01 July 2021

"Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit"

It's the first of the month, and I need some good luck.   

As a child I believed that saying "rabbit, rabbit, white rabbit" as the first words spoken out loud on the first day of the month would bring good luck.  I think at the time I surmised a connection to Alice in Wonderland, but according to Wikipedia, the origin is unknown.
The exact origin of the superstition is unknown, though it was recorded in Notes and Queries as being said by children in 1909... 

"When I was a very little boy I was advised to always murmur 'White rabbits' on the first of every month if I wanted to be lucky. From sheer force of unreasoning habit I do it still—when I think of it. I know it to be preposterously ludicrous, but that does not deter me." – Sir Herbert Russell, 1925.

"Even Mr. Roosevelt, the President of the United States, has confessed to a friend that he says 'Rabbits' on the first of every month—and, what is more, he would not think of omitting the utterance on any account." – newspaper article, 1935.

Addendum:  Isolated track of Grace Slick's vocal ("What a voice. As noted, the reverb is from recording in an empty room, but the vibrato is pure Grace.") 


Hat tip to reader xoxoxoBruce for providing the link.

And an interesting interview with a very outspoken 70-year-old Grace Slick (worth a couple minutes' listen for those who remember the 60s).

10 comments:

  1. I've never heard of that, but my family puts a dollar bill under our plates of gnocchi every 29th of the month to ensure money in the new month, which is just as random and superstitious. Here I found a nice description.... (Hubby is Brazilian-Italian)
    http://tropicaldaydreams.blogspot.com/2012/07/gnocchi-day.html?m=1

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  2. This is kind of a tangent but if you haven't heard Grace Slicks vocals on this isolated you should. Goose Bumps.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyMtIwobqbI

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    1. Relevant enough - and impressive enough - to add to the post. Tx.

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  3. I'm glad I'm not the only one who does this, and glad that I'm in good company!

    I learned it from watching Nickelodeon as a kid in the early 90s. During commercial breaks, they would run a spot on whatever day it was - National Pizza Day, Pi Day, Rabbit Rabbit Day.

    So I grew up saying, 'Rabbit, rabbit.' No one I know has ever mentioned doing something similar!

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  4. Some people who were around in the 60s don't remember the 60s because, well, it was the 60s.

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    Replies
    1. Yes - too busy enjoying the sixties to take time off to imprint those times on our neurons.

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  5. When I was a child (1980s, UK), you were only supposed to say "rabbits" or "white rabbits" in this way if the month had an R in it.

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  6. I'd never heard of this tradition before now, but it must be related to the Vermont childhood superstition that intoning "White Rabbit!" will clear campfire smoke from your eyes.

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    Replies
    1. Jeffo, read this:

      http://folklore.usc.edu/i-hate-white-rabbits/

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    2. Very interesting, thank you!

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