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Folklore: Rabbit, Rabbit! did you say it yet?

Kaleea 01 Jan 07 - 05:59 PM
Anne Lister 01 Jan 07 - 06:02 PM
Emma B 01 Jan 07 - 06:03 PM
Peace 01 Jan 07 - 06:04 PM
Noreen 01 Jan 07 - 09:07 PM
Richie 01 Jan 07 - 09:16 PM
Azizi 01 Jan 07 - 09:27 PM
Paul Burke 02 Jan 07 - 03:14 AM
Elmer Fudd 03 Jan 07 - 01:08 AM
GUEST,Pesky wabbit 03 Jan 07 - 11:27 AM
fat B****rd 03 Jan 07 - 03:24 PM
Azizi 03 Jan 07 - 05:45 PM
Anne Lister 03 Jan 07 - 06:54 PM
GUEST 03 Jan 07 - 07:11 PM
GUEST 03 Jan 07 - 07:13 PM
Paul from Hull 04 Jan 07 - 07:58 AM
Azizi 04 Jan 07 - 08:47 AM
fat B****rd 04 Jan 07 - 08:52 AM
Scrump 04 Jan 07 - 10:06 AM
GUEST,radar 04 Jan 07 - 03:13 PM
Anne Lister 04 Jan 07 - 03:19 PM
ClaireBear 05 Jan 07 - 02:52 PM
ClaireBear 05 Jan 07 - 03:12 PM
CapriUni 05 Jan 07 - 03:32 PM
folk_radio_uk 05 Jan 07 - 03:58 PM
CapriUni 07 Jan 07 - 05:33 PM
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Subject: Folklore: Rabbit, Rabbit! did you say it yet?
From: Kaleea
Date: 01 Jan 07 - 05:59 PM

My old Music History Prof told us that one should say "Rabbit Rabbit" on New Year's Day to the first person you meet, so that you would have good luck throughout the year. Does anyone know the origins of this, &/or if it has anything to Music? The Prof alluded that it had something to do with Music, but never told us if or how.
He was a wealth of information about all things everywhere, but when asked questions about "Rabbit Rabbit," he merely told us that we'd get extra credit if we found out. (He was famous for extra credit given for extraordinary things, & even gave extra points on exams for humor!) That was many years ago, & nobody ever got the extra credit.
Recently, a British pal I spoke with said he'd been saying this on New Year's Day all of his life, but had no idea where it came from. Anybody know?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rabbit, Rabbit! did you say it yet?
From: Anne Lister
Date: 01 Jan 07 - 06:02 PM

In my family we were always supposed to say "White rabbits" as the first thing uttered on the first day of each month. No idea why. Not just New Year's Day.

Anne (British)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rabbit, Rabbit! did you say it yet?
From: Emma B
Date: 01 Jan 07 - 06:03 PM

At home in NW England the superstition was that the first words you should say on waking on the first day of any month are "White Rabbit"
I've really no idea where it comes from though.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rabbit, Rabbit! did you say it yet?
From: Peace
Date: 01 Jan 07 - 06:04 PM

Site to check, Kaleea.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rabbit, Rabbit! did you say it yet?
From: Noreen
Date: 01 Jan 07 - 09:07 PM

See also, previous thread from 2003:
Folklore: White Rabbits

(No, I forgot to say it this morning!)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rabbit, Rabbit! did you say it yet?
From: Richie
Date: 01 Jan 07 - 09:16 PM

Here are some rabbit songs I'm familar with:

"Mister Rabbit" "Old Mister Rabbit (I'll Get You Rabbit)," "Rabbit Hash," and "Rabbit in a Log"(Feast Here Tonight).

Some of them start Rabbit, Rabbit.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rabbit, Rabbit! did you say it yet?
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Jan 07 - 09:27 PM

I remember a discussion about this custom of saying "rabbit rabbit" on a 2006 thread. I believe that the thread was about wearing green on St. Patrick day but I'm not sure.

There's also some discussion about that custom on RE: BS: Pinch, punch, 1st. of the month.

Also, see this post in thread.cfm?threadid=11086#81573
"RE: Forbidden or unlucky words? (Mostly BS)"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rabbit, Rabbit! did you say it yet?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 02 Jan 07 - 03:14 AM

You only say "White rabbit" if there isn't an R in the month. Or so I've heard.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rabbit, Rabbit! did you say it yet?
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 03 Jan 07 - 01:08 AM

Wabbit wabbit.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rabbit, Rabbit! did you say it yet?
From: GUEST,Pesky wabbit
Date: 03 Jan 07 - 11:27 AM

watch it doc!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rabbit, Rabbit! did you say it yet?
From: fat B****rd
Date: 03 Jan 07 - 03:24 PM

My old Mum used to say "White Rabbits" on the first day of a month WITH an R in it. Mind you if she walked out of the house and found a piece of coal in the street she'd rush back in clutching said POC turn round three times and go out again.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rabbit, Rabbit! did you say it yet?
From: Azizi
Date: 03 Jan 07 - 05:45 PM

From reading other threads on the subject of "White Rabbit" and "pinch punch", I suppose that coal may be the nearest thing to being the first person to see someone who is dark haired or dark skinned and that was supposed to mean good luck, but what does "POC" mean?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rabbit, Rabbit! did you say it yet?
From: Anne Lister
Date: 03 Jan 07 - 06:54 PM

We never had no rules about an r in the month ... eating pork must be avoided unless there was an r in the month, of course, but nothing about the white rabbits. My parents were, and are, of course, completely sane and didn't play around with pieces of coal.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rabbit, Rabbit! did you say it yet?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jan 07 - 07:11 PM

An interesting thing, I was a museum in the renowned Balboa Park here in San Diego, & it so happened that a feller was there visiting who is an Anthropologist. In looking at some ancient artwork, I noticed several rabbits decorating pieces of art. The feller said it was a symbol of fertility. I then asked him the Q re saying rabbit rabbit. He laughed & said his favorite old Prof (what an irony--see my original post!) told them while in University that it was the practice of women in ancient times at the beginning of the year, to pray to goddess of fertility-a goddess with lots of rabbits hanging around her, for fertility in the coming year. Over time, this turned into praying to rabbits & deities for fertility & good luck, & then the superstition of chanting or speaking the word rabbit on the day of the new year for good luck in the coming year.
He said that it is believed that British soldiers who were stationed in the middle east at the tail end of of the 1800's brought this back home with them.
I had to chuckle, because now I'm thinking that there might be many who say "rabbit rabbit" or "rabbit rabbit rabbit" who would not wish for fertility in any month or year. I, for one, am relieved that the fertility Goddess did not honor me with fertility!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rabbit, Rabbit! did you say it yet?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jan 07 - 07:13 PM

Sorry, I just noticed that my cookie was not set! That last post was from Kaleea with no cookie!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rabbit, Rabbit! did you say it yet?
From: Paul from Hull
Date: 04 Jan 07 - 07:58 AM

Azizi, I suppose it may have 'broken the charm' to actually say "piece of coal" & so 'POC' was said, and that along with the turning round 3 times in hopes that another piece might be found?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rabbit, Rabbit! did you say it yet?
From: Azizi
Date: 04 Jan 07 - 08:47 AM

Kaleea & Paul, thanks for that interesting information

-from Azizi who until I read Mudcat threads on the subject, had never heard of "rabbit, rabbit" {spoken in a month with or without an "r"} or "POC" {turning around 3 times or otherwise}, and feel like I missed out on these fun experiences...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rabbit, Rabbit! did you say it yet?
From: fat B****rd
Date: 04 Jan 07 - 08:52 AM

'ERE Tabster, are you sayin' my mam and Dad were daft ?????????????


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rabbit, Rabbit! did you say it yet?
From: Scrump
Date: 04 Jan 07 - 10:06 AM

Seth Lakeman always says "White Hare" - does that count? :-)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rabbit, Rabbit! did you say it yet?
From: GUEST,radar
Date: 04 Jan 07 - 03:13 PM

In our family, we have a tradition of "White Rabbits" as the first words spoken on the first day of any new month. If one should forget, "Black Rabbits" is supposed to ward off bad luck, but only if said before midday! Ho hum. This tradition goes back a long way in our family (I remember my grandmother telling me, and my father remembers his grandfather telling him!), so none of us are entirely convinced about the exact wording at each calling, except that they involve "rabbits" and/or "white" and/or "black". We now 'permit' either "rabbits" or "white rabbits" as the first words, and always use "black rabbits" if we forget. But then life has not been fabulous, so maybe we have it wrong! ;)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rabbit, Rabbit! did you say it yet?
From: Anne Lister
Date: 04 Jan 07 - 03:19 PM

Moi? Wouldn't dream of insulting anyone's parents or grandparents!

Anne


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rabbit, Rabbit! did you say it yet?
From: ClaireBear
Date: 05 Jan 07 - 02:52 PM

I learned it as "rabbits." The family I learned it from had at that time been recently exiled from Bennington, VT. My treasured "Butt'ry Shelf Cookbook" from New Hampshire also suggests "rabbits."

I also have read a novel (also New English) that refers to saying "rabbit rabbit" in the morning -- after bedding down the night before with "hare hare."

I rabbitsed second thing on New Year's morning this year, having first issued an only moderately verbal cease and desist order to my host's importunate cat. I am sure that didn't count against me...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rabbit, Rabbit! did you say it yet?
From: ClaireBear
Date: 05 Jan 07 - 03:12 PM

I also once had a co-worker who'd been taught as a child to say "White rabbits" while in the act of leaping out of bed (before touching the floor). It helped if one had an upper bunk...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rabbit, Rabbit! did you say it yet?
From: CapriUni
Date: 05 Jan 07 - 03:32 PM

This is the first I've come across this tradition, so I missed my oportunity ... but I hope I can make up for it, if I can say "White Rabbit!" on my birthday (my personal New Year)...

And I was born at the tail-end of the Chinese Year of the Rabbit, too!

(Yes, it's a very fluffy tail-end, and cute, to boot!)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rabbit, Rabbit! did you say it yet?
From: folk_radio_uk
Date: 05 Jan 07 - 03:58 PM

According to "Folklore, Myths and Customs of Great Britain" by Marc Alexander, it was customary to say "rabbits" three times to ensure the following four weeks would be favourable,

and yes it had to be first word spoken.

However, if you visit Portland Bill in Dorset near where I live you should never utter the word "rabbit" as the locals know that to do so invites misfortune.

Also in the South West there is a superstition surrounding Black Rabbits. It's bad luck to shoot them as they may be witches.

White rabbits were also regarded as Death Omens:
"I have been solemnly assured, in 1856-61, that a wite rabbit was occasionally seen in the village of Churston Ferrers, and it was generally believed to be a sign that a person who was very ill, was about to die" (from Devon- Devonshire Assoc 1885)

It's not uncommon to treat black or white animals with distrust.

We have some great traditions down this way in England.

I've started covering some of them on my website. Check out Barrel burning done at Ottery St Mary here. I can tell you from experience it can get a bit hairy. The videos here show that: Barrel Burning


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rabbit, Rabbit! did you say it yet?
From: CapriUni
Date: 07 Jan 07 - 05:33 PM

Seems to me that any animal seen as being powerful, especially if its power is associated with nature/fertility/the gods can be seen as either good or bad luck, depending on which side of the coin you look at (which facet of the belief survives through the generations).

I remember reading somewhere (forget where) that the supstitions we have about black cats originated with black rabbits (as cats were not native to Europe, until sailors broght them back aboard ships from the middle east).

Here, in America, black cats are seen as bad luck/evil. This fear runs so deep that many humane shelters won't adopt out any black cats around Halloween for fear that they'll be abused/tortured.

But in Britian, as I understand it, black cats are considered to be good luck.

Many years ago, I read (perhaps in the same place where I read about the rabbit/cat switch) that both these beliefs originate in Ancient Rome, where the black rabbit was seen as a companion of the Goddess Hecate, who was the goddess of the crossroads, as well as goddess of witchcraft. If you saw a black rabbit (or black cat) going along the road in the same direction you were traveling, that was a sign from the goddess that you were headed for good fortune, but if the rabbit crossed your path, that meant there was danger further down the road.

In Britain, they remember the first half of that belief, and in America, we remember the second half (which, if you ask me, is like blaming stop signs for car crashes).

But, to reiterate the opening question in this thread: "What's the musical connection, here?"


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