The Old Practice in England of Picking Valentines by Lot

Everyone who grows up speaking English knows Roses Are Red. But you may not be familiar with all the versions there are. Of course, there’s the one that’s most well known and that basically sounds like a cliché…

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Sugar is sweet,
And so are you!

Then there’s the following one, which refers to the old practice in England of picking Valentines by lot. Whoever you picked was your Valentine for the whole year…


The rose is red,
The violet’s blue,
The honey’s sweet,
And so are you.

Thou art my love
And I am thine,
I drew thee to
My Valentine.

The lot was east
And then I drew,
And fortune said
It should be you.

There was another tradition that whoever you saw first on Valentine’s Day, not including your family of course, would become your lover. So be careful who’s the first you see on St. Valentine’s Day!


This article was posted on Monday, February 13th, 2006 at 5:29 pm and is filed under American Nursery Rhymes, Countries & Cultures, English, English Nursery Rhymes, Holidays Around the World, Languages, Nursery Rhymes, Nursery Rhymes about Holidays, Nursery Rhymes about Love, Nursery Rhymes about Valentine's Day, Rhymes by Theme, Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, St. Valentine's Day, United Kingdom, USA, Valentine's Day. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

2 Responses to “The Old Practice in England of Picking Valentines by Lot”

  1. flower Says:

    Roses are red, violots are blue,
    Monkeys like you should be locked in a zoo.
    But don’t worry I’ll be there too, but I’ll be outside laughing
    at you!

  2. Lisa Says:

    Here’s another one…

    Lilies are white, Rosemary’s green,
    When you are king, I will be queen.
    Roses are red, Lavender’s blue,
    If you will have me, I will have you.

    I believe it’s to the tune of Lavender’s Blue.

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