Spring Has Sprung, The Grass is Riz

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Jeremy Shatan wrote from New York: "It’s the vernal equinox, the first day of spring. Around this time of the year, my mom would always say: ‘Spring has sprung, the grass is riz, the boid is on the wing.’ Yes, just like that."

This saying is all in "New Yorkese", a New York accent.  It seems of course to come from the New York area. Some quote it from Ogden Nash, but from what I can tell looking through some books, this is incorrect.

The saying is sometimes called "The Brooklyn National Anthem" and it dates back to at least 1940.  There are many versions of it. Here’s one:

Spring has sprung, the grass is ris,
I wonder where the boidies is
The boid is on the wing,
But that’s absoid
From what I hoid 
The wing is on the boid!

Here are other versions I found:

The spring is sprung, The grass is ris, I wonder where the birdies is.
(1951 – The New Mexico folklore record: Volume 6)

Spring has sprung The grass has riz Come out yourself And see how ‘tiz.
(1956 – Canadian bee journal: Volumes 64-65)

And a sadly rye one:

"Spring has sprung, the grass has riz, where last year’s reckless driver is."

Some others:

"Spring has sprung and the grass has riz, I wonder where the flowers is."
"Spring has sprung and the grass has riz, I wonder where the daisies is."‎

However you want to say it, the important part here is that Spring has sprung.

Happy Spring everyone!

Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Tuesday, March 20th, 2012 at 11:43 am and is filed under Countries & Cultures, England, English, Languages, New York, Poetry, Poets, Proverbs, Sayings, Sayings from the 1940's, Seasonal, Spring, USA. 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.

62 Responses to “Spring Has Sprung, The Grass is Riz”

  1. John Carway Says:

    As a kid I had a large volume called Encyclopedia Of American Humor
    Among a collection of Ogden Nash doggerel was this:
    Spring has sprung
    The grass is riz
    I wunda where the
    Flowers iz

  2. Karen Firestone Says:

    My mom, Barbara Firestone, has been reciting this poem to me every spring for as long as I can remember. I have now passed the same to my daughter. I never knew anyone else who knew this poem. I have found my people!!

    Slight variation:
    Spring has sprung
    The grass has griz
    Where oh where the boidie is?
    The boid is on the wing
    No, no! That’s absoid!
    The wing is on the boid!

  3. Shannon Says:

    This has been an interesting read through. I’m in Australia as well, and my mother always recited a rather gruesome version that I have somewhat passed to my own children.

    The spring has spring,
    The grass has riz.
    I wonder where the birdies is?
    Tiny weeny wittle (little) things,
    Have no feathers on their wings.
    Cannot fly and cannot sing…
    Chop their bloody heads off.

    The end always came as such a shock from such a sweet sounding poem… even when I knew it was coming.
    It is still a favourite today.

  4. Shannon Says:

    Sorry, The spring has sprung … did anyone else suffer the auto correct function without noticing lol

  5. alexander Cutting Says:

    Spring has sprung
    The grass has riz
    I not know who I are
    Nor what I iz
    With apologies to the original poem !!

  6. Andy Says:

    My Dad used to add.

    Winters here the wind will blew
    The rain will friz
    And it will snew.

  7. Christopher Cope Says:

    Spring has sprung
    The road has riz
    I wonder where the pavement is?

  8. Alan LeBlanc Says:

    Here’s a version I knew growing up:

    Spring has sprung, the grass has riz
    I wonder where the boidies is
    The boidies are high in the sky
    Dropping whitewash in my eye
    I’m a good boy, I don’t cry
    I’m just glad the cows don’t fly

  9. Brian Horrocks Says:

    Spring has sprung …give me a nice one

  10. William Ansley Says:

    The “careless driver” version, or something close to it at least, was used in a Burma-Shave jingle.

  11. Susan Says:

    Excellent .. lots of memories of that rhyme…
    Thankx for sharing
    Susan

  12. Linda Says:

    My uncle had another version but short…

    Spring has sprung, the grass is riz,
    But only where the steam pipes iz!

    He lived in an area that had a lot of steam pipes.

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