Saturday, 26 December 2009

one for sorrow, two for joy....

a few years ago i bought a wonderful acrylic magpie necklace from Paraphernalia on Etsy - i loved it and wore it often. unfortunately the magpie necklace snapped in half (hmmm...there may be something in that bad luck thing about seeing only one!) and i haven't gotten round to fixing it yet...and i've just discovered they have left Etsy and have their own site.

i am fascinated by these much maligned birds - i think they are beautiful and they always reminded me of my english home when i was away in tropical climes, as i was for much of my childhood.  due to superstition about the luck (or lack of) these birds bring when spotted - its interesting to hear how people react when they see them - especially a solitary magpie, thought to be bad luck (probably because they usually stay in pairs). at school i remember reciting "hello, mr magpie" three times, while spinning round clockwise three times and spitting three times, others i know say "hello, mr magpie, say hello to your wife and family" while doffing their cap or saluting. and of course there's the wellknown rhyme, tho there seem to be variations...i always did the first one...

One for sorrow
Two for joy
Three for a girl
Four for a boy
Five for silver
Six for gold
Seven for a secret never to be told


One for sorrow
Two for mirth
Three for a funeral
Four for a birth
Five for heaven
Six for hell
Seven for the devil his own sel'

and there are even some extra lines added sometimes...

Eight for a wish
Nine for a kiss
Ten for a time of joyous bliss / for a bird that you won't want to miss

tho i always used to use a variation on this rhyme for sneezes...

One's a wish
Two's a kiss
Three's a letter
Four's something better!

also reminds me of the rhyme my granny used to say to tell the difference between crows and rooks...

A crow in a crowd is a rook
A rook on his own is a crow

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