Mudcat Café message #936187 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #11190   Message #936187
Posted By: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
18-Apr-03 - 05:52 PM
Thread Name: Counting Songs
Subject: RE: Counting Songs
"The Bluebird Song," referred to earlier in this thread, goes thus:

When I was a young thing once on a day,
Dreaming under my appletree,
A great flock of bluebirds sailing through the sky
Espied my tree as they passed by-
And O, it was a wonderful sight to see
As they settled down to rest in my appletree!
Count them, said my Mother, "How?" said I,
Out of the window came this reply:

One you'll have sorrow, two you'll have joy,
Three get a present, four get a boy.
Five receive silver, six receive gold,
Seven's a secret that's never been told.
Eight a love-letter with promises three,
Nine mean's your truelove'as true as can be.

Only once in a lifetime, the oldfolks say,
The vision of the bluebirds will come your way-
But only if you're dreaming, only if you're still,
Only in an appletree on a green hill.
So stop all your hurrying and worrying away,
And take time for dreaming on a sunny day-
Wait for the bluebirds and when they come along,
Tell your fortune with the bluebird song.

(Spoken) Boys sing it like this:
One you'll have gladness, two you'll have strife,
Three get a present, four get a wife,
Five receive silver (etc. rest of chorus is same as first one)

(Note: When the birds-("flock" can be any number over three- just "count" each bird as you speak the line)rise and fly, whatever you're saying is your fortune...in doing this, use only the chorus. Mom taught me this rhyme, around 1926, and the rest of the song, and the tune, I made up when telling the story to my little boys at bedtime, about forty-one years ago- hence the "boys" words on the second chorus!) Jean Ritchie