Day 13 – Step on a Crack

In 365 Photos on 01/07/2011 by Artoo

Artoo never wasted an opportunity to act on the old rebellion rhyme ‘step on a crack, break Darth Vader’s back!’

I liked the idea of twisting the old school yard superstition. It made me giggle.. I don’t get out much.. Also, if anyone is interested in the lore of superstition, like me, here is Opie’s (eminent husband and wife folklorist team) take on this particular one:

In “The Lore and Language
of Schoolchildren (1959) [Iona Opie] devotes a page and a half to children’s
superstitions regarding “Lines On Pavement” (p.222-224). She says the
version recorded over much of the US is “more uniform than in Britain”:

Step on a crack
Break your mother’s back.

She reports many other versions in the UK, and the oldest date she gives
is 1890.

In a footnote she adds, “According to Lord Elton, General Gordon when
walking along a pavement would zigzag in order to avoid the cracks.”
That’s Charles George Gordon, 1833-1885.

(Found on along with much other discussion)


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