Mudcat Café message #3283468 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #285   Message #3283468
Posted By: foggers
02-Jan-12 - 12:08 PM
Thread Name: Origins: The Magpie (David Dodds)
Subject: RE: Origins: The Magpie (David Dodds)
@ Jeanette - I grew up knowing the two different counting rhymes, one for sneezes and one for magpies. Both are related to beliefs about the devil and his daemons; sneezing was supposed to give a demon the chance to enter your body, which is why we say "bless you".

There are also different "Magpie" songs. I too remember the 70s TV prog, and they used the words of the counting rhyme but only as far as 7.Though I don't know the origins of the tune they used, -I would guess it was a composition for that show. There is also a traditional song called Magpie's Nest, which is listed early in this thread (see post by Doc on 9 Dec 1996).

And then there is David Dodds' composed song "The Magpie" which draws together the folk beliefs. The details of that song are given in this thread too, by MCP (8 Nov 2001). I would highly recommend the version by Paul and Liz Davenport on their CD; I've heard them do it live too and it is powerful and stirring stuff.

@ Paul - hope you all had a good festive season and I look forward to crossing paths with you and Liz in 2012!