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 January 20, 2017
“Roses are red, violets are blue-ish. If it weren’t for Christmas, we’d all be Jewish”

A Christmas version of the “Roses are red” poem is:

“Roses are red, violets are blue-ish. If it weren’t for Christmas we’d all be Jewish.”

The poem has been cited in print since at least 1962.


23 December 1962, Eugene (OR) Register-Guard, “Out the Other” by Don Bishoff, pg. B1, col. 2:
ARCHIE WEINSTEIN, a local-type merchant of the Jewish faith, has been having fun with his Christian friends for the last couple of Christmases. Last year he sent out Christmas cards with the verse:

“Roses are reddish,
Violets are blueish,
If it weren’t for Christmas
We’d all be Jewish.”

11 December 1963, The News-Herald (Mansfield, OH), “Christmas no joke, card vendors find” by Jerry Duhigg, pg. 11, col. 4:
AT THE CURIOSITY SHOPPE in the Great Lakes Mall—“Roses are red, violets are bluish. If it wasn’t for Christmas...We’d all be Jewish. Happy holidays!”

17 December 1964, Orlando (FL) Sentinel, “Brevard Beacon” by Dick Young, pg. 4-A, col. 5:
THEY’RE HITTING the comedy road hard this time. “Roses are red, violets are bluish, if it wasn’t for Christmas, we’d all be Jewish,” goes one little ditty.

7 April 1966, Jewish Advocate (Boston, MA), “Barney Glazer’s Hollywood Hotline,” sec. 2, pg. 7, col. 7:
On opening night, Miss (Vivien - -ed.) Leigh received the following from an admirer. “Roses are red, violets are blueish; it took Mr. Chekhov to make you Jewish.”

25 May 1967, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “The Graffiti Game—Popular Form of Scribbling on Walls” by Joyce Haber, pt. 5, pg. 5, col. 3:
Roses are reddish,
Violets are bluish.
If it weren’t for X-mas
We’d all be Jewish.


16 December 1967, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “Southland Parish” by Dan L. Thrapp, pg. 3, pg. 9, col. 1:
But what really got them was a jingle chalked on the blackboard:

Roses are reddish
Violets are bluish
If there were no Chfristmas
All would be Jewish!


Google Books
P.S. Your Not Listening
By Eleanor Craig
New York, NY: R.W. Baron
1972
Pg. 104:
“Roses are red, Violets are bluish. If it wasn’t for Christmas, We’d all be Jewish.”

Google Books
The Taste of Yiddish:
A Warm and Humorous Guide to a Fascinating Language

By Lillian Mermin Feinsilver
South Brunswick, NJ: A. S. Barnes
1980
Pg. 276:
On a somewhat higher level is the English jingle: “Roses are reddish, /Violets are bluish,/If it weren’t for Christmas,/We’d all be Jewish.”

Google Books
An Olive Branch on the Family Tree
By Bahā Abū-Laban
Toronto, ON: McClelland & Stewart
1980
Pg. 180:
“Roses are red. Violets are bluish. If it weren’t for Christmas, we’d all be Jewish.”

Google Books
Has God Rejected His People?:
Anti-Judaism in the Christian Church

By Clark M. Williamson
Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press
1982
Pg. 34:
Roses are reddish,
Violets are blueish.
If it weren’t for Jesus,
We’d all be Jewish.

Google Books
A Treasury of American-Jewish Folklore
By Steve Koppman and Lionel Koppman
Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson Inc.
1996
Pg. 360:
Roses are reddish
Violets are blue-ish
If it weren’t for the goyim
We’d all be Jewish.

Google Books
Jesus -
A Portrait

By Gerald O’Collins
London: Andrews UK Limited
2010
Pg. ?:
Roses are reddish, and violets are blueish.
If it wasn’t for Christmas, we would all be Jewish.
Rabbi Lionel Blue

Google Books
Other, Please Specify:
Notes from an Off-white American

By Paul Hawkins
Lulu Publishing (Lulu.com)
2014
Pg. ?:
And what about the famous poem:

Roses are redish,
Violets are blueish,
If it wasn’t for Jesus,
We’d all still be Jewish.

Reddit—Jokes
Roses are red....
submitted January 20, 2017 by jedwards999
Violets are blue-ish,
If it weren’t for Christmas, we’d all be Jewish!

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityHolidays/Events/Parades • Friday, January 20, 2017 • Permalink