Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Weird how stuff encountered separately comes together somehow.....

So I've been reading this book by Patrick Taylor called "An Irish Country Doctor. It's about a new doctor who starts to practice in Ireland in the 1960's....pretty good stuff....fiction and right up my alley.

So anyway I was reading today and the doctors were dealing with a unmarried young woman who had become pregnant by accident (big taboo then). The young doctor (Laverty) and his boss (O'Reilly) were mulling over it and one of them saw a magpie fly by and remarked "One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, and four for a boy" after saluting the magpie.
Now this sounded really familiar to me....so I thought about it and then remembered where I'd heard it before....it's in a Counting Crows song called "A Murder of One". So me being the curious sort that I am went searching....

The lyrics for the the specific part of the song I was looking at are:

"Well, I dreamt I saw you walking up a hillside in the snow,
Casting shadows on the winter sky as you stood there counting crows.
One for sorrow, two for joy, three for girls, and four for boys, five for silver, six for gold, seven for a secret never to be told."

So then I found out from Wikipedia that there is apparently Magpie lore in the UK:

As found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magpie

I posted the associated part below but the whole thing is interesting!

Magpie lore in Britain

The best known rhyme associated with magpies is:

One for sorrow,
Two for joy,
Three for a girl,
Four for a boy,
Five for silver,
Six for gold,
And seven for a secret never to be told.

This was popularised by the British children's programme Magpie.

One continued version of the poem is:

Eight's a kiss,
Nine's a wish,
Ten's a bird you should never miss.

Then me still being the curious sort wanted to know what was up with the crows!! So I did a little more digging and came up with this:

As found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counting_Crows

Origin of the name

The band took its name from a divination rhyme about the crow, heard by Duritz in the film "Signs of Life". The rhyme begins the third verse (around the 2:07 mark) of the song "A Murder of One" on the album August and Everything After : "Well I dreamt I saw you walking up a hillside in the snow / Casting shadows on the winter sky as you stood there, counting crows / One for sorrow, two for joy / Three for girls and four for boys / Five for silver, six for gold / Seven for a secret never to be told."

In the poem, the act of counting crows is particularly useless. This recalls a traditional rhyme: "One crow means sorrow, two crows mean joy, three crows a wedding, four crows a boy, five crows mean silver, six crows mean gold, seven crows a secret that's never been told." In the United Kingdom, the rhyme is well known but uses magpies rather than crows. A popular superstition is that if one sees a single magpie, one should greet it to deflect the "sorrow".

It's bizarre that two things completely unrelated can be related somehow!

Signing Off 23:54

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