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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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MICKEY MOUSE BUILT A HOUSE,
HOW MANY BRICKS DID HE USE?

Submitter comment: WE USED TO USE THIS VERSE TO DETERMINE WHO WOULD BE
IT FOR A GAME BY COUNTING THE PLAYER'S FEET.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; SKOKIE

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

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A GIRL WHISTLING

GIRLS ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO WHISTLE BECUASE IT MAKES THE BLESSED
VIRGIN CRY WHENEVER THEY DO IT.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT IS MY MOTHER, AND SHE REMEMBERS THIS FROM HER
CHILDHOOD BECAUSE MY GRANDMOTHER TELLS THIS TO HER DAUGHTERS.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; SKOKIE

James Callow Keyword(s): VANITY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Religious hero
SPEECH -- Extra Corporal Means of Communication

Date learned: 10-10-1967

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WEDDING CUSTOM

A MOTHER SHOULD BRING HOME A PIECE OF WEDDING CAKE AND PLACE IT UNDER
A MOTHER SHOULD BRING HOME A PIECE OF WEDDING CAKE FROM A WEDDING
AND PLACE IT UNDER HER DAUGHTER'S PILLOW SO THAT HER
DAUGHTER MAY HAVE A SUCCESSFUL
MARRIAGE.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; SKOKIE

Keyword(s): FOOD

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Dream about future husband

Date learned: 11-27-1970

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A GIRL WHISTLING

GIRLS ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO WHISTLE BECUASE IT MAKES THE BLESSED
VIRGIN CRY WHENEVER THEY DO IT.

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT IS MY MOTHER, AND SHE REMEMBERS THIS FROM HER
CHILDHOOD BECAUSE MY GRANDMOTHER USED TO TELL THIS TO HER DAUGHTERS.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; SKOKIE

Keyword(s): BLESSED VIRGIN ; Female ; Feminine ; Girl ; Ladylike ; Whistle

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Religious hero

Date learned: EARLY CHILDHOOD

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(sung to the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic")
Glory, glory, halleluia
Teacher hit me with a ruler.
So I hit her in the bean
With a rotten tangerine
And that's the end of school!

Submitter comment: I learned this same song in Cincinnati, Ohio during the
1950's, and when I asked people to recall the silly
school songs of their youth, this was usually the first one
they would sing.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; SKOKIE

Keyword(s): parody, humor, mock violence

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

Date learned: 00001950S

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Every old crow
Thinks its baby white as snow.

Submitter comment: This proverb was told to Maryann by her Italian father,
as a way of dismissing praise given to children by
their own parents.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; SKOKIE

Keyword(s): sarcasm, humor, parental pride

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMAL METAPHOR ; BIRD ; COLOR

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Proverb
PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 00001960S

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Pictures of counselors, dead on the floor,
Killed by the campers, one and all.
Blood on their shoulders,
Blood on their shirts,
Great big globs of blood on the dirt. MM
When counselors die
When counselors die
Don't bury their bones
Don't bury their bones
Just leave them lie
Just leave them lie
Among the stones
Among the stones
And paint a sign
And paint a sign
In letters green
In letters green
Here lie the bones of the losing team!
Here lie the bones of the losing team!

Submitter comment: The repeating lines in the second stanza are sung
by two groups who alternate singing. Maryann states
that she was taught this song by her counselors while
attending Maskokie Day Camp in 1967.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; SKOKIE

Keyword(s): death, decomposition, humor

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

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On Halloween night, put a bucket of sand or a broom
outside your door. If a soul comes by and wants to
harm you, it will have to count every grain of sand
or broom bristle first. By the time that the spirit
has done this, it would be daytime and it would have
to go back where it came from.

Submitter comment: This story was told to Maryann by her Italian father,
who heard it from his grandfather.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; SKOKIE

Keyword(s): ghost, precaution, All Souls' Day

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- October 31 Halloween
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs
BELIEF -- Good luck Broom Sweeping
BELIEF -- Control Prevention Provocation Protection

Date learned: 00001930S

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"Certain people have the power to give the evil eye.
Some would give it to you to make you sick, bring you
bad luck, etc. or they would say not to look in their
eyes so you would not get the evil eye (they could not
help themselves from giving the evil eye --- it was
beyond their control). Mr. DiSantis had the power. He
told my Dad and others about it when he was young,
(maybe age seven)."

Submitter comment: This is a verbatim account from Maryann Leisner detailing
a story told many times by her Italian father, Mr. Phillip
Melone. Mr. Melone believes this to be true.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; SKOKIE

Keyword(s): Curse, magic, harm

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Body part Senses Eyes, evil eye
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Eyes, evil eye
BELIEF -- Curse
BELIEF -- Bad luck Body parts and functions

Date learned: 00001930S

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"A townswoman was suspected of being a witch. Papa's
sister was sick and no doctor could cure her. They found
a cat in her room. Papa took the cat, put it in a bag,
beat it and threw it in the river. The next morning, they
found the woman (who was thought to be a witch) all
beaten by the side of the river, and Papa's sister got
well. The woman was obviously a witch. (Papa is my father's
father).

Submitter comment: This a verbatim account from Maryann Leisner which quotes
a story that her father, Phillip Melone, tells frequently.
He heard it from his father (in Italian) as he was growing
up, and believes it to be a true story.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; SKOKIE

Keyword(s): Occult

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Method of Curing
BELIEF -- Conversions Animals
BELIEF -- Control Prevention Provocation Protection P892.1

Date learned: 00001930S

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"One day two brothers were fighting and beating each
other up, almost killing each other. The neighbor saw
it and moved in to try and stop the fight. The brothers
stopped fighting and beat up the neighbor, then they went
back to fighting. Lesson: Mind your own business and
keep out of family fights."

Submitter comment: This is a verbatim account from Maryann Leisner which
retells a story her father learned from old (Italian)
relatives.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; SKOKIE

Keyword(s): Fable, function, cautionary tale, warning

James Callow Keyword(s): Dramatic Irony ; Peacemaker

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 00001930S

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IT IS TRADITIONAL TO THROW A PERSON INTO THE SHOWERS ON
HIS BIRTHDAY.

Submitter comment: A COLLEGE AND SUMMER CAMP TRADITION.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; SKOKIE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Private birthday or anniversary

Date learned: 11-27-1970

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A GIRL WHISTLING

GIRLS ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO WHISTLE BECAUSE IT MAKES THE
BLESSED VIRGIN CRY WHENEVER THEY DO IT.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT IS MY MOTHER, AND SHE REMEMBERS THIS FROM
HER CHILDHOOD BECAUSE MY GRANDMOTHER USED TO TELL
THIS TO HER DAUGHTERS.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; SKOKIE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal P477.8

Date learned: CHILDHOOD

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IF A BABY IS BORN ON FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH, THEN THAT
BABY WILL BE A GOOD ONE.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; SKOKIE

Subject headings: 686 Specific number by specific number being described

Date learned: 11-27-1970

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IF IT RAINS DURING A WEDDING, THAT MARRIAGE WILL BE A
GOOD ONE.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; SKOKIE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Marriage Ceremony

Date learned: 11-27-1970

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BABY JOKE

WHAT IS RED ALL OVER AND SITS IN A CORNER?
A BABY PLAYING WITH RAZOR BLADES.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; SKOKIE

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 11-27-1970

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BABY JOKE

WHAT IS BLUE ALL OVER AND SITS IN A CORNER?
A BABY PLAYING WITH A PLASTIC BAG.

Where learned: HOME ; ILLINOIS ; SKOKIE

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 11-27-1970

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Proverb

Step on a crack. Break your mother's back.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: HOME ; ILLINOIS ; SKOKIE

Keyword(s): Aphorism ; Apothegm ; Back ; Crack ; Maxim ; MOTHER ; PROVERB ; VERSE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

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showing 18 items

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