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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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SAINT PATRICK'S DAY

ONE OF THE THINGS THE WOMEN ALWAYS DID WAS TO DYE THEIR
HAIR GREEN WITH FOOD COLORING.

Submitter comment: IN MY GRANDMOTHER'S DAY THE UNMARRIED WOMEN DIED THEIR HAIR.
NOW IT IS DONE MORE IN THE HIGHSCHOOLS.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

James Callow Keyword(s): COLOR ; GREEN HAIR COLORING

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- March 17 Feast of St. Patrick
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Typical Elements of a Festive Pattern
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Color Design
BELIEF -- Color

Date learned: CA1960-1975

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Entry filtered.

Ethnic: Song/American Indian/Mardi Gras

THESE ARE THE WORDS TO THE SONG:
ME GOT FIRE CAN'T PUT IT OUT
ME FIRE WATER GONNA MAKE ME SHOUT.
I AM GOING DOWN AND GET MY SQUAW
ME MIGHT BUY GREAT BIG CAR.
I AM GONNA DO EVERYTHING I COULD
ME BIG CHIEF I'M FEELING GOOD.
ME BIG CHIEF I GOT 'EM TRIBE
GOT MY SQUAW RIGHT BY MY SIDE.
MY FLAG BOY HE JUST WENT BY
MY SPY BOY HE'S FULL OF FIRE
ME WHOLE TRIBE IS HAVING FUN
WE GONNA DANCE 'TIL THE MORNING COME

Submitter comment:

THE SONG 'BIG CHIEF' WAS WRITTEN BY A BLACK MAN NAMED
PROFESSOR LONG HAIR. HE WROTE THE SONG AROUND THE EARLY
1950'S. THIS SONG IS STRICTLY A MARDI GRAS TUNE. IT HAS
SURVIVED THROUGH THE YEARS AS ONE OF THE CLASSIC SONGS OF THE
MARDI GRAS SEASON. HE DID NOT BECOME RICH WITH THE SONG
BECAUSE IT IS ONLY UNDERSTOOD AND LOVED IN NEW ORLEANS
DURING THE MARDI GRAS SEASON. THE MAN IS PRESENTLY
WORKING ON THE RIVER FRONT WHARFS IN NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA
AT THE TIME OF HIS WRITING THE SONG, PROFESSOR LONG HAIR
WAS AN INDIAN CLUB MEMBER. HIS STORY IN THIS SONG IS
ALMOST THE SAME AS THAT OF THE OTHER INDIANS. HE SIMPLY
STATES WHAT HE IS GOING TO DO ON MARDI GRAS DAY AND
INVITES EVERYONE TO JOIN IN THE FUN WITH HIM.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

James Callow Keyword(s): FIREWATER ; LIQUOR ; NEGRO COMPOSER, PROFESSOR LONG HAIR

Subject headings: 663 Mardi Gras
Favorites
Filter - Mature Content

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CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

IF THE FIRST PERSON TO COME THROUGH THE DOOR OF YOUR HOUSE ON
CHRISTMAS EVE IS A DARK HAIRED MAN YOU WILL HAVE GOOD LUCK IN THE
YEAR TO COME.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; CHRISTMAS ; COLOR ; GOOD LUCK ; HAIR ; holiday ; LUCK ; Man ; OMEN ; SYMBOL

James Callow Keyword(s): FIRST FOOTING

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.42

Date learned: 00001930S

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CUSTOM

IT IS A CUSTOM OF THE AMISH FOR THE MEN TO GROW A THICK BEARD.
THEY MUST ALWAYS HAVE THIS BEARD AND WHILE THEY ARE GROWING IT,
THEY CANNOT GO OUT OF THE HOUSE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): HAIR

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- P439
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 03-00-1971

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SUPERSTITION

WHEN WE WERE CHILDREN IT WAS A POPULAR PRACTICE TO PUT
YOUR TOOTH WHICH HAD FALLEN OUT UNDER YOUR PILLOW. WE BELIEVED
THAT THE FAIRY GODMOTHER TOOK IT AND REPLACE IT, USUALLY WITH
A DIME OR QUARTER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): TOOTH FAIRY

Subject headings: Daily Life
BELIEF -- Fairy Elf Goblin Gnome
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Mouth, teeth, lips, tongue

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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PROVERB

EAST IS LEAST;
WEST IS BEST.

Submitter comment: WHEN A PILOT HEARS THIS, HE KNOWS THAT HE MUST FOLLOW THE LAWS OF
THE SKY AND WHEN FLYING TO THE EAST, FLY AT AN ODD THOUSAND PLUS 500
FEET - TO THE WEST TAKE THE EVEN THOUSAND PLUS 500 FEET.
ALTITUDE RULE. ODD IS LEAST BECAUSE THE RULE APPLIES AT AND ABOVE
3000 FEET. 3000 FEET IS THE LEAST OF ALL THE OTHER ALTITUDES WHERE
THIS RULE APPLIES.

Where learned: DETROIT

Keyword(s): FUNCTION

James Callow Keyword(s): AVIATION AIRPLANE ; DIRECTION ; OBSERVATION

Subject headings: Favorites
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Proverb Proverb

Date learned: 11-00-1971

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RIDDLE

WHAT DO DUCKS DO WHEN THEY FLY UPSIDE DOWN?
THEY QUACK UP

Where learned: SAINT LEONARD SCHOOL ; DETROIT, ASSUMED

Keyword(s): AIRPLANE LINGO ; BIRDS PUN

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 11-18-1965

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PERMANENT

INFORMANT WAS TOLD BY HER MOTHER IF YOU GAVE YOURSELF A PERMANENT
DURING YOUR PERIOD, IT WOULD'NT TAKE.

Submitter comment: (THIS REFERS TO A PERMANENT WAVE FOR HAIR)

Where learned: OAKLAND UNIVERSITY

Keyword(s): HAIR ; MENSTRUATION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hair, on head, mustache, widow's peak

Date learned: NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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NEW MOON BELIEF

GRANDMOTHER AND HER SISTERS HAD THEIR HAIR TRIMMED AT THE NEW MOON.
IN THIS WAS IT WOULD GROW WITH THE NEW MOON
AND WOULD GROW FASTER TOO.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): HAIR CUTTING ; HAIR GROWTH ; IMITATIVE MAGIC

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hair, on head, mustache, widow's peak

Date learned: 03-31-1971

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IF YOU EAT BREAD CRUSTS YOU WILL HAVE BLACK CURLY HAIR.

Submitter comment: IN AN ATTEMPT TO CURE MY BLOND HAIR,
MY GRANDMOTHER WOULD TELL ME THIS AS A CHILD.
BLACK HAIR IS CONSIDERED THE LOVELIEST FEATURE
A ROMANIAN WOMAN CAN HAVE AND HAS BEEN CONSIDERED SO FOR GENERATIONS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BREAD ; ETHNIC SUPERSTITION ; HAIR COLOR ; ROMANIAN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hair, on head, mustache, widow's peak

Date learned: 11-26-1971

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THE SCORPION IN THE HAIRDO

IT'S WRONG FOR GIRLS TO WEAR LARGE, RATTED HAIRDOS.
RECENTLY IN CALIFORNIA,A TEENAGE GIRL DIED, APPARENTLY WITHOUT CAUSE.
BUT THEY FOUND THAT SHE HAD BEEN WEARING THE SAME HAIRDO
FOR SIX MONTHS.
IT HAD GOTTEN SO DIRTY THAT A SCORPION GOT IN IT
AND MADE HIS NEST THERE
AND FINALLY HE BIT HER, AND SHE DIED.

Submitter comment: (I THINK SISTER REALLY BELIEVED THIS STORY.)

Where learned: 3RD OR 4TH GRADE CLASS

Keyword(s): FATAL HAIRDO ; SCORPION

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hair, on head, mustache, widow's peak

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Belief

RED HEADED WOMEN ARE MORE PASSIONATE AND BLONDES HAVE MORE FUN.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated and Motifs added / 02-28-2011 / TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE

Keyword(s): Blonde ; Brunette ; COLOR ; Female ; HAIR ; Red ; Stereotype ; Woman ; WOMEN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hair, on head, mustache, widow's peak

Date learned: 02-12-1970

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RED HAIR

IF YOU HAVE RED HAIR, YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO HAVE A BAD TEMPER.

Where learned: OHIO ; Norwalk

Keyword(s): HAIR COLOR ; TEMPER

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hair, on head, mustache, widow's peak
BELIEF -- Sign Color

Date learned: 00-00-1968

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BELIEF CONCERNING BIRTH

IF A GIRL IS BORN WITH A WIDOW'S PEAK,
IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE A SIGN OF ROYALTY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; DORM ROOM

Keyword(s): HAIRLINE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hair, on head, mustache, widow's peak
BELIEF -- Birth

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BLONDE

BORN BLONDE, DIE BALD

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): BALDNESS ; CONTRAST ; ELLIPSIS ; HAIR COLOR

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hair, on head, mustache, widow's peak
BELIEF -- Birth
PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 11-23-1968

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CHILDREN'S FAIRY TALE

WHEN YOU LOSE A TOOTH YOU SHOULD PLACE IT UNDER
YOUR PILLOW AT NIGHT.
THE GOOD FAIRY WILL BUY IT FROM YOU
AND USE THE TOOTH TO HELP BUILD A CASTLE.

Where learned: OHIO ; FREMONT

Keyword(s): TOOTH FAIRY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Fairy Elf Goblin Gnome
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Mouth, teeth, lips, tongue

Date learned: NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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SUPERSTITION

SAVE THE FIRST PIECE OF HAIR CUT FROM A BABY'S
HEAD, BECAUSE IF IT IS PRESERVED IN A SAFE PLACE
THE CHILD WILL LIVE TO BE VERY OLD.

Where learned: OHIO

Keyword(s): FIRST HAIRCUT

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Maturity
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 03-06-1971

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GOOD NIGHT

GOOD NIGHT, SLEEP TIGHT.
DON'T LET THE BED BUGS BITE.
IF THEY DO, PUT THEM IN A STEW
AND GET UP AND EAT THEM AT HALF PAST TWO.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; CHICAGO

Keyword(s): FOOD ; GORE ; INSECTS ; INTERNAL RHYME ( TWO PAIRS) ; RHYME: AABB

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

Date learned: 00-00-1955

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SEDUCTION BELIEF

COVER HEAD WITH SCARVES, A WELL-COIFFURED HEAD SEDUCES MEN.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT POINTED OUT THAT THIS IS VERY OLD.

Where learned: DETROIT

Keyword(s): HAIR

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 10-19-1971

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OMEN

QUITE OFTEN ONE SIGN OF A WITCH IS RED HAIR. THIS IS BECAUSE
JUDAS HAD RED HAIR AND DEALT WITH THE DEVIL.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): COLOR ; DEVIL ; HAIR ; JUDAS ; Legend ; Red ; SIGN ; Witch

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Color

Date learned: 02-12-1968

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