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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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AUTOGRAPH

MM[ APPLES ON THE TABLE,
PEACHES ON THE SHELF.
YOU CAN'T MAKE A GOOD FRIEND
UNTIL YOU ARE ONE YOURSELF

Where learned: ALABAMA

Keyword(s): FRIENDSHIP ; OBSERVATION ; RHYME: ABCB

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Good wishes (sincere)

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DOWN NOT THE GIRL THAT'S DOWN TODAY,
BUT CHEER HER UP IN HER SORROW.
THIS OLD WORLD IS A FUNNY OLD WORLD,
YOU MAY BE DOWN TOMORROW.

Where learned: ALABAMA

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Chimney corner wisdom, advice, humorous fortune

Date learned: 06-25-1944

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YOU MAY JUDGE A TREE BY THE FRUIT IT BEARS,
BUT YOU CAN'T JUDGE A MAN BY THE CLOTHES HE WEARS.

Where learned: ALABAMA

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Chimney corner wisdom, advice, humorous fortune

Date learned: 06-25-1947

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YOU CAN LEAD A HORSE TO WATER
BUT YOU CANNOT MAKE HIM DRINK.
YOU CAN LEAD A FOOL TO KNOWLEDGE
BUT YOU CANNOT MAKE HIM THINK.

Where learned: ALABAMA

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Chimney corner wisdom, advice, humorous fortune

Date learned: 06-25-1944

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BE CAREFUL WHO YOU MATE WITH.
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU DO.
BECAUSE EVERYBODY THAT SMILE(S) IN YOUR FACE
IS NOT A FRIEND TO YOU.

Where learned: ALABAMA

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

Date learned: 06-25-1947

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THE WORK OF GOD HATH BEEN DONE BY FEW.
GOD ASK THAT A PART BE DONE BY YOU.

Where learned: ALABAMA

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

Date learned: 06-25-1944

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RIDDLE

Q: AS I WAS GOING ACROSS LONDON BRIDGE, I MET A MAN. I CUT HIS
THROAT AND ATE HIS MEAT AND DRANK HIS BLOOD AND THREW HIS HIDE AWAY.
A: WATERMELON.

Where learned: ALABAMA

Keyword(s): EATIBLES AND DRINKS (Q) CANNABALISM (Q) ; PARTICULAR AREA (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

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ANIMAL BELIEF

IF YOU ATE AN ANIMAL RAW, YOU COULD NEVER GET THE BLOOD OFF.

Where learned: ALABAMA

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Meat
BELIEF -- Home

Date learned: UNKNOWN

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HOT STEAM

A HOT STEAM IS SOMEBODY WHO CANNOT GET TO HEAVEN AND JUST
WALLOWS AROUND ON EARTH ON LONESOME ROADS, IF YOU WALK THROUGH ONE
WHEN YOU DIE, YOU WILL BE ONE TOO. AND THEN GO AROUND AT NIGHT
SUCKING THE BREATH OF PEOPLE. YOU CANNOT HELP WALKING THROUGH ONE.
SOMETIMES THEY STRETCH ALL THE WAY DOWN THE ROAD. BUT IF YOU
GO THROUGH ONE SAY, 'ANGEL-BRIGHT, LIFE IN DEATH, GET OFF THE
ROAD, DON'T SUCK MY BREATH,' THIS KEEPS THEM FROM YOU.

Where learned: ALABAMA

James Callow Keyword(s): RHYME

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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WHY PEOPLE HAVE TO WORK IN ORDER TO LIVE

WHY MUST PEOPLE WORK IN ORDER TO LIVE? WELL, AT ONE TIME GOD HAD
PLACED THE SKY SO NEAR TO THE GROUND THAT WHENEVER A PERSON WAS
HUNGRY AND WANTED SOMETHING TO EAT HE ONLY HAD TO BREAK ALL HE WANTED
TO EAT FROM THE LOVELY-BLUE SKY AND EAT. AFTER PEOPLE STARTED
GETTING TOO FAT AND LAZY, THEY WOULD BREAK OFF HUGE PIECES OF THE SKY
AND EAT ONLY SOME PORTIONS AND THROW THE REST ON THE GROUND AND WALK
AWAY. NOW THE LORD DIDN'T LIKE THIS. HE WANTED EVERYBODY TO HAVE
PLENTY TO EAT BUT HE DIDN'T WANT THEM TO TAKE THINGS TOO LIGHTLY;
"TAKE ONLY WHAT YOU'RE ABLE TO EAT," HE WARNED THEM. THE PEOPLE
FOLLOWED HIS ADVICE FOR A SHORT WHILE, THEN RETURNED TO WHAT THEY
WERE DOING BEFORE, BREAKING OFF MORE THAN THEY COULD EAT. THE LORD
DECIDED TO MOVE THE SKY MILES AWAY SO NOBODY COULD GET TO IT, AND IN
ORDER TO EAT, EVERY SOUL HAD TO WORK HARD AT THE LAND.

Submitter comment: I HAVE HEARD THIS STORY AS TOLD BY A REGULAR CHURCH-GOER; IT WAS TOLD
BASICALLY THE SAME.

Where learned: ALABAMA

James Callow Keyword(s): GREED

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Creation and Order of Universe
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 00-00-1930

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WHY DOGS AND CATS DON'T GET ALONG

NOW THE DOG, HE WAS A FREE MAN ALWAYS. HE MINED THE YARD. ONE DAY
THE DOG WAS GONNA GO FOR A WALK AND HE DRESSED, GOT HIS CANE AND ALL.
NOW HE HAD TO GO THROUGH HIS MASTER HOUSE TO GET TO THE FRONT, SO HE
HAD TO PASS THE CAT WHO WAS ALWAYS IN THE KITCHEN BY THE FIRE-IRON.
THE DOG SAY, "SISS CAT, HOW YOU FIND YO' HEALTH THESE HERE DAYS?"
SAY, "BR'ER, I AIN'T DOING SO WELL, THANK YOU FOE ASKING." I'M
GOING OUT FOR A WALK AND I WISH YOU BE SO KIND AS TO TAKE CHARGE OF
MY PAPER FOR ME, TEL I GET BACK. SISS CAT SAY, "SHOW, I SHOW WILL
BR'ER-DOG, WITH PLESURE. SO BR'ER-DOG HAND SISS-CAT HIS PAPER AND
WENT OUT FOR HIS WALK. SISS-CAT WAS TRYING TO STAY CAREFUL WITH
BR-ER-DOG'S PAPER BUT SHE REALLY DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH IT OR
HOW TO DO IT. SO SHE KINDLY PUT IT ON THE FLOOR, MADE A MAT AND SOON
FELL TO SLEEP ON IT. WELL THE RAT STUCK HIS LITTLE HEAD OUT HIS HOLE
TO SEE WHAT THE NEWS WAS. WHEN HE SAW THE PAPER UNDER THE CAT HE
STARTED THANKING HOW HE WAS GONNA GET IT FROM HER. AND HE DECIDED
TO TAKE JUST A NIBBLE OFF A LITTLE PIECE, THAT WOULD'NT WAKE-UP THE
CAT BUT BEFORE HE GOT THE WHOLE PIECE IN HIS LITTLE MOUTH SIS' CAT
WOKE-UP, FORGOT ALL ABOUT BEING CAREFUL WITH BR'ER-DOG'S PAPER AND
JUMPED AFTER THE RAT, AS HE MADE HIS GET-A-AWAY THROUGH HIS HOLE WITH
A LITTLE PIECE OF BR'ER DOG'S PAPER IN HIS MOUTH. SO SIS' CAT CAME
BACK OUT OF BREATH AND SHE HAD TO LOOK FOR THE PAPER BECAUSE THE
WIND HAD BLOWN IT ABOUT. SHE LOOKED, LOOKED AND LOOKED, AIN'T FOUND
NO TRACE OF THE PAPER, YET. AND WHEN BR'ER DOG CAME BACK HE ASKED,
"WHERE MY PAPER I LAID WITH YOU?" SIS' CAT SAYS, "WHO TOLD YOU TO
LAY YO' PAPER WITH ME I WANT TO KNOW:" I GO TO COMBAT THAT HOUSE-RAT
I CANN'T LOOK OUT FOR YO' PAPER TOO, SOMEBODY MUST HAVE PLAYED
THIEF WHEN I TURNED FOR A MINUTE." BR'ER DOG SAY, "YOU NO GOOD FOE
NOTHING THANG YO. WHAT IS CATS FOE ANYWAY - THAT I WANT TO KNOW;
I AIN'T GOT NO USE FOR THEM. BOW-WOW-WOW:" SIS' CAT ANSWERED,
"SP-T-Z-Z" AND THEY STOPPED SPEAKING AND TODAY THEY AIN'T SPEAKING.

Submitter comment: THIS IS A NEW STORY TO ME. I FOUND SOME WORDS IN THE STORY, SUCH AS
BR'ER FOR MY BROTHER AND SIS FOR SISTER, TO BE COMMON LANGUAGE AMONG
BLACKS MAINLY IN THE SOUTH.

Data entry tech comment: A-T 200 THE DOG'S CERTIFICATE
MT[ A2281.1 CAT LOSES DOG'S CERTIFICATE: ; A2281.1 (CONT'D) ENMITY BETWEEN CATS AND DOGS
****************** NEW D FILE 2 ******************

Where learned: ALABAMA

James Callow Keyword(s): PERSONIFICATION

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Mammal

Date learned: 00-00-1920

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KICKING A CAN

IF A KID FROM ALABAMA WAS ABLE TO KICK A CAN, STICK OR ANY OTHER
ABANDON(ED) OBJECT
FROM HIS FRONT YARD TO THE STORE OR ANY WHERE ELSE HIS
MOTHER OR FATHER WAS SENDING HIM THAT HE DIDN'T WANT TO GO THAT KID
WOULD NOT HAVE TO GO AGAIN THAT DAY.

Submitter comment: SAID BY BLACKS IN ALABAMA.
I CAN REMEMBER KICKING A TIN-CAN TO THE STORE IN ALABAMA BUT AT THE
TIME I DID NOT KNOW WHAT IT MEANT; HOWEVER, MOST OF THE KIDS WOULD
EITHER KICK AN OBJECT THERE AND BACK OR CARRY A STICK ABOUT THEIR OWN
HEIGHT TO THE STORE AND BACK IN THE AREA WHERE I LIVED.

Where learned: ALABAMA

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Common law
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Common law
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 00-00-1960

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UNWIND CLOCK

IF A PERSON LETS THEIR ALARM CLOCK COMPLETLY UNWIND AND STOP TICKING
THE OWNER OF THE CLOCK WILL DIE IN HIS SLEEP

Submitter comment: ONE MAY LOOK AT THE CLOCK'S MAIN-SPRING AS ONE'S OWN LIFE SPAN.

Where learned: ALABAMA

James Callow Keyword(s): SYMPATHETIC MAGIC

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 00-00-1932

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PREDICTION

IF YOUR RIGHT HAND ITCHES, YOU'LL SHAKE HANDS WITH A STRANGER.

Where learned: ALABAMA

Subject headings: Observation

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HOT STEAM

A "HOT STEAM" IS SOMEBODY WHO CAN'T
GET TO HEAVEN, JUST WALLOWS AROUND
ON LONESOME ROADS AN' IF YOU WALK THROUGH ONE, WHEN YOU DIE YOU'LL
BE ONE TOO AN' YOU'LL GO AROUND AT
NIGHT SUCKING PEOPLE'S BREATH. YOU
CAN'T KEEP FROM PASSING THROUGH ONE. SOMETIMES THEY STRETCH ALL
THE WAY ACROSS THE ROAD, BUT IF YOU HAFTA GO THROUGH ONE YOU SAY:
ANGEL-BRIGHT, LIFE-IN-DEATH; GET
OFF THE ROAD, DON'T SUCK MY BREATH."
THIS KEEPS THEM FROM WRAPPING AROUND YOU.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: ALABAMA ; "To Kill a Mockingbird"

Keyword(s): GHOST ; LITERATURE ; Quote ; Soul ; SUPERSTITION ; Tale

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: UNKNOWN

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( ANIMAL BELIEF )

IF YOU ATE AN ANIMAL RAW, YOU COULD NEVER GET THE BLOOD OFF.

Data entry tech comment:

The collector has written ["To Kill a Mockingbird," Harper Lee] on the card.

Updated by TRD

Where learned: ALABAMA

Keyword(s): ANIMAL ; BLOOD ; Clean ; Consume ; Eat ; FOOD ; meat ; Raw

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Meat
BELIEF -- Home

Date learned: UNKNOWN

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AUTOGRAPH

APPLES ON THE TABLE,
PEACHES ON THE SHELF.
YOU CAN'T MAKE A GOOD FRIEND
UNTIL YOU ARE ONE YOURSELF

Where learned: ALABAMA

Keyword(s): FRIENDSHIP ; OBSERVATION ; RHYME: ABCB

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Good wishes (sincere)

Date learned: 06-25-1944

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ALABAMA SUPERSTITION

"IF YOU GIVE SOMEONE A GIFT OF A PURSE OR A WALLET, YOU SHOULD
PUT A COIN IN IT TO BRING THE PERSON GOOD LUCK".

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT LEARNED THIS ITEM AS A CHILD IN BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA
FROM HIS MOTHER, CIRCA 1928. SHE FIRST LEARNED IT FROM HER MOTHER
IN ALABAMA CIRCA 1900.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALABAMA ; DETROIT ; BIRMINGHAM

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Measure of quality Monetary systemMoneyWealth
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 11-22-1980 ; 00-00-1928 ; 00-00-1900

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ALABAMA SUPERSTITION

"WHEN YOU'RE WALKING DOWN THE STREET WITH SOMEONE
AND YOU COME TO A TREE OR A POST, ONE PERSON'S SUPPOSED TO
WALK AROUND ONE SIDE OF IT AND SAY 'BREAD AND BUTTER', WHILE THE
OTHER PERSON WALKS AROUND THE OTHER SIDE AND SAYS 'SALT AND PEPPER'.
IF YOU DON'T DO THIS, YOU'LL HAVE A FIGHT BEFORE THE DAY IS OUT."

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT LEARNED THIS ITEM AS A CHILD IN BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA
FROM HIS MOTHER, CIRCA 1928. SHE FIRST LEARNED IT FROM HER MOTHER
IN ALABAMA CIRCA 1900.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALABAMA ; DETROIT ; BIRMINGHAM

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Conversions
SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 11-22-1980 ; 00-00-1928 ; 00-00-1900

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ALABAMA WEDDING CUSTOM

"TO HER WEDDING, A BRIDE SHOULD WEAR SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW,
SOMETHING BORROWED, AND SOMETHING BLUE TO INSURE A LONG, HAPPY,
AND PROSPEROUS MARRIAGE".

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT LEARNED THIS ITEM AS A YOUNG MAN IN DETROIT,
CIRCA 1930, FROM HIS MOTHER, WHO LEARNED IT FROM HER MOTHER
IN ALABAMA, CIRCA 1900.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALABAMA ; DETROIT ; BIRMINGHAM

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage

Date learned: 11-22-1980 ; 00-00-1928 ; 00-00-1900

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