Posted by R on December 30, 1999
When I was a child every time a birthday was celebrated in our neighborhood, the birthday child would sit on a chair. The guests would take turns standing behind them and chant the rhyme, "Heavy, heavy hangover thy poor head, what do you wish this person with a bump on the head?" and as they said the word "bump" they would bonk the birthday child on the head with the gift they had brought. The birthday child would then 'wish' the giver something, usually something unattainable, like a horse or a swimming pool and proceed to open the gift.
We performed this ritual all the time and only when I went away to college did I find it was considered strange. in fact, I have never found any one else who has even heard of a similar tradition.
any suggestions as the origin of this phrase and ritual?