Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Misty Moisty

What a lot of weather! But that's one of the joys of being English. Lots of weather. One rarely has a chance to get bored with- say- a long run of sunny days. This morning's weather is misty-moisty. As in the nursery rhyme.

One misty moisty morning
When cloudy was the weather
I chanced to meet an old man
Clothed all in leather.
He began to compliment
And I began to grin
How do ye do, how do ye do
How do ye do again.

That's all you'll find in the Mother Goose books, but Steeleye Span made an entire song out of it- set to a tune that makes you want to get up and shake a leg. You can see them perform it live on YouTube. Where did they find the tune and the extra verses? Dunno. Perhaps they made 'em up.

The site that explains nursery rhymes has little light to throw on this one- except to say that leather was what 17th century soldiers wore- leather replacing metal which was no use against musket balls and no better at deflecting cold steel. 

Misty-moisty is a great coinage. Whoever came up with it was a true poet.
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