Dec 04 2010

Hang this on your pram

Published by at 7:39 pm under News

(Click on image to enlarge)

We always had one of these Sacred Heart things hanging from the hood on the baby’s pram at home. It was held in place with a safety pin or sometimes tied on with a piece of  red wool. If someone gave the Ma’ a Holy Medal from Lourdes she’d hang it on the pram with the Sacred Heart. It was all meant to keep the baby safe and I suppose to stop the fairies from taking the child and putting one of their own in it’s place. A ‘Changeling Child’ is what they used to call it. The Ma’ told me one time that it was only baby boys that the fairies took away and that’s why some mothers often dressed their little boys up in a dress. I have a photograph of my Da’s cousin when he was about three or four years old and he’s wearing a little dress, so it must be true. There was lots of things like that years ago. You weren’t supposed to pick a comb up off the ground in case it belonged to the Banshee. If you did she’d come howling down the road after you. We should have stuck one of them Sacred Heart things on our jumpers to put a halt to her gallop. And you had to kiss a corpse or else they’d come back to haunt you. There’s another job for the Sacred Heart thing. But you were allowed to let a dog lick the scab on the sore on your knee to help make it better. And the other thing is if you sat up the front of the church during Mass you might see God when the priest opened up the little door of the thing were they kept the Holy Communion. If you threw Holy Water on a Protestant it’d burn them. Oh and if a dog started howling on your road it was a sign that someone was going to die. It was most likely a sign that he got a root up the ars from someone or other. If you didn’t eat your carrots you’d go blind. If you ate the skin off an orange you’d get jaundice. If your tongue was black you were telling lies. People in hospital were often given a bottle of stout. If you didn’t eat your vegetables your hair’d fall out. Looking for hair on the palm of your hand was a sign of madness. If you chopped wood on a Sunday you’d go to the moon. It was a sin to eat meat on a Friday. The moon was made from cheese. If a boy combed his hair from right to left he was a Sissy. If a girl wore trousers she was called a Tomboy…’Hey empty fork’  the lads would shout at her. You weren’t supposed to let the Holy Communion touch your teeth or touch it with your hands even though it was stuck to the roof of your mouth. How come nobody gets chilblains anymore? If you rubbed Coleman’s mustard on them it was said to cure them.  Yes there were lots of strange things from years ago that we don’t seem to have today. Maybe that’s what’s wrong with the world, not enough of the old methods and too many new gadgets and things telling us what’s good for us. Well that’s it for now. 

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