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What does it mean when you see 8 Magpies?

Story location: Home / Blog /

I saw 8 magpies on my way to work this morning, all within the space of about a minute. The standard magpie rhymes only go up to 7.

They weren't all together but were in small groups along the same stretch of railway line. This was slightly spooky because I was listening to last nights Mark Radcliffe show which I recorded from Radio 2 (last ever show tomorrow night although he's returning soon with a new show co-hosted with Stuart Maconie). On the show, Mark was discussing Magpies with Rick Wakeman and they were debating whether you have to see them all at once or whether you're allowed to add up magpie numbers.

One for sorrow...

Story location: Home / bits-n-bobs /

There are lots of version of the Magpie Counting rhymes. This one seems fairly typical:

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.