Thursday, October 14, 2021

Today's poem - An old nursery rhyme

 One For Sorrow (Two For Joy) is an old English nursery rhyme.

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!
Eight for a wish,
Nine for a kiss,
Ten for a bird,
You must not miss.

The rhyme is referring to magpies, but I use it for "our" crows. I'll say, "one for sorrow" is here, which rarely happens. Just now there were "seven for a secret". And I got this picture out the front door window when there were "four for a boy" and one is starting to fly off.


I think I knew this rhyme before Anthony Horowitz'
Magpie Murders, but maybe not. And, in case you haven't heard, it is going to be on PBS next year! 

10 comments:

  1. Nearly everyone in England knew that rhyme at one time when it was used, set to music, for a children's magazine programme. Like your crows, magpies are seen more often in pairs or greater numbers. "Two for joy" turn up outside my window fairly regularly.

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    1. I love this. And I hope children still know it.

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  2. Your header picture is gorgeous, Nan!
    We have plenty of both magpies and crows around here. They always find enough to eat around town, and can make such a racket they have me shut the window because otherwise I can't hear what the others are saying during a video conference. I like them, though, and think they play an important role in what's left of our ecosystem.
    On a side note: "Three for a girl, four for a boy" - I guess that would not be PC anymore ;-)

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    1. No magpies here. I wonder if they are anywhere in the US. But I do love the crows.

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  3. Do you know this beautiful song, Magpie, sung here by the Unthanks and using the old rhyme?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6gSYHJhuCw
    Used in the brilliant series Detectorists, which I absolutely loved.

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    1. Wonderful!! And I also love that show. The most kindly program I've ever seen.

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  4. Never heard that rhyme. I enjoyed Magpie Murders.

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  5. I am excited about Magpie Murders being on PBS! And I'm pretty sure I did know the poem before I read that book. Various parts of it have been used by authors as titles or intros to mysteries I've read. Good poem for October! I do kind of get confused as to whether a black bird is a 'blackbird' or a 'magpie' or a 'crow' or a 'raven'.

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    1. And then, there is the red-winged blackbird! Ha!

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