Wednesday, 7 November 2012

four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie

This is another version of  Erin's dare 30. Now you're asking where the blackbirds are.... IN the pie.
Remember the verse?

Sing a song of sixpence, a pocketful of rye.
Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened the birds began to sing.
Wasn't that a dainty dish to set before the king?

Here's my version:

four and twenty blackbirds

An Italian cookbook from 1549 contains a recipe with instructions on how to make a pie so that the birds stay alive and fly out when it is cut open. Shakespeare mentions it in Twelfth Night, so the version quoted below from a book of children's verses published in 1744 is not the first record of its existence.

Sing a Song of Sixpence,  A bag full of Rye, 
Four and twenty Naughty boys, Bak'd in a Pye.

When the pie was opened, The birds began to sing; 
Was not that a dainty dish, To set before the king?

The king was in his counting-house, Counting out his money; 
The queen was in the parlor, Eating bread and honey.

The maid was in the garden, Hanging out the clothes, 
There came a little blackbird, And snapped off her nose.

We used to sing the second verse as an action song.
Those were the days. Moments of pure joy!