The poem

Something old,
something new,
something borrowed,
something blue,
and a sixpence in her shoe.

What is this superstitious rambling? It looks like something about the success of a marriage based on folklore. Or is it more than that? It’s up to you to decide. Here are some thoughts that I hope to use in my wedding performances.

If you’ve ever heard this rhyme then you’ve experienced the magic of marriage. The trust in the known and the unknown. The future, the past and the present are all encapsulated in this short verse.

I perform at a lot of weddings. I encounter objects, like the ones in the verse, in some way. For example I borrow something, use old objects wear blue and find coins in many places even shoes. You won’t find me wearing a garter though

But I do take faith in the objects I use to create experiences. The faith in this rhyme apparently changes the future.

It sounds like weddings are ancient magic to me.

What do the lines symbolise?

The sentence Something old provide protection for the life to come.

**Something new **

Something borrowed brings luck from a previous marriage. Also protects against the evil eye in some accounts.

Something blue is as symbol of fidelity. With the help of the borrowed item staves off the evil eye. The blue item was traditionally the garter ‘plucked off’ by the groom and thrown. Hence plucking the garter.

The six pence was added later as a symbol of prosperity. Traditionally put in the left shoe.


This folklore originates in Lancashire and was added to by victorians so it’s not ancient folklore but still has an air of mystery about it.

How it relates to magic

A magician relies on a deep seated relationship with myth and folklore. By relying on the same trust in wonder you get a to-and-fro of mystery and hope. Not wanting to know how it’s done is the same as trusting in folklore so that you can have a better time.

So what is the key to a happy marriage? A little bit of magic and some secrets.