THE BARBARIAN BIRTHDAY DIRGE
The birthday effect sometimes called the birthday blues , especially when referring specifically to suicide is a statistical phenomenon where an individual's likelihood of death appears to increase on or close to their birthday. The birthday effect has been seen in studies of general populations in England and Wales ,  Switzerland ,   Ukraine ,  and the United States ,   as well as in smaller populations such as Major League Baseball players. It has also been suggested that it may be a statistical artifact, perhaps as a result of anomalies in reporting, but the birthday effect has also been seen in studies that control for known reporting anomalies. With the introduction of statistical software that can process large datasets easily, a number of state- or country-wide studies have been carried out to investigate whether birthdays have any effect on mortality. The first large-scale study used the records of 2,, Californians who died between and After correcting for confounding factors such as seasonality in deaths, elective surgery, and people born on February 29 , there was a significant increase in deaths in the week before the individual's birthday for men, and in the week after the birthday for women — in both cases, mortality did not peak on the birthday, but close to it. This effect was consistent across age and race cohorts. Focusing on suicide deaths alone, large studies have found evidence for a peak in suicides on or just after a birthday in Denmark  and Hungary ,  but not in Bavaria  or Taiwan.
History of the Birthday Dirge
Death, destruction, and despair People dying everywhere May the cities in your wake Burn like candles on your cake, May your deeds with sword and axe Equal those with sheep and yaks, Your servants steal, your wife's untrue, Your children plot to murder you, They stole your sword, your gold, your house, Took your sheep but not your spouse, This one lesson you must learn, First you plunder, then you burn Hear the Women Wail and Weep Kill them all, But Spare the Sheep May the children in the Street Be your barbecueing Meat Indigestion's what you get From the enemies you 'et, Children dying far and near They say that cancer's caused by bheer. Typhoid, plague and polio Coffins lined up in a row Pestilence has struck your town You yourself feel quite run-down So you've aged another year Now you know that Death is near When you've reached this age you know That the mind is first to go, See the wrinkles on your face Like the pattern of fine lace Soon your hair will all turn grey Then fall out or so they say Now you are the age you are Your demise cannot be far We brought linen, white as cloud, Now we'll sit and sew your shroud, Birthdays come but once a year, Marking time as Death draws near, Now another year has passed Don't look now they're gaining fast! It's your birthday never fear You'll be dead this time next year.
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