May 22nd, 2008

userinfo senji
2008/05/22 15:44:00 - One for sorrow…

Six crows or magpies:

…for gold
…for poor
…takes wealth
…for crying
…divebombed my nephews, you insensitive clod

Current Mood: [mood icon] tired
Entry Tags: magpies, poll, random

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userinfo simont
2008/05/22 14:54:02
If I recall rightly, "One for sorrow, two for sorrow, three for sorrow, four for for for I don't know but I'm all bored of sorrow, five for silver, six for gold, seven for a magpie that tells me where to go". But I can't be sure of that until I get home to my bookshelf :-)

eta: Arrgh, completely forgot "five for three two one"! And "who tells me where to go". But otherwise word-perfect, which isn't bad for off the top of my head on a busy afternoon :-)
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userinfo keirf
2008/05/22 14:59:17
Depends on whether it's crows or magpies.
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userinfo geekette8
2008/05/22 15:04:22
Only ever heard it with magpies. 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.
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userinfo lnr
2008/05/22 15:28:23
I know two variations which give your first two answers:

(sorrow, joy, girl, boy, silver, gold, secret never to be told)
(sorrow, mirth, wedding, birth, rich, poor, kiss or wish, I can tell you no more)

Although it seems they're slight variants themselves. I learned the first one much earlier than the second one, and come across it most often.

This webpage has other versions, including your other answers, and at least one more:

Although not the bit about the nephews.
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userinfo senji
2008/05/22 16:59:24
The first of those is the one I mostly know myself, but if (as this afternoon) someone says to me "One for sorrow" my response is "Two for mirth" not for joy, so I must have got wires crossed somewhere. Six appeared to be the number with the biggest range of answers (particularly since the rhymes seem to stop at different points).

On the Brewer's' one, which I didn't see whilst posting the poll, I wonder if "dearth" was originally "death" which would appear to fit the pattern better — although I don't know whether that's a plausible rhyme in any past dialect.
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userinfo ilanin
2008/05/23 11:24:55
Schott quotes the same one with no commentary except to say that across all regions and variations, a single magpie is always an ill omen.
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2008/05/29 15:34:33
Hence my wife's habit of, on seeing a single magpie, saying "Hello Mr Magpie, how's your wife?"

Chris H
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userinfo livredor
2008/05/23 06:22:27
Hm, in my version it's definitely only magpies, and six is for "something better" (than a letter that was five).

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One for sorrow… - Squaring the circle...

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