“There Was A Crooked Man” is an old nursery rhyme with an educational meaning.
The image of “a crooked man” who lives in “a little crooked house” is an expressive illustration of some social situations. It can be synonym with being different in anyway. It is about finding a identity. There is a place for anybody in this world.
But a crooked man can also be seen as a dishonest man who gets what he deserve – a crooked existence.
The origins of this song are unknown. Dating back to 19th century the song was first published in James Orchard Halliwell’s nursery rhymes collection in 1840.
According to the most common interpretations regarding the origin of this rhyme, the character “crooked man” could be Scottish General Sir Alexander Leslie. It is set in the early 17th century during the reign of Charles I of England when despite the animosities on the border between the English and the Scottish a peaceful coexistence was needed.
“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.