I have often wondered about the origin of this rhyme.
As Groucho Marx once said, ‘My favourite poem is the one that starts “Thirty Days Hath September”, because it actually means something.’ The meaning of ‘Thirty Days Hath September’ is self-evident and straightforward. But what are the origins of this famous rhyme? ‘Thirty Days Hath September’ runs, of course:
Thirty days hath September,
April, June and November;
All the rest have thirty-one,
Excepting February alone.
Which only has but twenty-eight days clear
And twenty-nine in each leap year.
One early reference to ‘Thirty Days Hath September’, from William Harrison in 1577, actually begins, er … ‘Thirty days hath November’:
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