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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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LEGEND-HUMAN BEING

A POPULAR LEGEND OF MY HOMETOWN EDGEFIELD, S.C., IS ABOUT A
WOMAN, BECKY COTTON CALLED THE "DEVIL IN PETTICOATS." PARSON
MASON WROTE OF THE WOMAN, FIRST CALLING HER BY THIS TERM. WEEMS
IS FAMOUS FOR BEING THE AUTHOR OF THE FIRST BIOGRAPHY OF GEORGE
WASHINGTON INCLUDING THE CHERRY TREE EPISODE. WEEMS PREACHED IN
EDGEFIELD FOR SEVERAL YEARS AND WAS FAMOUS FOR HIS FIRE AND
BRIMSTONE SERMONS. HIS WRITING OF BECKY COTTON WAS THE SUBJECT OF
SIN AND DAMNATION. ALLEDGEDLY SHE KILLED TWO HUSBANDS AND THROUGH
THEIR BODIES IN A POOL NEAR HER HOME. AFTER THE TRIAL, IN WHICH
SHE WAS PROVEN INNOCENT BECAUSE OF HER CAPTIVATING BEAUTY, HER
BROTHER KILLED HER ON THE TOWN SQUARE WITH A BRICK.

Submitter comment: THERE IS NO PROOF THAT SHE ACTUALLY DID LIVE - THERE IS NO GRAVE
AND THE FAMILY RECORDS ARE LOST.

Data entry tech comment: SPELLING ERRORS WERE CORRECTED

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA ; EDGEFIELD

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Human Being

Date learned: 07-00-1972

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TALE OF SECULAR HERO

GEORGE WASHINGTON SLEPT UNDER A TREE IN EDGEFIELD COUNTY, SC, AND
A MONUMENT HAS BEEN PLACED AT A SPOT WHERE HE FOUGHT A BATTLE.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA ; EDGEFIELD

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Secular hero

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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TALES

THE POPULAR TALES OF RAT'S TALES FOUND IN COCA-COLA BOTTLES OR
SPIDER'S NESTS IN GIRLS' UNCOMBED HAIR ARE USUALLY UNTRUE; BUT
THEY CIRCULATED AS HAVING OCCURED IN MY HOMETOWN WHEN I WAS A
CHILD. FOR EXAMPLE: POTATO STICKS USED TO BE CANNED IN REPAINTED
BUDWEISER CANS. AS CHILDREN WE ASSUMED THAT THEY WERE USED CANS
THAT HAD HAD BEER IN THEM AT ONE TIME, SO BOYS WERE PROUD TO
FIND AS MANY AS THEY COULD.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA ; EDGEFIELD

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Tale

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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TOLD TO EXEMPLIFY THE MENTALITY OF A "NIGGA":
WHEN TOLD TO MEASURE A BOARD THE "NIGGA" SAID, "IT'S 4' 17 1/2'',
BOSS MAN.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA ; EDGEFIELD

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote

Date learned: 00001960S

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CRADLE SONG

HUSH A BY,
DON'T YOU CRY.
GO TO SLEEPY, LITTLE BABY.
WHEN YOU WAKE,
YOU SHALL HAVE
ALL THE PRETTY HORSES --
BLACK AND GREY,
ROAN AND BAY.
A COACH AND SIX LITTLE HORSES.

Submitter comment: THIS VARIATION WAS SUNG TO ME BY MY MOTHER WHO FIRST HEARD IT
IN SOUTH CAROLINA SUNG BY NEGRO MAMMIES. ANOTHER VERSION CAN BE
FOUND IN: LOMAX, AMERICAN BALLADS AND FOLK SONG. NEW YORK :
MACMILLAN, 1935, P.304.

Data entry tech comment: THE TITLE OF THE SONG IS:"ALL THE PRETTY LITTLE HORSES"

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA ; EDGEFIELD

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Cradle song Lullaby

Date learned: 00001950S

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VERSE

"WAY DOWN YONDER, NOT VERY FAR OFF,
THE JAY BIRD DIED WITH THE WHOOPING COUGH.
HE WHOOPED SO LOUD WITH THE WHOOPING COUGH,
THAT HE WHOOPED HIS HEAD AND HIS TAIL RIGHT OFF.
SAME SONG SECOND VERSE,
ONLY A LITTLE BIT LOUDER,
AND A LITTLE BIT WORSE."

Submitter comment: VERSE REPEATED AS A CHILD: EACH TIME THE VERSE IS REPEATED,
"WHOOP" IS SAID LOUDER AND LOUDER.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA ; EDGEFIELD

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Verse without Music

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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TRADE RIME

"MY NAME IS JOHN JOHNSON,
I LIVE IN WISCONSIN.
I WORK IN THE LUMBER YARD THERE.
TO EVERY BODY I MEET
AS I WALK DOWN THE STREET,
I SAY __________
(REPEAT SONG)

Submitter comment: MY MOTHER SANG THIS TO ME ABOUT 15 YEARS AGO.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA ; EDGEFIELD

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse C730.334

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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JUMP ROPE RHYME

BLUE BELLS, COCKERSHELLS
EASY, IVEY, OVER.

Submitter comment: VARIATION ON PAGE 18 OF "JUMP ROPE RHYME".

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA ; EDGEFIELD

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

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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JUMP ROPE RHYME

CINDERELLA DRESSES IN YELLOW,
WENT DOWNTOWN TO SEE HER FELLA.
ON THE WAY HER GIRDLE BUSTED.
HOW MANY MEN WERE DISGUSTED.
ONE--TWO--THREE---------

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA ; EDGEFIELD

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

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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JUMP ROPE RHYME

EENY, MEENY, MINEY, MO,
CATCH (A NIGGA) BY THE TOE.
(OLD HITLER)
(A RABBIT)
IF HE HOLLERS, LET HIM PAY
FIFTEEN DOLLARS EVERY DAY.
OR
IF HE HOLLERS, LET HIM GO. (OR, DON'T LET GO)
EENY, MEENY, MINEY, MO.
OPTIONAL: O U T SPELLS OUT GOES YOU.
YOU OLD DIRTY DISH-RAG YOU. (DEBBIE CHILDRESS, TENN.)

Submitter comment: THIS VERSE WAS USED TO COUNT OFF TO SEE WHICH ONES WOULD TURN THE
ROPE; AND WAS A COUNTING OUT RHYME FOR OTHER GAMES.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA ; EDGEFIELD

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

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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VERSE ON SAMPLER

"OUR LIVES ARE ALBUMS WRITTEN THROUGH,
WITH GOOD OR ILL, WITH FALSE OR TRUE;
AND AS THE BLESSED ANGELS TURN,
THE PAGES OF OUR YEARS,
GOD GRANT THEY READ THE GOOD WITH SMILES,
AND BLOT THE ILL WITH TEARS."

Submitter comment: THIS VERSE WAS ON A SAMPLER I COPIED ON LINEN BY THE ORIGINAL
THREAD-COUNT METHOD OF CROSS-STITCH EMBROIDERY. THE ORIGINAL
SAMPLER WAS DATED 1912. THIS VERSE CAN ALSO BE FOUND ON PAGE 72
OF BRUNVAND "THE STUDY OF AMERICAN FOLKLORE", AS A SENTIMENTAL
VERSE IN AN AUTOGRAPH ALBUM.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA ; EDGEFIELD

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Art Craft Architecture
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Weaving material For costuming in dance or drama, see C484. Flax Hemp Jute

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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RIDDLE TO IDENTIFY CORAL SNAKE

YELLOW ON RED, DO NOT DREAD.
BLACK ON YELLOW, KILLA FELLA.

Submitter comment: AS TOLD BY MY SEVENTH GRADE SCIENCE TEACHER.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA ; EDGEFIELD

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Riddle
RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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SPELLING VERSE

CHICAGO: CHICKEN IN THE CAR,
THE CAR WON'T GO.

Submitter comment: MY HOMETOWN DIALECT DOES NOT PRONOUNCE THE "R" ON CAR, MAKING
THIS PHRASE MORE LIKE CHICAGO THAN IT LOOKS.
VARIATION OF THIS ON PAGE 27 OF "JUMP ROPE RHYMES".

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA ; EDGEFIELD

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

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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WORD SPELLING

MISSISSIPPI: M I DOUBLE-S I
DOUBLE-S I
HUMP BACK, HUMP BACK I

Submitter comment: THIS WAS POPULAR WHEN I WAS A FOURTH GRADER.
VARIATION OF THIS ON PAGE 27 OF "JUMP ROPE RHYMES".

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA ; EDGEFIELD

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

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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FESTIVAL ON FIXED DATE

IN EDGEFIELD COUNTY, S.C., EVERY YEAR THE NEGROES CELEBRATE THE
FOURTH OF JULY WITH A CARNIVAL AND AN ALL DAY PINIC. THIS HAS
BEEN DONE FOR YEARS AND IS SO IMPORTANT TO THE NEGROES THAT WHITE
EMPLOYERS LET THEM OFF FOR THE DAY, EVEN IF IT'S THE ONLY
VACATION THE NEGRO WILL GET ALL YEAR. THE CELEBRATION IS KNOWN
AS "THE FOURTH" AND BY NO OTHER NAME.

Submitter comment: MOST OF THE NEGROES ARE UNAWARE OF THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE FOURTH
OF JULY AS A NATIONAL HOLIDAY. THE TERM IS ONLY USED TO DENOTE
THE LOCATION OF THE CELEBRATION.

Data entry tech comment: SPELLING ERRORS WERE CORRECTED

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA ; EDGEFIELD

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Fixed DateFor specific dates, use the following system:
SPEECH -- Vocabulary of Special Group

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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CRAFT-FINISHED PRODUCT

JOGGLING BOARD: IS A LONG (ABOUT 20 FT) BOARD PLACED ON TWO
ROCKERS THAT ALLOW IT TO JOGGLE OR ROCK WHEN A PERSON SITS ON IT
OR PUSHES IT FROM SIDE TO SIDE. THE ONE AT MY HOME IN EDGEFIELD,
S.C., IS THE ONLY I'VE EVER SEEN. IT IS ABOUT 70 YEARS OLD, AND
HAND MADE FROM HEART PINE. THE MAIN BOARD IS ABOUT 2 FEET WIDE
AND 1 INCH THICK--ITS SIZE MAKING IT UNIQUE. THE JOGGLING BOARD
WAS MADE TO BE USED ON THE LARGE PORCHES OF THE COLONIAL TYPE
HOME.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA ; EDGEFIELD

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Finished Product

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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TOYS FOR LITTLE KIDS

EARRINGS: TAKE A ROASTED PEANUT IN THE SHELL, AND BARELY OPEN ONE
END, JUST ENOUGH TO PUT IT ON A GIRL'S EAR FOR AN EARRING.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA ; EDGEFIELD

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Toy

Date learned: 00001950S

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TOYS

TO MAKE A CHEAP GLUE THAT WILL NOT HURT ANYTHING THAT IT HAPPENS
TO BE USED ON, MIX FLOUR AND WATER TO THE PROPER CONSISTANCY. ADD
WATER SO IT WON'T HARDEN.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA ; EDGEFIELD

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Toy

Date learned: 00001950S

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TOY

TWIRLING BUTTON: DOUBLE A FOUR-FEET STRING WITH A LARGE BUTTON
WITH EYES TIED IN IT. PUT THE END LOOP OF THE STING AROUND A FINGER
ON EACH HAND AND TWIRL THE BUTTON AND STRING AROUND MANY TIMES.
NOW THE BUTTON AND STRING SHOULD TWIRL BY THEMSELVES IF YOU PULL
YOUR HANDS LIKE A YOYO WHICH USES ONE HAND.

Submitter comment: THIS TOY WAS ALSO MADE FOR DEBBIE CHILDRESS IN BELFAST, TENN.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA ; EDGEFIELD

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Toy

Date learned: 00001950S

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CRAFTS-COLOR AND DESIGN

MY MOTHER HAS BEEN DOING NEEDLEWORK AND VARIOUS CRAFTS, AS TAUGHT
TO HER BY HER MOTHER AND GRANDMOTHER, ALMOST ALL HER LIFE. UNDER
THE NAME OF "HERITAGE ARTS" SHE PAINTS COATS-OF-ARMS AND
RESEARCHES FAMILY HISTORY TO AUTHENTICATE EACH COAT-OF-ARMS.
SEVERAL YEARS AGO SHE DID A COAT-OF-ARMS ON A QUILT FOR THE LANGLE
FAMILY. OTHER UNIQUE CREATIONS OF HERS ARE CREWEL EMBROIDERED
COATS-OF-ARMS ON VELVET, MADE INTO A PILLOW OR TO COVER A KNEELING
BENCH. SHE ALSO RESEARCHES, DESIGNS, AND TRANSFERS PATTERNS TO BE
DONE IN CROSS-TICH.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA ; EDGEFIELD

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Color Design

Date learned: 06-00-1972

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