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Friday, December 28, 2018

The Fourth Day of Christmas 2018


It's The Fourth Day of Christmas, the day (according to a song) when someone's true love gave to them four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.

Re calling birds, I referenced them on FB a couple of days before Christmas when I mentioned the issues I was having with my landline due to Verizon's cable out age.

I'm still having that issue and it looks like I will until January 23rd 2019, but as of yesterday I can join the calling birds in terms of using a phone in my home.  I now have a temporary one for making calls. Time will tell if I can receive calls on it, but people can leave a message on my voice mail which is not affected by the cable outage, and I'll return their call on my temporary phone.

In terms of four calling birds mentioned in the aforementioned song, I've come upon a blog post (in The History Of Ornithology) where the author (Bob Montgomerie) states, "The CALLING BIRDS of day 4 are the most interesting to me as the original said ‘colly birds’ and subsequent variants said the birds were ‘canary’, ‘collie’, ‘colley’, ‘colour’d’, ‘curley’, ‘coloured’, ‘corley’, and finally ‘calling’ by Austin in 1909 published with his new tune. I am surprised no one ever suggested ‘collared’. The original ‘colly bird’ was the European Blackbird (Turdus merula) as ‘colly’ meant ‘black’ as in ‘coaly’, and is why border collies bear that name. The subsequent versions are undoubtedly the result of mis-hearings and misinterpretations."

Another web reference to the meaning of four calling birds states, "The 'four calling birds' that we sing about today were, at different times, 'four canary birds' and 'our mockingbirds,' and before that they show up as 'colly birds' or 'collie birds,' which is the archaic term for blackbirds. There were however, for some reason, always four of them."

I never heard of mockingbirds being associated with the song so that may or may not be fake news!

Be that as it may, here's one more "blurb" that I came upon re the four calling birds mentioned in the song. A Catholic-based web-page states, "The four calling birds are associated with both the four evangelists and their gospels–   Saints Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; and the four major prophets– Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel."

And that's it for today dear reader, after all, there's only so much one can, or should say, re four calling birds!

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