One for Sorrow | Counting Song Lyrics

from the MMF Songbook

History for 'One for Sorrow'

One for Sorrow is a counting song that is associated with magpies and superstition. The number of magpies counted determines if the counter will have bad luck.

Lyrics for 'One for Sorrow'

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,
Eight for a wish,
Nine for a kiss
Ten for a bird
You must not miss.

This alternate version is from The Real Mother Goose (1916), illustrated by Blanche Fisher Wright.

One for sorrow,
Two for mirth,
Three for a wedding,
And four for death

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