Roses are Red

 In Article, History, Valentine's Day

Roses are Red
Roses are Red, Violets are Blue. We have printed these words on many Colossal Grams throughout the years. Usually the messages celebrated Valentine’s Day, however the phrase was also used for other occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries and Sweetest Day. The Colossal Gram staff being a curious group, decided to investigate the origin of the phrase Roses are Red, Violets are Blue. We searched Google and Wikipedia in order to discover information regarding the first recorded use of the familiar phrase. Then we visited our local library to check traditional sources of information:  books, encyclopedias and periodicals. Many sources agree that the first use of the phrase was in a book written in 1590 by Sir Edmund Spenser, “The Faerie Queene”.

“It was upon a Sommers shynie day,
When Titan faire his beames did display,
In a fresh fountaine, farre from all mens vew,
She bath’d her brest, the boyling heat t’allay;
She bath’d with roses red, and violets blew,
And all the sweetest flowres, that in the forrest grew.”

By 1784 poets and authors had transformed our language. In a book of English nursery rhymes, “Gammer Gurton’s Garland”, we see the traditional Roses are Red verse in a more familiar way.

“The rose is red, the violet’s blue,
The honey’s sweet, and so are you.
Thou are my love and I am thine;
I drew thee to my Valentine:
The lot was cast and then I drew,
And fortune said it shou’d be you.”

In recent years this versatile phrase has been popularized in a song recorded by Bobby Vinton, 2 books by James Patterson and a vast variety of serious and whimsical poems.

We invite you to look at our Roses are Red and Valentine big message examples.  They can be found in the “Big Message Ideas” section under the “Ideas” tab. Click here to go directly to that area.

Today roses bloom in many colors: pink, yellow, peach, cream, purple and multiple shades of red.  Violets are also yellow and white. We will be happy to help you rhyme your message in any tint or hue, Happy Valentine’s Day!

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