Day 205: Birthday Tradition: Heavy, Heavy Hang Over Thy Poor Head

We have an interesting birthday tradition at my house, in addition to all the usual cake-eating, present-giving ones. On the evening of a birthday, we all gathered together with the stack of presents from everyone and each person would grab his or her own presents that they were giving. The little kids would simply grab one from one of the parents.

We then held the gift over the birthday person’s head and said the following “Heavy heavy hang over thy poor head. What do you wish with a bump on the head?”

On the word “bump”, we lightly tapped the birthday boy or girl with the present on the top of the head. Before the birthday person could receive that gift, he or she would have to wish something nice to the person who was giving them the gift, such as that they would get an A on their upcoming math test or that they would get the part in the play they were trying out for.

This continued for each present. I found it was a good way of spreading the goodwill around on a birthday. Besides, we never hit anyone too hard with the presence, unless they happened to be clothes, in which case it didn’t really matter much.


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