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Counting Magpies

$189.00 $94.00

Handpainted Needlepoint Canvas by Birds of a Feather

1 in stock


Please note the horizontal stripes are not on the canvas it does have an even and consistent background.  Picture of canvas was taken with it hanging on slat wall and the horizontal groves show though. Design area of painted canvas is 13 1/2″ x 13 1/2 ” stitch painted on 13 count canvas.   Gallery shows piece in custom coordinated frame available as separate purchase. Retail value $189.

The rhyme Counting Magpies has its origins in superstitions connected with magpies, considered a bird of ill omen in some cultures, and in Britain, at least as far back as the early sixteenth century.  Fast forward to current times:

A version of the rhyme became familiar to many UK children when it became the theme tune of an ITV children’s TV show called Magpie, which ran from 1968 to 1980. The popularity of this version is thought to have displaced the many regional versions that had previously existed.[5]

In the 1995 Counting Crows song “A Murder of One“, the lyrics contain a modified version of the rhyme. The rhyme is also the origin of the group’s name.[6]

The Finnish melodic death metal band Insomnium also released an album on October 14, 2011 entitled ‘One for Sorrow’[8]containing tracks such as “Song of the Blackest Bird” and “One for Sorrow”. The album art also depicts silhouettes of birds in flight soaring through a dimly lit sky and the earlier version of the rhyme was also used on the back of their “One for Sorrow” hooded sweatshirt.[9]

In the 2015 season premiere episode of Sleepy Hollow, the character Pandora recites this rhyme while conjuring up images of recently slain victims.

British folk group The Unthanks include the song Magpie on their 2015 album, the lyrics of which contain portions of this rhyme.

Also mentioned in book four of The Mortal InstrumentsCity of Fallen Angels, by Cassandra Clare. The character Simon reflects on his mother teaching him the rhyme as a child.

It was recited in the popular Canadian television show, Lost Girl, when the protagonist, Bo, searched for The Wanderer.

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