Monday 17 January 2022

Full Moon

 Full moon tonight at 23.48 but whether we see it or not is a different matter. There have been more nights cloudy and mild rather than clear and frosty this winter so far.
January's full moon is called the  Wolf Moon, named by Native Americans and medieval Europeans due to the howling of hungry wolves coming close to the villages looking for food. Other names for this month's full moon include old moon and ice moon.

With only a cheap diary this year it doesn't have the days for full moons etc so I found this  moon phases calendar online and of course I have the moon phases gadget on the right which changes as the nights roll by each month.

2022 Moon Phases Calendar
Jan2:,    9:,  17:,  25:
Feb1:,    8:,  16:,  23:
Mar2:,  10:,  18:,  25:
Apr1:,    9:,  16:,  23:,  30:
May9:,  16:,  22:,  30:
Jun7:,  14:,  21:,  29:
Jul7:,  13:,  20:,  28:
Aug5:,  12:,  19:,  27:
Sep3:,  10:,  17:,  25:
Oct3:,    9:,  17:,  25:
Nov1:,    8:,  16:,  23:,  30:
Dec8:,  16:,  23:,  30:
This below is from my book "The Illustrated Country Year" by Celia Lewis

It was youngest Granddaughter who gave me the idea for this post as she pointed to the moon appearing as they were going out the front door last week around 4pm. Why is the moon there when it's daytime she wanted to know. Good question. Then she was saying something about the boy who lived on the moon? And I tried to think of the nonsense rhyme..........

The Man in the moon came down too soon
And asked the way to Norwich,
He went by the south
and burnt his mouth
by eating cold pease-porridge 

Which ever bit of memory did that come from? and does it, like so many rhymes, have some sort of historic story . Daughter in Law said she'd never heard of it, but thanks to Listen With Mother, probably the only children's radio programme in the late 50's, I seem to remember all sorts of children's nursery rhymes. If only I'd kept a book I once owned on the history of children's rhymes by Iona and Peter Opie, then I might be able to look up the origins, but the book has gone and the origins are probably lost in history.

The entry on wiki mentions countries all round the world that have traditions about the man in the moon and JRR Tolkien joined in with a poem......... 
There is an inn, a merry old inn
  beneath an old grey hill,
And there they brew a beer so brown
That the Man in the Moon himself came down
  one night to drink his fill.

The ostler has a tipsy cat
  that plays a five-stringed fiddle;
And up and down he saws his bow
Now squeaking high, now purring low,
  now sawing in the middle.

The landlord keeps a little dog
  that is mighty fond of jokes;
When there's good cheer among the guests,
He cocks an ear at all the jests
  and laughs until he chokes.

They also keep a hornéd cow
  as proud as any queen;
But music turns her head like ale,
And makes her wave her tufted tail
  and dance upon the green.

And O! the rows of silver dishes
  and the store of silver spoons!
For Sunday there's a special pair,
And these they polish up with care
  on Saturday afternoons.

The Man in the Moon was drinking deep,
  and the cat began to wail;
A dish and a spoon on the table danced,
The cow in the garden madly pranced
  and the little dog chased his tail.

The Man in the Moon took another mug,
  and then rolled beneath his chair;
And there he dozed and dreamed of ale,
Till in the sky the stars were pale,
  and dawn was in the air.

Then the ostler said to his tipsy cat:
  'The white horses of the Moon,
They neigh and champ their silver bits;
But their master's been and drowned his wits,
  and the Sun'll be rising soon!'

So the cat on the fiddle played hey-diddle-diddle,
  a jig that would wake the dead:
He squeaked and sawed and quickened the tune,
While the landlord shook the Man in the Moon:
  'It's after three!' he said.

They rolled the Man slowly up the hill
  and bundled him into the Moon,
While his horses galloped up in rear,
And the cow came capering like a deer,
  and a dish ran up with the spoon.

Now quicker the fiddle went deedle-dum-diddle;
  the dog began to roar,
The cow and the horses stood on their heads;
The guests all bounded from their beds
  and danced upon the floor.

With a ping and a pang the fiddle-strings broke!
  the cow jumped over the Moon,
And the little dog laughed to see such fun,
And the Saturday dish went off at a run
  with the silver Sunday spoon.

The round Moon rolled behind the hill,
  as the Sun raised up her head.
She hardly believed her fiery eyes;
For though it was day, to her surprise
  they all went back to bed!

Thank you granddaughter W for giving me an idea for a post!

Back Tomorrow


  1. I've got the Opie Children's verses(just climbed out of bed to check it) and I can't find the verse age of schoolchildren) in there. I haven't got their other book (Lore & Language of schoolchildren) They were a gifted couple. Their son is an author, specialising in "consumer nostalgia" Quite eccentric, but a pleasant chap. I met him once, years ago, when I took my children to his Packaging Museum. Now you have given ME an idea for a blogposts. Thanks Sue!

    1. It's another book I regret letting go although it had sat on the shelves for years without being opened.
      I need more ideas for posts from grandchildren!

  2. Surely that isn't the hey diddle diddle's so complicated! x

    1. A Tolkien poem with Hey diddle diddle as a base I think

  3. I love that Tolkien poem. I know your Man in the Moon poem though - probably from the same source!

    1. I'm glad I could remember it - dragged from recesses of the mind!

  4. I remember it as "cold plum porridge" though no idea what that is!

    1. Yes, I found that variation on line - I don't fancy either!

  5. The man in the moon came tumbling down as I remember it. Amelia Opie of Norwich was another Opie you may like to research. A writer, poet and activist, friend of Mary Wollstonecraft and a Quaker. A very interesting woman and I am not sure if Peter Opie was related to her at all but she was certainly one hell of a woman. There is a street named after her in Norwich. Probably got nothing to do with your nursery rhymes but your post reminded me about her so I thought I would share it.

    1. One spelling on line spelled Norwich as Norridge!

  6. My moon poem is so simple but is what I was taught. “I see the moon and the moon sees me, God bless the moon and please God bless me.”

  7. Hi Sue - I see you can pick up copies of the Oxford Book of Nursery Rhymes, edited by the Opies quite cheap on t'internet - they may not be the edition you originally had but same info. Sometimes something will trigger a memory of an old nursery rhyme from my childhood and it is surprising how you remember them. Sometimes I tell the grandchildren and then often get quizzed about what they mean .....hmmm

    1. I expect if I got another copy it would sit on the shelves unused all over again!

  8. I have never heard these rhymes either I just knew there was a man in the moon. WE are having a very bad snowstorm at the moment the wind is howling so glad to be tucked into our cozy home.

    1. Several people have said the weather forecast was bad in your part of the world. Hope it moves away soon

  9. I had not heard that rhyme before. My mum used to know lots of nursery rhymes. My dad had given her a small red book of them when she was pregnant, and I still enjoy looking through the book. I enjoyed your post.

    1. That rhyme came from way, way back in my memory!

  10. Loved your post about the moon. In the U.S. (in my family, anyway), when we see the moon in the daytime we call it the "Children's Moon," because they don't usually get to stay up late enough to see it at night!

    1. How lovely - I shall remember that for next time.

  11. Heavens above Sue - that has bits of three or four nursery rhymes in it.

    1. and who knew that Tolkein wrote nonsense poems?

  12. Very nice full moon post, thank you.

    I am also in the US, and we received about 9 inches of snow from Winter Story Izzy on Saturday, and last night we went for a walk in the woods by the light of the (nearly) full moon, with brightness almost doubled by reflections off the snow. Beautiful.

  13. It is lovely that your granddaughter takes notice of the sky and moon. She must be delightful to spend time with. I was once told the full moon equates to 1 hour before midnight as the witching hour. Just a week ago at 1 AM I was awakened by a loud coyote hunt taking place behind my house then silence after the kill. We shall see what happens tonight during the full moon.

    1. Oh my goodness - a coyote hunt sounds loud and frightening. Not something we would hear in the UK

    2. The first time you hear the hunt it is quite disturbing. Now I'm used to it and see it as part of nature and one species survival.

  14. Love the moon poems!

    Sadly it's been cloudy here most nights so no sight of the moon. Some nights I am lucky and can take photos from the back garden - if it's not too cold!

  15. I can remember the man in the moon rhyme feom my childhood (1970s) - we used to almost sing it and (like another reader above) our man used to eat cold plum porridge :)

    We have an amazing full moon here tonight (Hloucestershire) - my son and I have been commenting on it in the car whilst on the way to his swimming lesson. We also call a daytime moon a children's moon - I hadn't heard that as a child, but my mother in law always used to say it.

  16. It was a beautiful full moon last night and here it was lovely and clear, so I stood outside and enjoyed it ... until my extremities told me I should be back indoors and getting warmed up again.

  17. Thank you - that's fascinating. I love the idea of the moons having names, especially a 'wolf moon'.

  18. Quite the picture of tree and moon phases from a book! I know there are names for full moons. Not sure if I can see it as day has been foggy more this a.m. when driving northbound to foot dr. appt. Better coming back but saw emergency lights and traffic slowed down with fire trucks, police car, police motorcycle and ambulance. I saw a person on a gerney being taken to the ambulance. Made me cry and started praying for the person injured and the responders. It's been cold outdoors for few days but nice sunshine out in a.m. to mid afternoon. Have a good week!

  19. A version very like that was in my Childcraft books.

  20. We will be in the midst of a blizzard soon so I won't be able to see the moon tonight.

    Love the picture of the moon phases.

    God bless.

  21. This past week I've enjoyed sunrise and moonset as I headed off to work at 7:30 a.m. Central Standard Time.
    So, which came first, the poem or the nursery rhyme?