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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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"WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT ME FOR? I DIDN'T COME TO STAY. I ONLY CAME
TO TELL YOU THIS IS EASTER DAY."

Submitter comment: THIS IS A GREETING BY THE CHURCH DEACON TO THE CONGREGATION AT
EASTER MASS.

Where learned: WORK ; TOLD AT

Keyword(s): RITUAL SPEECH

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Custom Festival C840.663
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Speech Speech
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Sunday

Date learned: 10-30-1971

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BEWARE OF THE BLACKBIRDS

WHEN COMBING YOUR HAIR, BE SURE NOT TO LET A STRAND
OR A CLUMP OF YOUR HAIR FALL TO THE GROUND
WHERE A BLACKBIRD CAN PICK IT UP, FOR IF HE DOES,
YOU WILL GO CRAZY.

Where learned: WORK

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Physically handicapped Deformed
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hair, on head, mustache, widow's peak
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 09-19-1969

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ROSES

IF A GIRL WEARS A ROSE ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF HER HEAD IT MEANS SHE IS
SINGLE AND AVAILABLE. IF IT IS ON HER LEFT SIDE IT MEANS SHE IS
MARRIED.

Where learned: WORK

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Signs of availability

Date learned: 07-00-1967

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INDIAN CORN SOUP

IN ORDER TO MAKE INDIAN CORN SOUP, ONE MUST FIRST
OBTAIN SOME INDIAN CORN STALKS. TAKE THE STALKS
AND PLACE THEM IN A PAN OVER A FIRE. THE HEAT
WILL CAUSE THE CORN KERNELS TO POP. TAKE THE POPPED
KERNELS AND WASH THEM FIRST IN ASHES AND THEN
IN LYE. REPEAT THIS PROCEDURE TWICE. AFTER COMPLETING
THE KERNEL WASHING, PLACE THE CORN IN A POT FILLED
WITH WATER, ADD SALT AND BRING THE MIXTURE TO A BOIL.
LET THE WATER BOIL FOR ABOUT 20 MINUTES. THEN THE SOUP
SHOULD BE DONE.

Where learned: DETROIT, ASSUMED ; WORK ; J L HUDSONS ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Mixed preparation in liquid

Date learned: 10-13-1969

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NUMBER BELIEF

IN SOME PART OF LATIN AMERICA, NUMBER 13 IS CONSIDERED GOOD LUCK AND
IT IS USED ALL OVER.

Submitter comment: THIS CONTROVERSIAL 13 NUMBER, WHETHER GOOD LUCK OR BAD, IS QUITE
PREVALENT IN LATIN AMERICA.

Where learned: WORK ; TOLD AT ; IRA WILSON AND SONS

Subject headings: 686 Specific number by specific number being described

Date learned: 10-13-1970

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NUMBER BELIEF

NUMBER THIRTEEN IN SOME PLACES IS CONCIDERED BAD LUCK.
THERE WILL BE NO ROOM 13 OR FLOOR 13 OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT.

Submitter comment: THIS SUPERSTITION ABOUT 13 IS VERY PREVALENT IN LATIN AMERICA.

Where learned: WORK ; TOLD AT ; IRA WILSON AND SONS

Subject headings: 686 Specific number by specific number being described

Date learned: 02-28-1970

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GENERAL FOLKLORE

A MAN IN ENGLAND IN THE 1500,S COULD BE CRUSHED TO DEATH BY BEING
PLACED BETWEEN TWO BOARDS WHICH WERE LOADED WITH STONES, FOR NOT
PLEADING GUILTY OR NOT GUILTY AT THE BAR IN THE COURTS. BECAUSE
THIS WOULD HOLD UP THE COURTS AND DELAY OTHER TRIALS.

Where learned: WORK

Keyword(s): PLEADING ENGLISH COURTS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Common law

Date learned: 11-00-1968

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SAYING

ROB HAW THE GLECAE (GLASCOW) GLUTTON/ STOLE LAMB AND A LEG OF MUTTON.

Submitter comment: VOLUNTEERED

Where learned: WORK

Keyword(s): FEMININE RHYME ; RHYME: AA

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

Date learned: 09-22-1968

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BELIEF (COLLECTOR'S TITLE) ; BAD LUCK: GESTURES (CLASSIFIERHS TITLE)

THE THIRD PERSON ON A MATCH IS BAD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; LIBRARY ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; WORK

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.22

Date learned: 01-29-1968

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AT CHRISTMAS TIME ALL THE KIDS IN THE FAMILY GET A SHOT OF WHISKEY.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: WORK ; TOLD AT

Keyword(s): CHRISTMAS ; CUSTOM ; DRINK ; holiday

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Single dishes

Date learned: 10-30-1971

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REMOVAL OF THE EVIL EYE

ON ONLY ONE DAY OF THE YEAR CAN A PERSON BE TAUGHT HOW TO REMOVE THE
EVIL EYE. THE TIME IS BETWEEN MIDNIGHT AND 2:00 AM CHRISTMAS
MORNING. THE WORDS HAVE TO BE MEMORIZED SINCE THEY ARE NOT WRITTEN
DOWN AND CANNOT BE WRITTEN DOWN. IT IS TAUGHT BY AN OLD WOMAN TO A
YOUNG WOMAN; OR AN OLD MAN TO YOUNG MAN, BUT NOT BY A MAN TO A
WOMAN; OR A WOMAN TO A MAN. AFTER THE PRAYERS ARE TAUGHT, A DISH
OF OLIVE OIL AND A DISH OF WATER ARE PREPARED. THE PERSON MAKES THE
SIGN OF THE CROSS ON SOMEONE'S FOREHEAD WHILE SAYING A PRAYER. THEN
HE DIPS HIS FINGER IN THE OIL AND DROPS THE OIL IN THE WATER. IF
IF THE OIL SEPARATES INTO BALLS, THE PERSON HAS AN EVIL EYE AND MORE
PRAYERS ARE SAID. THEN THE DISH OF WATER WITH THE OIL IN IT IS
THROWN IN THE STREET WHERE BUGGIES (TODAY CARS) CAN RUN OVER IT;
AND THE SPELL WOULD BE BROKEN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; WORK

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Predictions

Date learned: 07-00-1964

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CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEARS CUSTOMS IN SCOTLAND

THERE IS MUCH REVELRY IN SCOTLAND AT HOGMANY (NEW YEAR) AND LITTLE
FESTIVITY AT CHRISTMAS. THE ORIGINS OF THIS PRACTICE ARE NOT AS
HEATHENISH AS THEY MIGHT FIRST APPEAR. SCOTLAND WAS ONE OF THE
FORTIFICATIONS OF THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION AND THE REFORMERS WERE
APPALLED AT THE CARNIVAL ATMOSPHERE THAT PERVADED THE CELEBRATION OF
CHRISTMAS. AS A RESULT, THE FESTIVITIES WERE PUSHED AHEAD ONE WEEK
AND CHRISTMAS CELEBRATED WITH MORE SOLEMNITY. UP UNTIL THE END OF
WW2 IT WAS UNUSUAL FOR WORKING MEN TO GET A DAY OFF FOR CHRISTMAS.
INSTEAD, SEVERAL DAYS HOLIDAY WERE GIVEN AT NEW YEARS.

Where learned: WORK

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.

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A PERSON BORN ON DECEMBER 25TH DIRECTLY AT THE STROKE OF MIDNIGHT
WILL NOT LIVE LONG.

Submitter comment: MY GRANDFATHER WAS BORN ON DECEMBER 25TH AND DIED QUITE EARLY IN
LIFE. WHETHER OR NOT HE WAS BORN ON THE STROKE OF MIDNIGHT I DON'T
KNOW.

Where learned: DETROIT ; WORK ; J L HUDSONS ; TOLD AT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Predictions

Date learned: 10-13-1969

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BELIEF

WHEN YOU GO VISITING, ALWAYS LEAVE BY THE SAME DOOR
THROUGH WHICH YOU ENTERED.

Where learned: WORK

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 12-02-1967

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OMEN

FOR THE FRENCH, A BIRD ON A WINDOWSILL MEANS DEATH.

Where learned: WORK ; TOLD AT ; DETROIT BOARD OF

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 03-17-1970

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OMEN

FOR THE SCOTTISH PEOPLE, A BIRD IN A WINDOW MEANS SICKNESS IS COMING

Where learned: WORK ; TOLD AT ; DETROIT BOARD OF

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 03-17-1970

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AN OMEN

IF THERE IS A PIECE OF STRING, THREAD
LYING ON YOUR CLOTHES, THIS IS A SIGN
MEANING THAT YOU ARE GOING TO RECEIVE
A LETTER OR PACKAGE.

Where learned: WORK ; J L HUDSONS

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 10-13-1969

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OMEN

ACCORDING TO THE SCOTS, IF A MAN HAS HIS HAT ON IN A HOUSE, A
FIGHT IS GOING TO OCCUR.

Where learned: WORK ; TOLD AT ; DETROIT BOARD OF

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 03-17-1970

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OMEN

IT IS A LEBANESE BELIEF THAT IF YOU BRING A PERSON IN THE HOSPITAL
FLOWERS, YOU THINK HE IS DYING, SO NEVER BRING A PERSON IN THE
HOSPITAL FLOWERS OR ELSE YOU WILL SCARE THAT PERSON.

Where learned: WORK ; TOLD AT ; DETROIT BOARD OF

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 03-17-1970

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PROVERB

FIGURES DON'T LIE, BUT LIARS CAN FIGURE.

Where learned: WORK

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 11-03-1967

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