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A-Z Blogging Challenge: Q is for...the Queen of Hearts

The Queen of Hearts 
She made some tarts,
All on a summer's day;
The Knave of Hearts
He stole those tarts,
And took them clean away.
The King of Hearts
Called for the tarts,
And beat the knave full sore;
The Knave of Hearts
Brought back the tarts,
And vowed he'd steal no more.

No-one knows who wrote this wonderful nursery rhyme although it is known that it was around before 1785. It originally had three other verses but as this verse gained popularity the others were more or less forgotten about. The whole poem was based on the four suits in a pack of playing cards and each verse described the domestic arrangements of the suits.

It would appear that the Kings of Spades was partial to flirting with the maids and the Queen of Spades lost her temper had them all beaten then sent away however, the Knave appealed to the Queen and she decided to let them all back again. 

The King and Queen of Clubs were constantly fighting and the Knave refused to take sides and back the King up. 

The Diamond King and his Queen got along perfectly well until the Knave tried to seduce the Queen. The story is that the King was encouraged to hang the Knave because of this. I wonder if he did? 

This rhyme gained great popularity after Lewis Carroll worked the rhyme into Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.


Jeremy Bates said…
That's the original soap opera in rhyme form! It sounds like a modern day love tryst.
Luana Krause said…
Fascinating bit of nursery rhyme history! Quite a drama!
Laura Clipson said…
I always loved this one, but I think that's because I liked eating jam tarts...great post, I didn't know about the other verses :)
Denise said…
Jeremy, thanks for dropping by. You are absolutely right! I hadn't thought of that but it is just like soap opera.

Luana - the things that go on in a pack of cards! I wonder if it's based on real life happenings.

Loopyloo - I love eating jam tarts too. I wish I could have found the other verses written out in full. They would have been great to read!

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