Saturday, February 14, 2015



Ian Jackson, Valentines with Footnotes (Berkeley, 2014):
'There was a Lady loved a Swine...'1
        Remember that from childhood?
        and how (it seemed) he understood
when asked, 'Pig Hog wilt thou be mine?'
        Ask me that question too! I would
grunt, 'Hoogh, I'll be your Valentine!'2

1. See Iona and Peter Opie (editors), The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1951), pages 261-2, where the lines are presented as already familiar in the reign of James I:
There was a lady loved a swine,
        Honey, quoth she,
Pig-hog wilt thou be mine?
        Hoogh, quoth he.

I'll build thee a silver stye,
        Honey, quoth she,
And in it thou shalt lie.
        Hoogh, quoth he.

Pinned with a silver pin,
        Honey, quoth she,
That you may go out and in.
        Hoogh, quoth he.

Wilt thou have me now,
        Honey? quoth she.
Speak or my heart will break.
        Hoogh, quoth he.
2. Sarah [Churchill] used to accompany him [her father, Winston Churchill] on his walks round the estate [Chartwell]. He enjoyed scratching the pigs' backs. He said to her, 'Dogs look up to man. Cats look down on man. But pigs accept him as one of themselves.'
        — James Lee-Milne, diary entry for 19th November, 1972, as printed in A Mingled Measure: Diaries 1953-1972 (London, John Murray, 1994), p. 300.

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