THE FIRST OF MAY.

I am not about to reproduce here the vulgar little ditty with which this entry is, regrettably, concerned. I know that my readership is largely composed of persons of refined sensibilities who would, if not swoon, certainly raise their eyebrows in a fashion that I’m not sure I could bear. I urge such persons to ignore this ignoble entry. Others, however—those of you who (like my ignoble self) have not attained to a respectable spiritual level—should go here, read the rhyme beginning “Hooray, hooray,” and let me know in the comments whether you’re familiar with it, and if so whether the words are the ones you know. Myself, I have (to my shame) delighted in it for thirty years or so, but I have always said “starts today,” which of course makes for a better rhythm. Ahem. That is all.

Comments

  1. Dag.. No, never heard of this-un.. and thanks for “Black Sun” post.

  2. I woke up this morning thinking of the phone calls I used to get on May 1. Woo, my old boss at The Wheel (a bar where I worked during undergrad), used to get up and call pretty much everyone he knew and proudly proclaim, “Hooray, Hooray, The first of May – Outdoor screwing begins today. I never really knew what it meant or why he did it, but it was always a treat. He was a big golfer, and I guess I just always assumed that it was related to how he could now start taking money off of his buddies on the golf course. Now tonight, I find that a couple of other people are familiar with the same saying.
    http://sasnak.org/archives/000033.html

  3. Have never heard of this rhyme, but weren’t the “merry-be-gots” — illegitimate children with surnames like Greenwood and Merrywood and the like — supposed to be conceived in the month of May?

  4. Actually, “begins” makes for a better rhythm, he said syncopoetically. –It needs to be a little sprung to get, er, sprightly. (“F—ing” for whatever reason works better all crammed up into one beat instead of stretched out over a full trochee.)

  5. It’s always been “starts” to me, although frankly the weather hasn’t been all that.

  6. Never heard it! Was my “upstate” childhood that sheltered? In any event, it seems destined to become a fixture now — my husband is still laughing…
    moira, that’s interesting. I think the May Day rituals (with the poles and ribbons and dances) marked a day of “revelry” that included sexual free-for-all; I’ll try to check on that today.

  7. I’ve never encountered that one before, and frankly I’m apalled ;)

  8. My maternal grandmother, who was an upper-class Bostonian, is the one I heard that from. I’m glad not to be the only one going around with those words ringing in my head but they don’t have good associations for me–my grandmother sadistically sexually abused me (I’m a woman).

  9. Google’s on your side, for one thing.

  10. I’d heard of it, many years ago, and strangely forgotten all about it. Thanks for the reminder!

  11. Am I missing something?
    Where do people actually celebrate May 1st as a holiday?
    I thought it was something from 60 years ago.

  12. Definitely “starts”.
    “Hurray, hurray, it’s the first of May; outdoor (that word you didn’t want in your blog) starts today!”
    Anything else is heresy. (For speculation on when it ends, see “http://www.davidchess.com/words/log.20020426.html#20020502″).

  13. Good point, David. Here‘s the direct link, and the suggested end-of-season date given there is the autumnal equinox. Oh, and thanks for your support on the vital question of wording.

  14. No. I’ve never heard it or anything that resembles it before.
    Hooray Hooray
    It’s the first day of May
    Let go out and garden today

  15. Growing up in South Africa, never heard it — not strange, given the opposite arrangement of seasons — but what a good idea. Pity that my beloved chose May 1 to fly back there, for a month apart!

  16. Geeeeze… I can’t believe I found this Web Page. Been calling and sending cards since the early seventies to remind friends (lust they forget) of the pending joys of the season. This is awesome.
    Thanx, Doug

  17. and don’t forget the second stanza
    Alas, alas, the first of November
    outdoor *** ends, remember

  18. and now for a comment completely irrelevant to outdoor procreation. in University of Chicago, there is a sculpture outside of Albert Pick Hall
    for International Studies. the sculpture itself is abstract, but on the first of May at noon it casts a shadow in the perfect shape of a hammer and sickle. heh heh.

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