nursery rhyme or woo your curly-haired friend. Watch the song now!
Origins and history
Your favorite nursery rhyme has quite a long history of origin. It traces its first publication in "The Traditional Games of England, Scotland, and Ireland (Vol I of II) with Tunes, Singing-Rhymes and Methods of Playing" (1894). This version with notes goes like this:
Bonny lass, canny lass,
Wilta be mine?
Thou's nowder wesh dishes
Nor sarra the swine:
But sit on thy crippy, etc.
"Dickinson's Cumberland Glossary."
The earliest version talks about two children - a boy and a girl. It sets the scene of the boy gently caressing the girl or lass' tresses and singing the song. He calls her bonny and canny and tells her never to wash (wesh) any dishes. She is urged to sit on the crippy and sew a seam.
The nursery rhyme portrays a dramatic approach to wooing and hence, never really translated to a game that could be played by children. While they were deemed as nursery rhymes as Halliwell, Nos. cccclxxxiii. and ccccxciv, they weren't utilized as proper rhyme until the 19th century. The tune used for the poem is taken from Rimbault's Nursery Rhymes, p. 70.
Some experts even claim that the poem could be referring to Charles II. He was infamous for his long curly hair that framed around his face. And since the revised version never mentioned the gender of the curly locks, it is safe to make such an assumption. Not just as a nursery rhyme, the song was also used as a courtship song in Cumberland in the early 19th century.
Curly locks was going to sew a fine seam and indulge in strawberries, sugar, and cream.
Curly locks was told to be the narrator. She was instructed not to wash any dishes or feed any swine.
Despite being a nursery rhyme, the song Curly Locks was also used as a courtship song in Cumberland in the early 19th century.