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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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OOEY GOOEY WAS A WORM,
OOEY GOOEY LIKED TO SQUIRM,
OOEY GOOEY CROSSED THE RAILROAD TRACK.
O-O-EY, G-O-O-EY!

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): HUMOR, FIRST PERSON NARRATIVE ; METER: IAMBIC ; MONOLOGUE UNDERSTATEMENT ; RAILROAD DEATH ; RHYME: IMPERFECT, MASCULINE, AABC

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

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THE CLOCK OF LIFE IS WOUND BUT ONCE,
AND NO MAN HAS THE POWER
TO TELL JUST WHERE THE HANDS WILL STOP,
AT LATE OR EARLY HOUR.
TO LOSE ONE'S WEALTH, IS SAD INDEED,
TO LOSE ONE'S HEALTH IS MORE;
TO LOSE ONE'S SOUL IS SUCH A LOSS,
AS NO MAN CAN RESTORE.
THE PRESENT ONLY IS OUR OWN,
LIVE, LOVE, TOIL WITH A WILL--
PLACE NO FAITH IN "TOMORROW" FOR
THE CLOCK MAY THEN BE STILL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ADVICE, PREPARATION FOR DEATH ; FIRST PERSON NARRATIVE ; METER: IAMBIC ; RHYME: MASCULINE, ABCA ; SYMBOL METONYMY RELIGION TIME

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

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IF I DIE, BURY ME,
HANG MY BONES ON A CHERRY TREE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD HILLS

Keyword(s): COUPLET ; INSTRUCTIONS ; PREPARATION FOR DEATH ; VERSE WITHOUT MUSIC

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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IT'S NOT THE COUGH
THAT CARRIES YOU OFF.
IT'S THE COFFIN
THEY CARRY YOU OFF IN.

Submitter comment: HEARD AND SAID WHEN YOUNG, 1915-1920.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; PITTSBURGH

Keyword(s): DEATH ; HUMOR TANGLETALK PUN ; IAMBIC-DACTYLIC, FEMININE RHYME, WORD PLAY, REPETITION ; OBSERVATION, TONGUETWISTER ; QUATRAIN SURPRISE ENDING CONTRAST ; RHYME: AABB

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

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LIFE IS LIKE A MOUNTAIN RAILROAD,
WITH AN ENGINEER THAT'S BRAVE.
WE MUST MAKE THE RUN SUCCESSFUL,
FROM THE CRADLE TO THE GRAVE.

Submitter comment: RECITED

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): FIRST PERSON NARRATIVE ; METER: TROCHAIC-IAMBIC ; RHYME: FEMININE, IMPERFECT, ABCA ; SIMILE ADVICE PREPARATION FOR DEATH

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

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THE GRASS IS RIZ,
WHERE LAST YEAR'S
CARELESS DRIVER IS.

Submitter comment: WRITTEN IN PARISH BULLETIN.

James Callow comment: RDNeedsReview

Where learned: MICHIGAN

Keyword(s): ADVICE ; DEATH ; DRIVING ; METER: IAMBIC ; MONOLOGUE SLANG, DIALECT ; PUN ; RHYME: MASCULINE, ABCB

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

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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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HERE LIES THE BODY OF SOLOMON PEASE.
UNDER THE DAISIES, UNDER THE TREES.
BUT PEASE ISN'T HERE, ONLY THE POD.
PEASE SHELLED OUT AND WENT HOME TO GOD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): DEATH PUN ; EPITAPH RHYME: COUPLETS ; VEGETABLES: PEAS METAPHOR SLANG

Subject headings: 730 Lyrical Verse

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VERSE WITHOUT MUSIC

MATHEW, MARK, LUKE AND JOHN,
BLESS THE BED THAT I LIE ON!
ALL FOUR CORNERS ROUND ABOUT,
WHEN I GET IN, WHEN I GET OUT.
FOUR CORNERS TO MY BED,
FOUR ANGELS ROUND MY HEAD;
ONE TO WATCH AND ONE TO PRAY,
AND TWO TO BEAR MY SOUL AWAY.

Submitter comment: HEARD IN SCHOOL.

Where learned: OHIO ; TOLEDO

Keyword(s): DEATH PIOUS SLEEPING BIBLICAL ; PIOUS ; PRAYER ; RHYME: AABB

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

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WHEN YOUR HAIR HAS TURNED TO SILVER,
AND LIFE'S PATH NO MORE YOU TROD.
MAY YOUR NAME IN GOLD BE WRITTEN,
IN THE AUTOGRAPH BOOK OF GOD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

James Callow Keyword(s): DEATH SALVATION NAME MAGIC RHYME: ABCB

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

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AUTOGRAPH (COLLECTOR'S TITLE)

FALSE TEETH, ROUGE, AND BORROWED HAIR/ MAY GIVE TO AGE A YOUTHFUL
AIRE./ BUT WHEN DEATH COMES TO CALL US HENCE/ THERE IS AN END OF
ALL PRETENCE.

Where learned: DETROIT

Keyword(s): MAKEUP WIG ; RHYME DEATH ; RHYME: AABB

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Cynical insight

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AUTOGRAPH BOOK MATERIAL (COLLECTOR'S TITLE)

WHEN THE GOLDEN SUN IS SETTING,/ AND ON EARTH NO MORE YOU TROD,
MAY YOUR NAME IN GOLD BE WRITTEN,/ IN THE ANNALS OF GOD.

Where learned: AUTOGRAPH BOOK

Keyword(s): DEATH HEAVEN ; METONYMY: NAME ; RELIGION QUATRAIN ; RHYME ABCB ; SALVATION

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

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UNDERTAKER (COLLECTOR'S TITLE)

ROSES ARE RED/ VIOLETS ARE BLUE
MY FATHER IS AN UNDERTAKER/ AND HE'LL GET YOU.

Where learned: SCRAPBOOK

Keyword(s): PARODY ; PLANTS FLOWERS ; QUATRAIN DEATH ; RHYME: ABCB

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

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WISECRACKS, GAGS, SILLY STORIES, INSULTS (CLASSIFIER'S TITLE)

ASHES TO ASHES,/ DUST TO DUST,/ IF BOYS DON'T GET YOU,/HALFWITS
MUST.

Submitter comment: FROM INFORMANT'S JUNIOR HIGH AUTUGRAPH BOOK 1929-1933

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; GLENSHAW

Keyword(s): DEATH ; ITERATION ; RHYME: ABCB

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Wisecracks, gags, silly stories, insults

Date learned: 00001929-1933

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AUTOGRAPH VERSE

WHEN THE GOLDEN SUN IS SETTING
AND THE EARTH NO MORE YOU TROD;
MAY YOUR NAME IN GOLD BE WRITTEN
IN THE AUTOGRAPH OF GOD.

Submitter comment: THIS ITEM WAS WRITTEN IN THE AUTOGRAPH BOOK OF
COLETTE BY A SCHOOLMATE.

Where learned: LOCATION NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

Keyword(s): BLESSING ; CHARM ; PIOUS ; PREPARATION FOR DEATH ; RHYME ABCB

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

Date learned: 10-08-1967

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PROVERB

DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Keyword(s): ALLITERATION

James Callow Keyword(s): DEATH ; OBSERVATION ; THREATS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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Proverb

DEATH IS NATURE'S WAY OF TELLING YOU TO SLOW DOWN.

Submitter comment:

INFORMAN'T CANT REMEMBER WHO TOLD HER THIS.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Aphorism ; Apothegm ; DEATH ; Maxim ; NATURE ; PROVERB ; Slow ; VERSE

James Callow Keyword(s): HUMOR ; IRONY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor
PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

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BIRTH BELIEF ABOUT A GHOST OR SPIRIT

THE MOTHER WHO DIES IN CHILDBIRTH WILL TRY AND COME BACK
FROM THE GRAVE TO NURSE THE BABY.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BABY ; BIRTH ; Breastfeeding ; CHILDBIRTH ; DEATH ; GHOST ; Haunt ; MOTHER ; Nurse ; Nursing ; SPIRIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- P429,

Date learned: 02-19-1972

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THE WORMS CRAWL IN

YOU SHOULD NEVER LAUGH AS THE HEARSE GOES BY
'CAUSE YOU MIGHT BE THE NEXT TO DIE.
THEY'LL PUT YOU IN A WOODEN BOX
AND COVER YOU UP WITH DIRT AND ROCKS.

ALL GOES FINE FOR ABOUT ONE WEEK
AND THEN THE COFFIN BEGINS TO LEAK.
THE WORMS CRAWL IN, THE WORMS CRAWL OUT,
THE WORMS PLAY PEANUCKLE ON YOUR SNOUT.
YOUR INSIDES TURN A SLIMY GREEN
AND PUSS FLOWS OUT JUST LIKE WHIPPED CREAM.
THE WORMS CRAWL IN, THE WORMS CRAWL OUT,
THE WORMS PLAY PEANUCKLE ON YOUR SNOUT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GRADE SCHOOL ; SAGINAW

Keyword(s): DECAY OF BODY AFTER DEATH ; GORE, GOTHIC HORROR ; PINOCHLE, A CARD GAME

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Death
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Children
BELIEF -- Insect

Date learned: 00-00-1958

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