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There Was a Crooked Man

There was a crooked man and he walked a crooked mile,

He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile.

He bought a crooked cat, who caught a crooked mouse,

And they all lived together in a crooked little house.

Mouse Line

This poem has a basis in history.   This poem originates from the English Stuart history of King Charles I.  The crooked man is the Scottish General Sir Alexander Leslie.  The General signed a Covenant securing religious and political freedom for Scotland.  The 'crooked stile' represents the border between England and Scotland.  'They all lived together' refers to the fact that the English and Scots had at last come to an agreement.  The words reflect the times when there was great animosity between the English and the Scots.  The work crookes is pronounced as 'crookED' the emphasis being placed upon the 'ED' in the word.  this was common in olde England and many references can be found in this type of pronounciation in the works of William Shakespeare (1564-1616).

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