"When she was good, she was very good..."
I've finally discovered the first person to ever say that.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. (American poet, 1807-1882)
There was a little girl, who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead,
And when she was good, she was very, very good,
But when she was bad she was horrid.
She stood on her head, on her little trundle bed,
With nobody by for to hinder;
She screamed and she squalled, she yelled and she bawled,
And drummed her little heels against the winder.
Her mother heard the noise, and thought it was the boys
Playing in the empty attic,
She rushed upstairs, and caught her unawares,
And spanked her, most emphatic.
But Philip Roth's 1967 book When
She Was Good
was actually based on his first wife,
according to Wikipedia.
And Norma Fox Mazer also wrote
sad novel called "When She Was Good" in 2000.
UPDATE: This page is now Google's #1 match for the phrase: When she
was good she was very very good...
P.S. Try the new word game I co-wrote for the Kindle!