The flour leaf clover, was a symbol of good luck and according to the early Celts it was also an important item to keep you safe from evil spirits. The four leaves symbolized faith, hope, love and luck. This pagan tradition was continued by early Christian leaders and the three leaf clover eventually became a symbol of the Holy Trinity for the Irish people.
In 1620 according to the University of Illinois, Sir John Melton wrote, ” if a man walking in the fields find any four leaved grass, he shall while after find some good thing.” It’s estimated that there are 10,000 three leaf clovers for every one four leaf clover. I used to spend hours lying in the grass looking for a four leaf clover, and once in my life I found one! I’m not sure that it brought me any luck, but who’s to say what might have happened if I hadn’t found it! 🙂
Words & Music by Mort Dixon & Harry Woods, 1927
Recorded by Art Mooney, 1948
“I’m looking over a four-leaf clover, that I overlooked before. One leaf is sunshine, the second is rain, Third is the roses that grow in the lane. No need explaining the one remaining is somebody I adore. I’m looking over a four-leaf clover, that I overlooked before.”
I think this was the catchy song for Merrie Melodies cartoons by Warner Brothers, it’s what I used to hum while looking for the lucky clover. Thanks to Forest & Kim Starr for the use of the photograph! Can you find a four leaf clover in this picture? That is what I used to do as a kid, hours looking in the clover for the one lucky clover!
Gr Growing up Irish, I remember many an Irish tale told in my family.. I’m still afraid to put a hat on the bed..I have no idea why? I still look for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, although I never wanted to meet one of those Leprechauns because I was always told that they were mean spirited fairies who would trick you. As a kid I always figured if I was given the chance to grab the pot of gold, I could outsmart the Leprechaun, but in all my years I have never been able to get to the end of the rainbow! Have you ever tried that? It’s impossible. I did like Darby O’Gill and the little people that Disney released when I was 5 years old.
M My father had a lucky Shillelagh Stick attached to the front of our house, I used to be afraid he might kill himself one day falling off the ladder to retrieve it on St. Patrick’s Day. Little did I know as a child that the Shillelagh Stick was actually a weighted weapon disguised as a walking stick. The skilled use of these hardwood clubs by the people of Shillelagh led to the clubs being called Shillelagh’s by Richard II in 1395. I’m glad I just thought it was a lucky stick!
th I think the story about St Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland, might have a different meaning as well, I don’t think that Ireland had snakes. Can some one clarify that one for me? Maybe it had to do with driving the pagan beliefs out of Ireland while ushering in Christianity.
Ir Irish Music has always been an important part of our family life, a way to pass on generations of stories and history. I spent many nights as a child singing and dancing with my father to Irish music. Hard to believe that at one point in history, music was outlawed and that Queen Elizabeth I even decreed that all artists and pipers were to be arrested and hanged on the spot. My how times have changes, and I’m glad they have!