From the recording Magpie
When I was in Ireland, our tour leader, Denis Greene, recited a children's rhyme called Magpie while we were riding on the bus. The rhyme that Denis recited is now the chorus of this song. I added the verses and wrote the melody.
I was enchanted by the rhyme as soon as I heard it. I asked Denis if the rhyme had a melody and he said no. I said, 'Well, it's going to have a melody when I get home. I'm going to turn that into a song.'
And so I did.
Hello Denis, and thank you for telling me this rhyme and for many other kindnesses while I was in Ireland.
Magpie, black and white
Magpie, tell me no lies
Magpie, am I deceived?
Will I never wear his wedding ring?
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 told
Eight is a wish, nine is a kiss
Ten is a bird you must not miss
Magpie, what do you see?
Magpie, why did he leave?
Magpie, where is he now?
And will he come back to Dublin Town?
Magpie, so wise
Do you ever cry?
Why does love die?
Sorrow, a boy, a secret never told
copyright 2012, Martha Maria and Dancing Rabbit Music