There Was A Crooked Man

The first printed version of There Was a Crooked Man dates back to 1842 but it took a while for this poem to catch on. It didn’t start to become popular until the 20th century and tells us the tale of a man as he goes on a journey and comes into contact with a variety of objects that are crooked.

Rumors suggest that the rhyme relates to the town of Lavenham with the unusual angles and design of the houses proving to be an inspiration for the crookedness in the song but there is no official confirmation that this is true. 

There is another theory that suggests the rhyme dates back even further to the 17th century and is a euphemism for General Sir Alexander Leslie, the man who is credited with securing political and religious freedom for Scotland. The “crooked house” relates to the somewhat shaky alliance between the two countries at the time. 

There Was A Crooked Man Lyrics

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, which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.

There Was A Crooked Man Music Sheet