A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 27, 2006
Brooklyn National Anthem ("Spring is sprung…")

The following anonymous poem is sometimes called the Brooklyn (or Bronx) National Anthem.


11 April 1941, Reno (NV) Evening Gazette, Sports Roundup by Eddie Brietz, pg. 21:
ODE TO SPRING.
Spring has sprung,
The grass has riz;
But it’s still unsung
Where the flowers is.

29 March 1944, Coe College Cosmos (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), pg. 2: 
Spring has sprung,
The grass is riz,
I wonder where
My blanket is.
(OK, so it’s old, but it’s pertinent.)

25 April 1944, Brainerd (MN) Daily Dispatch, pg. 5:
“Spring is here, the grass is ‘riz,’ I wonder where the flowers is—.”

19 March 1945, Maryville (MO) Daily Forum, pg. 2:
“Spring is sprung,
The grass is riz,
I wonder where the flowers is.”

9 April 1947, Charleston (WV) Daily Mail, pg. 6:
Spring is sprung;
The grass is riz.
I wonder where the flowers is?

20 March 1948, Washington (DC) Post, pg. B14:
Spring has spring,
The grass has riz.
I wonder where
The flowers is?
W. H. L.
554 S. 18th st.
Arlington, Va.

21 March 1948, New York (NY) Times, pg. SM18:
“Spring is sprung,
The grass is riz,
I wonder where the flowers is.
The boid is on the wing --
Absoid!
Of course the wing is on the boid.”
-- Anon.

26 March 1948, Washington (DC) Post, pg. C8:
MAIL BAG
Dear Bill:
Down in North Carolina, your “Spring is sprung, grass is riz” poem has been a favorite for years. I don’t know the name of the author, but I object to seeing it published over somebody else’s initials.
Annabel Barnes
2131 I st. nw.

Cassell’s Humorous Quotations
by Nigel Rees
New York, NY: Sterling Publishing, Inc.
2003
Pp. 89-90:
Der spring is sprung
Der grass is riz
I wonder where dem boidies is?

Der little boids is on der wing.
Ain’t dat absoid?
Der little wings is on der boid!
Anonymous (New York). “The Budding Bronx,” quoted in Arnold Silcock, Verse and Worse (1952).

8 May 1957, Los Angeles Times, Cityside with Gene Sherman, pg. 2:
VERSESIDE—Jose Bates has been having a little italic trouble with his garden:

Spring iz sprung
The grass iz riz;
I wonder where
The flowers iz?

18 January 1976, New York (NY) Times, “Talking Brooklyn in Joisey” by Mario Pei, pg. 328:
It was ultimately sublimated into exalted verse in what is described as “The Brooklyn National Anthem,” although its lack of nationalistic features makes it applicable to Hoboken and Jersey City as well:

“De spring is sprung,
De grass is riz;
I wunneh wear de flowers is.
De boid is on de wing --”

“Absoid! De wing is on de boid!”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityNames/Phrases • Thursday, July 27, 2006 • Permalink


Spring is sprung.
The grass is riz.
I wonder where the birdies is?
The bird is on the wing.
Now isn’t that absurd?
I always thought the wing was on the bird!

Spring has sprung, the buds all break
Spring has sprung and nature wakes

Spring has sprung, winter’s gone
Now we sing our happy song
Tra-la, la-la, la-la, lay
Sweep the old dead leaves away

Attributed to Spike Milligan

Posted by G Thompson  on  03/11  at  10:04 AM

"Spring is sprung,
The grass is riz,
And the boid is on the wing.
Now isn’t that a funny thing?
I always thought the wing was on the boid!

We always said it this way in elementary school days.

Posted by M Kranich  on  03/12  at  07:04 PM

"Spring is sprung,
The grass is riz,
And the boid is on the wing.
Now isn’t that a funny thing?
I always thought the wing was on the boid!”

I think you will find that this was originally written by Ogden Nash, an American poet well known for his humorous verse.

Born August 19, 1902 – Died May 19, 1971

Posted by Andy Poulton  on  03/16  at  05:51 AM

Spring dun sprung, the grass dun riz, now i wonder where the flowers is

I have been saying this for years and thought the poem was by Paul L. Dunbar

Posted by carmen brown  on  03/17  at  01:07 PM

My 9th grade (1973) English teacher always spoke it as:

“Spring is sprung,
The grass is riz,
The boid is on the wing—
My woid, how absoid!
I thought the wing was on the boid.”

Posted by Teresia  on  03/26  at  10:04 AM

Hang on -

I heard it from someone years ago, I only remember the first few lines, but it’s different. Have you heard ? -

Spring has sprung
The grass is riz
I wonder where the birdies is
The birdies is upon the tree -

and unfortunately the rest escapes me. Can anybody put me out of my misery and come up with the finishing line.

Thanks

Posted by Brian B  on  07/22  at  06:08 AM

Had a fried who’d say:

Christ is died,
Christ is riz,
I wonder where the saving is?

Posted by WillD  on  08/27  at  08:47 AM

Spring has sprung
the grass has riz
I wonder where da birdie is?
The bird is on the wing
Come come that’s quite absurd
The wing in on the bird

Oh my oh my am I perturbed!

version by Ernie Spicer (unofficial)

Posted by A Parnell  on  03/02  at  12:24 PM

As a weather forecaster for more than fifty years, I have often used variations of this little ditty.  Most recently with spring coming in the next day upon showing the air quality index pollen was at the medium level...I told the viewers that tomorrow they can say: Spring has sprung...the flowers have riz...now you know where the pollen iz.  Once before when spring arrived during a very cold spell:  Spring has sprung...the flowers have riz...wonder where the warm weather iz.  The takeoffs are really endless...they really is.  Happy Spring everytime!  Joe Pinner WIS TV Columbia, SC

Posted by Joe "Knozit" Pinner  on  03/19  at  09:13 PM

I was taught this poem at Ysgol Gyfun Dafydd Huws in Menai bridge, Anglesey in the late 1970’s, can’t remember who taught it to me but i’m sure it was in an English lesson and I loved it, I don’t remember the author either:

Der spring is sprung,
Der grass is riz,
I wonder where them boidies is,
der little boid is on der wing,
ain’t that absoid,
the little wing is on the boid.

I always thought it was a quote from “Of mice and men” ......? didn’t lenny sing it?

Posted by Toby Stanbra  on  03/26  at  05:37 PM

De spring is sprung
de grass is rized
I vunder ver dem boidies iz
They say that the boid is on de ving
aint that absoid cos de vings is on de boid

Posted by Gerry Vaughan  on  04/02  at  02:12 PM

Spring Is Sprung
The Grass Is Riz
I Wonder Where the Flowers Is
Everything is signs of Spring
Little Boid Is On The Wing
My Boid ain’t that Absoid
I Thought The Wings Was On the Boid!

-- My Grandad sends this poem out every year at Spring to quote his Hig School Teacher.

Posted by Heather Swafford  on  05/11  at  09:14 PM

hurrah hurrah! its spring!
the boid is on the wing!
how utterly absoid!
the wing is on the boid!

Posted by hashpotato chootypants  on  09/18  at  04:25 PM

my recently deceased dad (82yo) always orated as follows:

spring has sprung
the grass is riz
I wonder where all the birdies is
some say the bird ison te winf
now isn’t that a funny thing
in fact it’s really quite absurd
because the wing is on the bird!

Posted by DoctorFi  on  10/13  at  04:54 AM

Here’s how I remember it from about 65 years ago when it appeared in the Sunday funnies; a strip entitled Winnie Winkle, the Breadwinner.

De spring has sprung
De grass has rizz.
I wonder where de flowers is?
De boids is on de wing, I hoid
But dat’s obzoid!
I know de wings is on de boid.

Posted by Tom  Kilbride  on  03/11  at  11:53 PM

This is how a school friend wrote the ditty in my diary about 55 years ago!

Spring is sprung
De grass is riz
I wonder where de boidies is?
De boids is on de wing.
Well dat’s funny…
I always t’ought
De wings was on de boid!!

Posted by Jane Rubin  on  03/13  at  04:51 PM

Spring has sprung
the grass has riz
I wonder where the flowers iz
Here I are
Pick I up
For I am a buttercup

Posted by HARRIS,ELAINE MS  on  03/21  at  12:48 AM

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