Throwback Thursday #19 – Superstitions, Amulets, and Charms

Welcome back to Throwback Thursday. I thought this week it might be fun to explore a little magic. Lauren will be back for the first Throwback post of the new year. If you want to join in, it’s easy:

  • Write your own post sharing your memories and leave a pingback to this post in the comments.
  • You can use the photo above in your post to make it easier to find.
  • Tag it with #TBTMemory or #IRememberWhen.
  • If you do not wish to write your own post, feel free to tell your story in the comments below.

This week’s prompt is: Superstitions, trinkets, and Charms

To quote Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry, “You’ve got to ask yourself a question: ‘do I feel lucky? ‘ Well, do ya, punk?

What makes you feel lucky? Is it a four leaf clover, a rabbit’s foot, or a lucky penny? 

What are you superstitious of? Will you walk under a ladder? What’s your lucky number? What if a black cat crosses your path?

Where did you learn ideas concerning luck? Do you still have superstitions in your adult life?

Since this is the last week of the year I am curious – do you make resolutions, eat specific foods, or have traditions or superstitions to usher in the new year?

My post follows:

I remember walking on sidewalks trying to avoid stepping on a crack. “Step on a crack, break your mother’s back”. Now did I think stepping on a crack would actually break my mother’s back? No, of course not, but I still tried to avoid cracks in the sidewalk.

I was never afraid or worried about black cats. Maybe because I had an all black cat named Midnight. I will admit if a black cat crosses my path now, I think about the superstition, but I do not put any credence in it. I am trying to think back as a child and determine if I felt differently then.

I do remember having a pink rabbit’s foot on a ball chain. How horrible that is to think about now. Superstitions are so bizarre, but there I was with my pink rabbit’s foot.

“Find a penny, pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck.” I loved finding an abandoned penny until later when I decided only a penny that was heads up was good luck.

My dad was amazing at finding four leaf clovers. I have never found one. My step-daughter and my grandson have the same ability. I once carried a key chain with an encased four leaf clover but I am not sure I considered it particularly lucky.

I often saw a horseshoe (ends pointing up) hung over the doorway in people’s homes and in their barns. This was supposed to capture all the good luck coming into the house. I do not see many horseshoe charms these days so perhaps that superstition has died out.

Star light, star bright

The first star I see tonight

I wish I may, I wish might

Have the wish I wish tonight

We always recited that into the night sky, making a wish on the first star we saw. Wishes were a big part of my early life – always wishing for something special in our rather simple lives.

If I was not the one responsible for cleaning, I might still throw a pinch of spilled salt over my left shoulder to dissuade any bad luck. 

As kids, we always tried to finagle a way to be chosen to break the “wishbone” of a chicken or turkey. We were really all about wishing! I only recently discovered there is a way to hold the wishbone which will almost always guarantee you will get the desired long piece once the bone is broken.

When I was young, I had a wart on my finger. My grandfather took a piece of thread, rubbed it over the wart, then buried it in the ground. He told me when the thread rotted away, the wart would be gone. 😳

My grandparents always planted their crops “by the moon”.  The Farmer’s Almanac always had a calendar (they still do) which told what days were good to plant what crop. I know many people who believe in planting by the calendar or the moon. Honestly, there is some logic to it. Plants are seasonal after all.

I do not make new year resolutions. I do sometimes think of a word that might be my focus for the coming year. We try to stay up until midnight, but we do not always make it. No parties for us! On New Year’s day, we do not fix the traditional black eyed peas, Hoppin’ John, or collard greens, but I do remember my step mom making boiled cabbage and including a coin in the pot to bring luck and good fortune for the coming year.


Song Lyric Sunday – Good Luck Charm

The prompt from Jim:

Our theme this week is Fate, Fortune, Luck and I this will give us some great music.

“Good Luck Charm” was written by Aaron Schroeder and Wally Gold and recorded by Elvis Presley in 1961. The song was released in 1962 and reached #1 in the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 in the UK Singles Chart. It went on to be certified Platinum that same year. It would be Elvis’ last #1 song until 1969 when “Suspicious Minds” was released.

Sadly, “Good Luck Charm” was the  beginning of the end for the very lucrative Elvis era in the charts. The ownership of this song was taken to the courts. It seems Colonel Parker (Elvis’s manager) had always forced songwriters to sign over the publishing rights for any song  they wrote that Elvis recorded. This legal tussle would result in other songwriters either no longer submitting songs for Presley to record or submitting very few.

”The bottom line was that Schroeder, who in the past had complied with Colonel Parker’s requirement that composers sign over the publishing rights to their songs recorded by Presley to the singer’s publishing company, was no longer willing to do so. Schroeder, who composed hundreds of songs, many recorded by other top artists— including Roy Orbison, Duane Eddy, Sammy Davis Jr., Nat King Cole, Perry Como, and Pat Boone—decided he was going to retain the publishing rights to Good Luck Charm.”

Hanson, Alan. “Elvis Presley’s 1962 PIVOTAL Single Release of Good Luck Charm.” Elvis Presley’s 1962 Pivotal Single Release of Good Luck Charm,, 2010,

Good Luck Charm
Lyrics from Genius Lyrics

[Verse 1]
Don’t want a four leaf clover
Don’t want an old horse shoe
Want your kiss because I just can’t miss
With a good luck charm like you

Come on and be my little good luck charm
Uh-huh huh, you sweet delight
I want a good luck charm
A-hanging on my arm
To have, to have, to hold, to hold tonight

[Verse 2]
Don’t want a silver dollar
Rabbit’s foot on a string
The happiness in your warm caress
No rabbit’s foot can bring


[Verse 3]
If I found a lucky penny
I’d toss it across the bay
Your love is worth all the gold on earth
No wonder that I say


Song Lyric Sunday is hosted every Sunday by Jim Adams. If you would like to join in the fun, check out his blog for the rules and to take in all the other music posted by other bloger