Why do we play “he loves me, he loves me not” with daisies? Daisy, daisy, give us your an­swer do

The Simple Things - - NEST | HOW WE LIVE -

Pity the poor daisy, pulled apart by lovelorn types for many cen­turies. The an­swer why is hard to come by and even the where is dis­puted – there are a cou­ple of coun­tries vy­ing to be the old­est daisy de­stroy­ers. Among sev­eral 15th- cen­tury ref­er­ences in Ger­man books, nun and scribe Clara Hätzer­lin in­cluded ‘The Daisy Or­a­cle’ in her 1471 Lieder­hand­schrift (or song­book). It also was drama­tised in Goethe’s 1808 Faust. The French have the tra­di­tion of ‘ ef­feuiller la mar­guerite’, lit­er­ally ‘to pluck the daisy’. But, in a typ­i­cally Gal­lic way, that game is more about how much they are loved, a lit­tle, a lot, pas­sion­ately, to mad­ness or pas du tout – not at all. How­ever, it’s an­other Euro­pean na­tion that swoops in for the fi­nal bit of daisy lore. The world record largest num­ber of peo­ple play­ing “He Loves Me He Loves Me Not” (331) took place on a TV show in 2009… in Italy.

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