Both above are modern examples of the legend of the seventh son of the seventh son. But what is the seventh son of the seventh son and what is it supposed to represent?
The seventh son of the seventh son is a concept from folklore regarding special powers given to or held by such a son. He must come from an unbroken line of sons. Meaning, no girls can be born before him. For a seventh daughter of the seventh daughter, the concept is the same, but no boys can be born before her. Any of the opposite sex being born anywhere in the line makes everything null and void.
The number seven has a long history of mystical and religious association: seven deadly sins, seven virtues, seven days of creation, seven ages of man, seven lucky gods of Japanese mythology, seven wonders of the world, etc. In this case, it refers to the man who is the seventh son of a man who is himself a seventh son, or woman who is seventh daughter of a woman who is herself a seventh daughter.
In some beliefs, God or the gods have given the seventh of the seventh special powers by virtue of their birth. However, the seventh of the seventh is also believed to have a direct link to Satan or the dark god(s), and are given more sinister gifts.
List of real life Seventh Sons of Seventh Son:
- Perry Como (1912-2001) was a 20th century American crooner
- Lyle Lewis Aley (1914-1963) was a pioneer radio announcer
- Len Dawson (1935-preasent) in an American football quarterback for the NFL team, the Kanasa City Chiefs, Football Hall-of-Fame recipient, and football broadcast commentator.
- In 1969, Dawson was the QB and the Chiefs were on their way to Superbowl IV, the only time they went to the Superbowl and won (though they have gone and lost before, namely being the AFL* team in Superbowl I**), gaining Dawson the title of MVP. Since then, the Chiefs have gotten as far as the play-offs and no farther. On Jan. 9, 2016, they broke their 23 year drought (third longest on record at the time) by winning a play-off game.
- After 1969, the NFL*** and AFL merged, becoming the NFC**** and AFC***** within what we now call the NFL.
- The Chief became the second AFL team to ever win the Superbowl, the Baltimore Colts****** being the first in Superbowl III.
** AFL-NFL World Championships
*** National Football League
**** National Football Conference
***** American Football Conference
****** New York Jets