What's in a Name?

What’s in a Name?

More than inquiries about our expertly curated menu, unique events, or fascinating members, the question we get the most about our new collective is the origin of the name, “Where’d you come up with 4&20 Blackbirds? Isn’t that a line from an English nursery rhyme?”

As much as “4&20” pays undeniable homage to the Northern California-created, internationally recognized symbol of cannabis solidarity, the truth of our name comes from a rich and interesting history, a history more relevant to our collective than the infamous Blackbeard ever could have imagined.

The 18th century nursery rhyme reads:

Sing a song of sixpence

A pocket full of rye

Four and twenty blackbirds

Baked in a pie

When the pie was opened

The birds began to sing

Was that not a tasty dish

To set before a king?

The King was in his counting house

Counting out his money

The Queen was in the parlor

Eating bread and honey

The Maid was in the garden

Hanging out the clothes

When down came a blackbird

And snapped off her nose!

But this children’s allegory written in the early American Colonies was actually a secret code used onshore or at port to replenish manpower. What seems to be an innocent poem of fantasy is truly a call for the recruitment of new pirates and privateers. Shrouded in metaphor, Captain Blackbeard was able to allure those of likeminded thinking and ability, to disclose a future of untold treasure laying in wait to be looted. Enchanted by the promise of six pence and a daily ration of rye whiskey, nonconformists, adventurers, and opportunists alike would join the crew for an opportunity to sail with purpose and embark to unknown territories together.

We also like to think of ourselves as disruptors of the status quo, who believe with high risk comes high reward. We live, work, and play in the Bay Area and believe Blackbirds are everywhere. We are a collective of like-minded adventurers. We celebrate the nonconformist and acknowledge the savvy of the opportunist. We still find power in the elusive, and the secret will always be revered. We seek out our blackbirds with a clarion call, that brings people ready to share their skills and talents for the good of our community.

Read more about Blackbird and the nursery rhyme

#420blackbirds #Blackbeard #singasongofsixpence #disruptors #BayArea

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