“Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise”

“Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

The informant was born in Atchinson, Kansas, but moved to California when she was seven, where she has lived ever since.

While the informant cannot remember a specific instance where she heard this saying, she explained that this was something that people would say over and over again. She considers her generation to have been homebodies and that their sayings simply reflected the way people were living. To her, these sayings came from people who were doing more manual work, like farming and housekeeping, rather than office work. She herself never had a job, but fulfilled her goal of becoming a mother and homemaker.

With this saying in particular, she was quick to point out that it didn’t say women. Because of this, she explained that it was great for a man, but didn’t apply to her necessarily. She went on to explain that she would get up early not because she liked to, but to have quiet time. However, she was never made wealthy or wise from it, with maybe only being healthier coming into play for her.

The informant relayed her folklore to me at my dining room table. I have known her my entire life as she is a close relative. I had already asked her about her folklore weeks before, but upon meeting on this day, she brought a list that she had written of all she could think of so that she would not forget when she told me. While she read the specific folklore off the sheet, the other details I got from her were not pre-determined.

As the informant herself was/is a homebody, it is natural that phrases that suited her lifestyle were the ones that she heard on a regular basis. Her friends were very similar to her and her husband as well. It was interesting though, that while she claimed it did not apply to her, she still woke up early. I believe that the folklore influenced her without her even knowing it.