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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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12001969

PALEFACE '(S) BARE FEET SHOULD NEVER TOUCH GROUND.

Submitter comment: A CANADIAN INDIAN PROVERB TOLD TO INFORMANT WHEN SHE WAS A CHILD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAGINAW

James Callow Keyword(s): ADVICE: NEGATIVE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Feet, toes, toenails
PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

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PROVERB IN VERSE

PALE MOON DOTH RAIN
RED MOON DOTH BLOW
WHITE MOON DOTH NEITHER RAIN NOR SNOW

Where learned: MICHIGAN, ASSUMED ; SAGINAW

Keyword(s): WEATHER PROVERB

James Callow Keyword(s): COLOR SYMBOL

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Proverb Proverb
BELIEF -- Weather sign or control

Date learned: 09-07-1969

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GOOD FRIDAY

FROM 12 NOON UNTIL 3 P.M. ON GOOD FRIDAY, ONE MAY NOT TALK OR
AMUSE ONESELF. RATHER, IN MEMORY OF THE CRUCIFICTION ( CRUCIFIXION )
ONE MUST ENGAGE IN SILENT MEDITATION AND PENANCE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAGINAW

Subject headings: 663 Good Friday

Date learned: 00-00-1970

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SUPERSTITION

SEE A CROW IN THE MORNING, MOURN BEFORE NIGHT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAGINAW

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 12-00-1969

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SUPERSTITION OR OMEN

IF YOU DROP A FORK, YOU WILL HAVE A MAN VISITOR. IF YOU DROP A SPOON
YOU WILL HAVE A WOMAN VISITOR. IF YOU
DROP A KNIFE, A STRANGER WILL COME
TO YOUR DOOR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAGINAW

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 12-00-1969

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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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THE WAY YOU ACT ON YOUR BIRTHDAY IS THE WAY
YOU WILL BEHAVE FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAGINAW

Keyword(s): FUNTION

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
Observation
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Private birthday or anniversary
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year

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DOWN BY THE RIVER

DOWN BY THE RIVER
DOWN BY THE SEA
JOHNNY BROKE A MILK BOTTLE
BLAMED IT ON ME.

I TOLD MA
MA TOLD PA
JOHNNY GOT A LICKIN,
SO HA, HA, HA

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAGINAW

Keyword(s): INITAL ITERATION ; JUMP ROPE RHYME ; RHYME: ABCB

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

Date learned: 00-00-1957

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HOLE IN BREAD

IF THERE IS A HOLE IN FRESHLY BAKED, HOME-MADE BREAD, IT IS A
SIGN THAT SOMEONE IS GOING TO DIE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAGINAW

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 00-00-1954

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THE LIGHT BULB

THE FOREMAN WALKS INTO HIS SHOP TO SUPERVISE HIS MEN.
HE SPOTS A MAN HANGING UPSIDE DOWN FROM ONE OF THE
CEILING BEAMS. HE SAYS, "HEY, WHAT ARE YOU DOING UP
THERE WHEN YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE WORKING?" THE REPLY:
"I'M A LIGHT BULB!" FOREMAN: "YOU'RE FIRED!"
THE MAN LEAVES AND THEN THE FOREMAN SEES ANOTHER
WORKER, THE ONE WHO WORKED BESIDE THE ONE CLAIMING TO
BE A LIGHT BULB, AND SAYS: "WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU'RE
GOING?" REPLY: "IF YOU THINK I'M WORKING IN THE DARK,
YOU'RE CRAZY!"

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAGINAW

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Stupid man or woman

Date learned: 11-00-1968

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TELEPHONE CATCHES

I ONCE HEARD OF A COUPLE OF KIDS WHO WOULD CALL THEIR
LOCAL GROCERY STORE AND CARRY ON THE FOLLOWING
CONVERSATION:
THEY WOULD FIRST SAY, "I'D LIKE TO REGISTER A COMPLAINT
ON ONE OF YOUR PRODUCTS I BOUGHT THE OTHER DAY."
WHEN THE STORE MANAGER OR WHOEVER ANSWERED THE PHONE
ASKED WHICH PRODUCT THEY WERE COMPLAINING ABOUT, THEY
WOULD ANSWER, "YOUR CHICKEN ASSEMBLY KIT," AND HANG
UP THE PHONE LAUGHING.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAGINAW

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 03-27-1971

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TELEPHONE CATCHES

MY GIRLFRIEND AND I USED TO PLAY TRICKS ON PEOPLE AND
CALL UP ON THE PHONE AND ASK, "IS YOUR REFRIGERATOR
RUNNING?" WHEN SOMEONE WOULD ANSWER OR GRUNT, WE'D
THEN ADD, "YOU'D BETTER CATCH IT!"

Where learned: MICHIGAN, ASSUMED ; SAGINAW

James Callow Keyword(s): FORMULA SPEECH

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 03-27-1971

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DETERMINING SEX OF UNBORN CHILD.

IF PREGNANT WOMAN SLEEPS ON HER LEFT SIDE, SHE WILL
HAVE A BOY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAGINAW

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth

Date learned: 00-00-1965

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HORSE

HORSE IS A GAME PLAYED WITH A BASKETBALL AND HOOP BY TWO OR MORE
PERSONS. EACH PERSON TAKES A SHOT IN ROTATION FROM ANYWHERE ON THE
COURT. IF A PERSON MAKES HIS SHOT, EACH SUCCEEDING PLAYER MUST MAKE
THE SAME TYPE OF SHOT FROM THE SAME POSITION UNTIL SOMEONE MISSES OR
THE ROTATION COMES BACK TO THE ORIGINAL SHOTMAKER. IF A PLAYER
MISSES A FOLLOWUP SHOT, HE IS ASSIGNED A LETTER FROM THE WORD HORSE,
FIRST AN 'H', THEN AN 'O', ETC., UNTIL THE PLAYER MISSES FIVE SHOTS
TO SPELL OUT THE WORD HORSE, WHEREUPON HE IS OUT OF THE GAME. THE
LAST REMAINING PLAYER WINS THE GAME. THIS WAS A POPULAR GAME I
LEARNED WHILE I WAS GROWING UP, AND WAS PLAYED IN BACKYARDS, AND
SCHOOL GYMS, AND ON PLAYGROUNDS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAGINAW

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Special Object or Implement

Date learned: CA00001967

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GAME

THIS GAME IS AN ADAPTATION OF THE GAME OF FOOTBALL, PLAYED ON A
TABLE OR DESK WITH A PIECE OF PAPER FOLDED SEVERAL TIMES TO MAKE A
RIGHT TRIANGLE SHAPE, WITH THE SIDES ABOUT TWO INCHES LONG. THE
'FOOTBALL' IS PUSHED ALONG THE SURFACE OF THE TABLE BY HITTING IT
WITH THE PLAYER'S HAND, EACH PLAYER HITTING IT ONCE AT A TIME IN
ROTATION. A TOUCHDOWN IS SCORED BY HAVING THE FOOLTBALL HANG OVER
THE OPPOSITE EDGE WITHOUT FALLING OFF. A FIELD GOAL MAY BE ATTEMPTED
AFTER AN OPPONENT KNOCKS THE BALL OFF THE TABLE THREE TIMES WITHOUT
EITHER PLAYER SCORING. FIELD GOALS OR EXTRA POINTS ARE MADE BY
KNOCKING THE BALL THROUGH THE UP-RAISED HANDS OF THE OPPONENT. I
LEARNED THIS GAME WHILE I WAS IN GRADE SCHOOL AND HAVE FOUND PEOPLE
WHO ARE FAMILIAR WITH IT AT PLACES I'VE WORKED AND AT THE UNIVERSITY
OF DETROIT CAMPUS. I HAVE PLAYED IT DURING LUNCH PERIOD AND STUDY
HALL IN HIGH SCHOOL, DURING LUNCH BREAK AT WORK, AND AT THE U-D
RATHSKELLAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAGINAW

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Special Object or Implement

Date learned: CA00001973

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PROVERB

MAKE HAY WHILE THE SUN IS SHINING

Submitter comment: I HEARD THIS SAYING MANY TIMES FROM MY MOTHER WIHLE I WAS GROWING UP
IT MEANS TO ACT NOW WHILE YOU HAVE THE CHANCE. REFERENCE IS TO
FARMERS WHO MUST WORK IN THE FIELDS WHILE THE SUN IS STILL UP.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAGINAW

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 03-00-1982

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STRIKE WHILE THE IRON'S HOT.

Submitter comment: I HEARD THIS SAYING MANY TIMES FROM MY MOTHER WHILE I WAS GROWING UP.
THE MEANING IS TO ACT NOW, WHILE ONE HAS THE OPPORTUNITY. REFERENCE
IS TO THE FLAT IRON WHICH HAD TO BE HEATED ON A STOVE, USED FOR
PRESSING CLOTHES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAGINAW

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 03-00-1982

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PROVERB

WHAT YOUR HEAD DOESN'T DO, YOUR FEET MUST.

Submitter comment: THIS IS ANOTHER SAYING I HEARD FROM MY MOTHER. IT MEANS THAT IF YOU
DON'T DO EVERYTHING THE FIRST TIME, YOU WILL HAVE TO GO BACK AND DO
THINGS OVER AGAIN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAGINAW

James Callow Keyword(s): METONYMY

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 03-00-1982

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WHENEVER YOU PASS A CEMETERY YOU SHOULD HOLD YOUR
BREATH SO IT DOESN'T GET SUCKED OUT OF YOU BY THE
SPIRITS OF THE DEAD BURIED THERE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAGINAW

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

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IF YOU ARE AT A BAR AND A GIRL WALKS IN WEARING
WHITE BOOTS AND YOU ARE THE FIRST MAN TO TALK TO HER,
SHE WILL GO HOME WITH YOU.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAGINAW

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
BELIEF -- Color

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