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Monday, November 01, 2010

Super-Duper-Stition

White Rabbits!!!

Well, that's what you're supposed to say on the first day of a new month... isn't it??  

Well, it seems that rather depends on which superstition you happen to believe.  It might well be that we're actually supposed to say "Rabbit, Rabbit", or it could be that we're supposed to say "Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit", or "Bunny Bunny Hop Hop" or "Happy Rabbit Day" or maybe even "A Pinch and a punch, it's the first of the month!".  You have to admit, that if you are at all superstitious about these things, you've absolutely had it, because there's just no way of knowing what it is you're supposed to say and exactly when and even why?

Whatever that thing is you're supposed to do, if you do it it's supposed to bring you good luck. So presumably if you don't do it, conversely you're in for a load of bad luck. It's all very confusing.

A friend of mine has this problem with Magpies. I'm sure you've heard the 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

which if you lived in the UK in the 70's you might also recognise as the theme tune to the TV show "Magpie". It was ITV's equivalent to the BBC's "Blue Peter"... and yes, people really did wear wooly jumpers in Monaco, just as you're about to witness in this video:

Bizarre. To my point though. Should this friend of mine happen upon a magpie during his travels (Which is highly likely as he's a farmer) he has a little ritual to complete. A lone magpie induces this conversation with himself direct at the said bird "Good morning Mr, Magpie. How's your lady wife today, Molly Magpie? It's 11 minutes past 8 (or whatever the time happens to be at that moment)" accompanied by either a salute or a doffing of his hat should he be wearing one.

Apparently if he doesn't do this, all sorts of ailments could befall him. I once saw him nearly drive into a hedgerow where he was so intent on greeting Mr Magpie and telling the the time.  Country folk, country ways.

But it's very old word, and a very great song...  as you can see:

superstition. (French - Latin.) French. superstition. Latin. accusative case. superstitionem, a standing near a thing, amazement, dread, religious awe, scruple.
- Latin. superstiti-, crude form of superstes, one who stands near, a witness.
- Latin. super, above, near; statum, supine of sistere, to stand, from stare, to stand.

superstition (ˌsuːpəˈstɪʃən) — noun
1. irrational belief usually founded on ignorance or fear and characterized by obsessive reverence for omens, charms, etc
2. a notion, act or ritual that derives from such belief
3. any irrational belief, esp with regard to the unknown
[from Latin superstitiō dread of the supernatural, from superstāre to stand still by something (as in amazement)]

Thanks to Stevie Wonder for writing it, but even more thanks to Adam Rafferty for this arrangement, which is just awesome!.

As it turns out, we don't have any white rabbits here on the roundabout, but there's plenty of the regular grey type. And very hoppy they are too.

PS - For the pureists - here's Stevie's version too:



This post originally appeared here: Posterous
 

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