Friday, February 15, 2013

Memories of Valentine's Day 2013

Traditional Nursery Rhyme

"Ladybug, ladybug" is chanted by children when a ladybug insect lands on their person. If he ladybug does not fly away of its own accord the child would gently blow it away chanting - "Ladybug, ladybug fly away home". This insect is found every summer in the gardens of Britain - the most common colour is red with black spots, less common are the yellow variety, In Britain ladybugs are referred to as "ladybirds".

Farmer's knew of the Ladybird's value in reducing the level of pests in their crops and it was traditional for them to cry out the rhyme before they burnt their fields following harvests (thus reduced the level of insects and pests). 

The English word ladybird is a derivative of the Catholic term "Our Lady". The tradition of calling this rhyme was believed to have been used as a seemingly innocent warning cry to Catholic (recusants) who refused to attend Protestant services as required by the Act of Conformity (1559 & 1662). The law forbade priests to say Mass and forbade communicants to attend it. Consequently Mass was held secretly in the open fields. Laymen were subject to jail and heavy fines and priests to execution. Many priests were executed by the terrible death of being burnt alive at the stake or, even worse, being hung, drawn and quartered. The most famous English recusants were Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot Conspirators. 

It is possible that the word Ladybird was exchanged for Ladybug, in the American version of the nursery rhyme, due to the word association with Firebug meaning an arsonist or pyromaniac. There has been some speculation that this Nursery Rhyme originates from the time of the Great Fire of London in 1666. 

Thank you, Rita, for my precious ladybug dip bowl and little knife.


  1. Happy Birthday Friend.
    Sign up for the bunny Swap.

  2. Hey Genie - Have you been away or computer giving you problems again. Missed your photos for the past bit and glad to see your post today. I sent you email - hope you got it.
    I can remember in my childhood that Ladybug's were always considered good luck. If Mom saw one around the yard, she would pick it up and put it on the bushes or leaves, saying it was good luck to have a lady bug in your backyard?
    I enjoyed this post very much.

  3. Sweet shot and interesting history!!!

  4. What a sweet gift you got! I hope all is well -- have noticed you weren't posting lately.