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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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MY DEAR, DO YOU KNOW,
HOW A LONG TIME AGO,
TWO POOR LITTLE CHILDREN,
WHOSE NAMES I DON'T KNOW,
WERE STOLEN AWAY
ON A FINE SUMMER'S DAY,
AND LEFT IN THE WOODS,
AS I'VE HEARD PEOPLE SAY.
AND WHEN IT WAS NIGHT,
SO SAD WAS THEIR PLIGHT,
THE SUN IT WENT DOWN,
AND THE MOON GAVE NO LIGHT;
THEY SOBBED AND THEY SIGHED,
AND THEY BITTERLY CRIED,
AND THE POOR LITTLE THINGS,
THEY LAY DOWN AND DIED.
AND WHEN THEY WERE DEAD,
THE ROBINS, SO RED,
BOUGHT STRAWBERRY LEAVES, (BROUGHT?)
AND OVER THEM SPREAD.
AND ALL THE DAY LONG
THEY SANG THEM THIS SONG:
"POOR BABES IN THE WOODS,
POOR BABES IN THE WOODS,
AND DON'T YOU REMEMBER,
THE BABES IN THE WOODS."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): DEATH ; FIRST PERSON NARRATIVE ; METER: ANAPESTIC ; MONOLOGUE REPETITIION ; RHYME: MASCULINE, AABA CCDC

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Narrative Verse

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"OH, CAPTAIN! OH, CAPTAIN! LET'S MAKE FOR SHORE,
FOR THE WINDS THEY DO RAGE, AND THE WAVES THEY DO ROAR!"
"NAY, NAY," SAID THE CAPTAIN, "THOUGH THE FIERCE WINDS MAY
BLOW,
I WILL STICK TO MY VESSEL, WITH A YO-HEAVE-A YOH.
FAREWELL TO THE MAIDEN, THE GIRL I ADORE,
FAREWELL TO MY FRIENDS, I SHALL SEE THEM NO MORE."
THE CREW SHRIEKED WITH TERROR, THE CAPTAIN HE SWORE:
THEY HAD STRUCK ON A SANDBANK, SO THE MEN WALKED ASHORE.

Where learned: AUSTRALIA ; TOORAK ; VICTORIA

Keyword(s): ACCIDENTS SHIPS ; METER: ANAPESTIC ; RHYME: MASCULINE, IMPERFECT, AAAA ; SURPRISE ENDING DIALOGUE ; THIRD PERSON NARRATIVE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Narrative Verse

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THERE WAS A LITTLE GIRL WHO HAD A LITTLE CURL,
RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF HER FOREHEAD.
WHEN SHE WAS GOOD, SHE WAS VERY, VERY GOOD;
WHEN SHE WAS BAD, SHE WAS HORRID.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT'S FATHER SAID THIS TO HER OFTEN WHEN SHE WAS
YOUNGER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): FUNCTION BEHAVIOR ; METER: ANAPESTIC ; MONOLOGUE CONTRAST ; RHYME: FEMININE, IMPERFECT, INTERNAL

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Verse without Music

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THERE WAS A YOUNG WOMAN NAMED BRIGHT,
WHOSE SPEED WAS MUCH FASTER THAN LIGHT.
SHE SET OUT ONE DAY,
IN A RELATIVE WAY,
AND RETURNED ON THE PREVIOUS NIGHT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WYANDOTTE

Keyword(s): HUMOR, FIRST PERSON NARRATIVE ; INDIRECTION LIMERICK ; METER: ANAPESTIC TETRAMETER ; QUATRAIN CONTRADICTIONS ; RHYME: MASCULINE, AABBA ; RIDICULE NONSENSE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Narrative Verse

Date learned: 11-12-1968

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'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
AND ALL THROUGH THE TOWN
ST. JOSEPH WAS SEARCHING,
WALKING UP ROADS AND DOWN.
OUR LADY WAS WAITING
SO MEEK AND SO MILD,
WHILE JOSEPH WAS SEEKING
A PLACE FOR THE CHILD.
THE CHILDREN WERE NESTLED,
EACH SNUG IN HIS BED;
AND THE GROWNUPS WOULDN'T BOTHER,
"THERE'S NO ROOM," THEY SAID.
WHEN EVEN THE INNKEEPER SENT THEM AWAY
AND JOSEPH WAS WONDERING WHERE THEY WOULD STAY,
HE THOUGHT OF THE CAVE IN THE SIDE OF THE HILL.
"LET'S GO THERE," SAID MARY, "IT'S SILENT AND STILL."
THE MOON ON THE BREAST
OF THE NEW FALLEN SNOW
MADE A PATHWAY OF LIGHT
FOR THEIR TIRED FEET TO GO.
AND IN THE CAVE
IN A CRADLE OF HAY
THE SAVIOR WAS BORN
ON THAT FIRST CHRISTMAS DAY!
THE FATHER WAS WATCHING
IN HEAVEN ABOVE,
AND SENT FOR HIS ANGELS,
HIS COURTIERS OF LOVE.
MORE RAPID THAN EAGLES,
GOD'S BRIGHT ANGELS CAME,
REJOICING AND EAGER,
AS EACH HEARD HIS NAME.
"COME POWERS, COME CHERUBS,
COME VIRTUES AND RAPHAEL;
COME THRONES AND DOMINIONS,
COME MICHAEL AND GABRIEL."
"NOW FLY TO THE EARTH
WHERE MY POOR PEOPLE LIVE,
ANNOUNCE THE GLAD TIDINGS
MY SON COMES TO GIVE!"
THE SHEPHERDS WERE WATCHING
THEIR FLOCKS ON THIS NIGHT;
AND SAW IN THE HEAVENS
AN UNEARTHLY LIGHT.
THE ANGELS ASSURED THEM
THEY'D NOTHING TO FEAR,
"IT'S CHRISTMAS," THEY SAID,
"THE SAVIOR IS HERE."
THEY HASTENED TO FIND HIM,
AND STOOD AT THE DOOR,
UNTIL MARY INVITED THEM IN
TO ADORE.
HE WAS SWADDLED IN BANDS
FROM HIS HEAD TO HIS FEET,
AND NEVER DID SHEPHERDS
SEE A BABY SO SWEET.
HE SPOKE NOT A WORD,
BUT THE SHEPHERDS ALL KNEW
HE WAS TELLING THEM SECRETS,
AND BLESSING THEM, TOO.
THEN SOFTLY THEY LEFT HIM,
THE BABE IN THE HAY,
AND REJOICED WITH GREAT JOY,
ON THAT FIRST CHRISTMAS DAY.
MARY HEARD THEM EXCLAIM
AS THEY WALKED UP THE HILL,
"GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST;
PEACE TO MEN OF GOOD WILL."

Submitter comment: SISTER BANKERT SAID THAT IT WAS A CUSTOM FOR MANY YEARS,
FOR THE SISTERS TO MAKE UP PICTURE BOOKS OF THIS POEM FOR
NIECES AND NEWPHEWS. SISTER GAVE ME THIS COPY IN 1953.

Data entry tech comment: VARIATION OF "THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS"

Where learned: DETROIT ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Keyword(s): METER: ANAPESTIC ; PIOUS, THIRD PERSON NARRATIVE ; RELIGION CHRISTMAS NATIVITY ; RHYME: MASCULINE, ABCB

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Narrative Verse

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MY MOTHER WAS TAUGHT THIS POEM WHEN SHE WAS A LITTLE GIRL AND SHE SAYS THAT SHE HAS NEVER FORGOTTEN IT: A WISE OLD O; SAT IN AN OAK,

James Callow comment: RDNeedsReview

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ADVICE, EXAMPLE ; CHIASMUS ; METER: ANAPESTIC DIMETER ; RHETORICAL QUESTION ; RHYME: MASCULINE, INTERNAL, AABB

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse

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BEANS, BEANS, THE MUSICAL FRUIT;
THE MORE YOU EAT, THE MORE YOU TOOT,
THE MORE YOU TOOT, THE BETTER YOU FEEL,
SO LET'S HAVE BEANS FOR EVERY MEAL.

Submitter comment: FROM GRANDFATHER.
RECITED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

Keyword(s): METER: ANAPESTIC ; MONOLOGUE OVERSTATEMENT FOOD ; RHYME: MASCULINE, IMPERFECT, AABB

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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O ALMIGHTY DOLLAR, THY SHINING FACE
THAT SPEAKS THY MIGHTY POWER
IN MY POCKET, FIND A RESTING PLACE,
FOR I NEED THEE EVERY HOUR.
AMEN.

Where learned: SCHOOL ; DETROIT ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Keyword(s): APOSTROPHE MONOLOGUE QUATRAIN ; INDIRECTION SATIRE MONEY ; METER: IAMBIC, ANAPESTIC ; MOCK-PIOUS ; RHYME: MASCULINE, IMPERFECT, ABAB

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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SEE MY FINGER, SEE MY THUMB,
SEE MY FIST, YOU BETTER RUN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BULLY ; DIALECT ; ELLIPSIS, SURPRISE ENDING ; METER: ANAPESTIC ; MONOLOGUE UNDERSTATEMENT FIGHTING ; RHYME: MASCULINE ; THREAT

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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SCARE

SEE MY FINGER, SEE MY THUMB,
SEE MY FIST, YOU BETTER RUN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE WOODS

Keyword(s): BULLY ; ELLIPSIS, SURPRISE ENDING ; METER: ANAPESTIC ; MONOLOGUE UNDERSTATEMENT DIALECT FIGHTING ; RHYME: MASCULINE ; THREAT

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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SITTIN' BY THE ROADSIDE ON A SUMMER DAY,
CHATTING WITH MY MESS MATES, PASSING TIME AWAY,
LAYING IN THE SHADOW UNDERNEATH THE TREE,
GOODNESS, HOW DELICIOUS EATING GOOBER PEAS!

CHORUS: PEAS, PEAS, PEAS, PEAS,
GOODNESS HOW DELICIOUS EATING GOOBERPEAS!

Submitter comment: INFORMANT RECITED IT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): FOOD ; FOOD, EATING ; GOOBERS=PEANUTS ; IT MAY ALSO BE SUNG. ; METER: IAMBIC, ANAPESTIC ; RHYME: AABB

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse

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WHEN I'M DEAD AND IN MY GRAVE,
NO MORE WHISKEY SHALL I CRAVE,
FOR ON MY TOMBSTONE SHALL BE WROTE,
MANY A QUART'S WENT DOWN MY THROAT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GARDEN CITY

Keyword(s): DRINKING ; METER: ANAPESTIC DIMETER ; MONOLOGUE QUATRAIN EPITAPH EUPHEMISM ; POOR GRAMMAR ; RHYME: MASCULINE, AABB

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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WHEN YOU ARE OLD AND ABOUT TO DIE,
CALL ME UP SO I CAN CRY.
(TELEPHONE NUMBER).

Where learned: SCHOOL ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ANTICLIMAX IRONY COUPLET ; AUTOGRAPH VERSE? ; METER: ANAPESTIC ; PREPARATION FOR DEATH OLD AGE FRIENDSHIP ; RHYME: MASCULINE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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YOU SCREAM, I SCREAM,
WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): METER: IAMBIC ANAPESTIC ; REPETITION FOOD REFRAIN CACOGRAPHY ; RHYME: MASCULINE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse

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TAUNT

NOW IS THE TIME FOR ALL GOOD MEN
TO COME TO THE AID OF THEIR PLANET.

Submitter comment: THE TIME IS NOW FOR MEN TO WAKE UP AND REALIZE WHAT
HAS TO BE DONE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

Keyword(s): ANAPESTS ; GOOD MEN TO COME TO THE AID OF THEIR COUNTRY. ; PARODY: ON TYPING EXERCISE: NOW IS THE TIME FOR ALL

Subject headings: 730 Lyrical Verse

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BUST EXERCISE VERSE

WE MUST, WE MUST, WE MUST INCREASE OUR BUST.
FOR FEAR, FOR FEAR, FOR FEAR IT WILL GO TO THE REAR.

Data entry tech comment: I OFTEN SAID THIS IN THE BAHAMAS WHILE EXERCISING.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ANAPEST ; ITERATION ; RHYME: AA ; RHYME: AABB

Subject headings: 730 Lyrical Verse

Date learned: 00-00-1966

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AUTOGRAPH SIGNATURE

WHEN THE LEAVES OF YOUR ALBUM
ARE YELLOW WITH AGE,
AND THE NAME I WROTE ON THIS PAGE IS DIM,
STILL THINK OF ME KINDLY AND DO NOT FORGET,
THAT WHEREVER I AM,
I REMEMBER YOU YET.

Where learned: NORTH DAKOTA

Keyword(s): FRIENDSHIP ; INDIRECTION ; PROMISE OF REMEMBRANCE ; REMEMBRANCE ; SERIOUSNESS ; SINCERITY

James Callow Keyword(s): ADVICE ; INSTRUCTIONS ; METER: ANAPESTS ; METER: IAMBS ; RHYME:

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Remember me

Date learned: 00-00-1929

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VERSE

ROSES ARE RED
VIOLETS ARE BLACK
YOU WOULD LOOK BETTER
WITH A KNIFE IN YOUR BACK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ALLITERATION ; FLOWERS ; HOSTILITY ; INDIRECTION ; INSULT ; KNIVES ; METER: ANAPESTS ; METER: IAMBS ; METER: TROCHEES ; QUATRAIN ; RESENTMENT ; RHYME: ABCB ; THREAT

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Roses are red and other such associations

Date learned: 11-22-1968

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AUTOGRAPH BOOK VERSE

WHEN YOUR DAYS ON EARTH ARE ENDED,
AND THE PATH MO MORE YOU TROD,
MAY YOUR NAME IN GOLD BE WRITTEN
IN THE AUTOGRAPH OF GOD.

Submitter comment: LEARNED AT ST. LUKES'S SCHOOL, DETROIT, MICHIGAN

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ASSONANCE ; DIVINE RECOGNITION ; HEAVENLY AFTERLIFE ; PIOUS ; QUATRAIN ; RELIGION ; SINCERITY ; WISH

James Callow Keyword(s): ANAPESTIC AND IAMBIC METER ; RHYME: ABCB

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Pious reflection

Date learned: 09-19-1967

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AUTOGRAPH BOOK MATERIAL

REMEMBER THE GIRL FROM THE CITY
REMEMBER THE GIRL FROM THE TOWN
BUT REMEMBER THE GIRL WHO SPOILED THIS BOOK
BY WRITING UPSIDE DOWN.

Where learned: HOME ; DEARBORN

Keyword(s): BOAST ; FRIENDSHIP ; HUMOR ; INDIRECTION ; QUATRAIN ; REMEMBRANCE

James Callow Keyword(s): AMPHIMACERS IN FIRST LINE ; METER: ANAPESTIC ; TYPOGRAPHICAL

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Reading or writing backwards, upside down

Date learned: 10-22-1968

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