I Love My Love with an A
DESCRIPTION: "I love my love with an A, because he's A(greeable), I hate him because he's A---, He took me to the sign of the A---, And treated me with A---, His name is A---, and he lives in A---." Similarly through the rest of the letters of the alphabet.
EARLIEST DATE: 1842 (Halliwell, The Nursery Rhymes of England, according to Roger Lancelyn Green, "Lewis Carroll")
KEYWORDS: love wordplay playparty nonballad
FOUND IN: Britain(England)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #667, p. 264, "(I love my love with an A, because he's Agreeable)"
NOTES: This probably isn't a song, since it's based on alliteration (meaning that the meter can suffer). But it is certainly ancient, and well-enough known that Lewis Carroll used it in the chapter "The Lion and the Unicorn" (itself named for a folk rhyme) in Through the Looking Glass. Alice uses the letter "H" and describes the White King's messenger Haigha.
Martin Gardner, in The Annotated Alice (pp. 279-280) refers the business back to Halliwell -- and notes a likely hidden wordplay, in that Alice was actually doing the "A" verse, because Haigha would probably have dropped the "H" in his name (i.e. it would be pronounced "ay-yore." Any resemblance to A. A. Milne is probably coincidence).
Incidentally, "Haigha" and "Hatta," although the names are applied to "Anglo-Saxon Messengers," are not Anglo-Saxon names. Some have wondered why Tenniel illustrated Haigha as the March Hare and Hatta as the Mad Hatter. Drop your r's and say "Hare" and "Hatter" and what do you get? - RBW
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