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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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SUPERSTITION

PLANT TOMATOES, CUKES ETC. WHEN THE ALMANAC SAYS THE MOON IS
RIGHT OR YOU WILL HAVE BLOOMS-DAY. 'ALL BLOOMS AND NO
FRUIT.'

Submitter comment: THIS SUPERSTITION WAS LEARNED IN CLARKSVILLE, MISSISSIPPI.
IT IS NOW IRRELEVANT TO THE INFORMANT.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; CLARKSVILLE

James Callow Keyword(s): ADVICE: POSITIVE ; CUKES=CUCUMBERS VEGETABLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming

Date learned: 02-00-1971

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PROVERB

EARLY TO BED,
EARLY TO RISE,
HELP ME KEEP
MY FIGURE AND SIZE.

Data entry tech comment: PARODY

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; JACKSON

James Callow Keyword(s): INITIAL ITERATION ; OBSERVATION ; PARODY ; SLIMNESS

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

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HOW THE SNAKE GOT ITS RATTLE

EVERY DAY THE OL' SNAKE FOUND HIS SELF GETTIN' STEPPED ON, RAN OVER,
KICKED AROUND OR SOMETHING WHEN HE TRIED TO CROSS THE PATH DOWN BY
MASON CREEK. HE WAS GETTIN' MIGHTY TRIED OF IT: SO HE TOLD THE LORD
SAY, "LORD, I'M GETTIN' MIGHTY TRIED OF FOLKS STEPPING ON,
RUNNING OVER AND KICKING ME AROUND - JUS' AIN'T FAIR. I LIVE DOWN
HERE TOO; I GOT JUS' MUCH RIGHTS AS EVERYBODY ELSE DOWN HERE;
PEOPLE DON'T PAY NO ATTENTION TO ME, LORD: THE SNAKE COMPLAINTED.
"COULD BE THAT THEY JUST DON'T KNOW WHEN YOU'RE ABOUT. CAN'T
BLAME 'EM, CAUSE YOU IS WAY-LOW-DOWN, YA SEE", THE LORD ASKED THE
SNAKE. THE SNAKE SAID, "YOU KNOW, YOU MIGHT BE RIGHT." "I KNOW,
HERE, TAKE THIS HERE SHAKER, EVERYTIME YOU SEE SOMEBODY COMING YO'
WAY YOU JUS' SHAKE IT. YA' HEAR ME NOW?", THE LORD ASKED THE SNAKE.

Submitter comment: I HAVE HEARD A SIMILAR STORY IN ALABAMA ABOUT THIS SNAKE'S RATTLE; I
NOTICED A LOCAL NAME - "MASON CREEK".

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI

James Callow Keyword(s): COMPOUND EPITHET: WAY-LOW-DOWN ; METATHESIS: TRIED FOR TIRED

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Characteristics of Animals

Date learned: 00-00-1940

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GRANDMA'S FOOT

WHEN FOOD THAT HAS BEEN COOKED TASTES GOOD, IT HAS BEEN KNOWN TO BE
SAID "GRANDMA MUSTA' PUT HER FOOT IN THIS..."

Submitter comment: I HAVE HEARD THE HOUSE-KEEPER AT THE BOYS' HOME WHERE I WORK SAY THIS
TO THE HOME'S COOK ABOUT SOME GREENS SHE HAD COOKED - THEY WERE GOOD:

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Food
Food Drink -- Manner of preparation Kind of heatCooking equipment
SPEECH -- Formula

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DROPPING CANDY

WHEN A KID DROPS SOME CANDY OR FOOD ON THE FLOOR OR GROUND, BY
STUMPING HIS LEFT FOOT AND SAYING ALOUD, "GOD KISS IT,"
THE CANDY OR FOOD CAN BE EATEN WITHOUT FEAR OF DIRT OR GERMS MAKING
THEM ILL.

Submitter comment: I HAVE HEARD THE SAME BELIEF IN BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA (EXCLUDING THE
PART ABOUT STAMPING ONE'S FOOT); I HAVE ALSO RECENTLY HEARD
THIS BELIEF IN DETROIT.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI

James Callow Keyword(s): DISINFECT

Subject headings: Favorites
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Speech Speech
Food Drink -- Food
BELIEF -- Prayer
SPEECH -- Formula
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 00-00-1965

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ROCK GAME

ONE POTATOE, TWO POTATOES, THREE POTATOES FOUR,
FIVE POTATOES, SIX POTATOES, SEVEN POTATOES MORE.

Submitter comment: THE LEADER WHO IS SINGING THE SONG ASKS THE PLAYER TO GUESS WHICH
HAND THE ROCK IS IN. IF THE PLAYER GUESSES WHICH HAND THE ROCK IS IN
HE GETS A CHANCE TO PASS TO A GRADE. THIS CONTINUES
ALL THE WAY UP TO THE TWELFTH GRADE. THIS GAME IS PLAYED ON THE
STEPS, AND YOU MOVE UP THE STEPS TO A HIGHER GRADE, IF YOU GUESS
THE RIGHT HAND THE ROCK IS IN.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; MERIDIAN

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

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LITTLE SALLY WALKER

LITTLE SALLY WALKER, SITTING IN A SAUCER,
RISE, SALLY RISE,
YOU GONNA WIPE YOUR WEEPING EYES,
PUT YOUR HANDS ON YOUR HIPS AND LET YOUR BACKBONE SLIP,
ALL SHAKE IT TO THE EAST,
ALL SHAKE IT TO THE WEST,
ALL SHAKE IT TO THE ONE THAT YOU LOVE THE BEST.

Submitter comment: WE USED TO SING AND PLAY THIS GAME AT RECESS, DOWN SOUTH AFTER LUNCH
THE OBJECT OF THE GAME IS PICK YOUR BEST FRIEND OR BOYFRIEND IF HE
IS PLAYING. YOU WOULD HAVE A GROUP OF CHILDREN IN A CIRCLE, AND A
PERSON IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CIRCLE WHO WOULD SHAKE THEIR HIPS TO
THE EAST AND WEST AND THEN PICK THE PERSON THEY LOVED THE BEST.
HE OR SHE WOULD GET IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CIRCLE, AND THIS WOULD
REPEAT ITSELF.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; MERIDIAN

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Singing Dancing Marching

Date learned: 09-00-1960

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JUMP ROPE GAME

ONE, TWO, THREE
HOLD THE ROPE UP HIGH OVER THE PERSON,S HEAD.
FOUR , FIVE, SIX
HOLD THE ROPE UP HIGH OVER THE PERSON,S HEAD.
SEVEN, EIGHT, NINE AN TEN.

Submitter comment: MARY, MARY SETTING AT THE TABLE. DON'T FORGET YOUR RED HOT PEAS.
THEN YOU THROW THE ROPE FAST AS YOU CAN, UNTIL THE PERSON JUMPING
GETS TIRED.
THIS WAS LEARNED DOWN SOUTH.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; MERIDIAN

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

Date learned: 09-00-1960

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HIDE AND SEEK GAME

LAST NIGHT, NIGHT BEFORE,
TWENTY-FIVE ROBBERS AT MY DOOR.
I GOT UP LET THEM IN,
HIT 'EM IN THE HEAD WITH A ROLLING PIN;
TWO BOXES OF WASHING POWDER, TWO BARS OF SOAP,
ALL NOT READY CALL BILLY GOAT.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; MERIDIAN

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

Date learned: 09-00-1960

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RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT

NO WALKING, NO TALKING, NO RED LIGHT NO NOTHING.

Submitter comment: DURING THIS TIME THE LEADER,S BACK IS TURNED IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTIO
FROM THE GROUP OF CHILDREN. THE CHILDREN CAN MOVE AS MUCH AS THEY
WANT UNTIL THE LEADER SPEAKS AGAIN. WHEN THE LEADER SAYS, "NO
WALKING, NO TALKING NO GREEN LIGHT, NO NOTHING;"
THE GROUP OF CHILDREN MUST STOP MOVING,
IMMEDIATELY BEFORE THE LEADER TURNS AROUND AND SEES THEM. IF YOU
ARE CAUGHT MOVING YOU ARE OUT OF THE GAME. THE PERSON THAT STAYS IN
THE GAME THE LONGEST WINS, IF THE LEADER CAN NOT CATCH HIM MOVING,
BUT IF HE CATCHES HIM MOVING, HE WILL TAKE THE LEADER,S PLACE.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; MERIDIAN

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Racing Chasing Fighting

Date learned: 09-00-1960

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TINY TIM SONG

I HAD A LITTLE BABY HIS NAME WAS TINY TIM.
I PUT HIM IN THE BATH-TUB TO TEACH HOW TO SWIM.
HE DRUNK UP ALL THE WATER, AND ATE UP ALL THE SOAP,
NOW EVERYTIME HE TALKS THERE,S A BUBBLE IN HIS THROAT.

Submitter comment: I USED TO SING THIS SONG WHEN I WAS IN THE BATH-TUB DOWN SOUTH.
BATHTUB VERSE.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; MERIDIAN

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

Date learned: 09-00-1960

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FIVE LITTLE PUMPKINS SITTING ON THE FENCE

THE FIRST ONE SAID, OH MY, IT,S GETTING LATE,
THE SECOND ONE SAID, THERE ARE WITCHES IN THE AIR.
THE THIRD ONE SAID, OH, WE DON'T CARE,
THE FOURTH ONE SAID, LET'S RUN AND RUN.
THE FIFTH ONE SAID, I'M READY FOR SOME FUN.
HOOH, WENT THE WIND AND OUT WENT THE LIGHTS,
AND THE FIVE LITTLE PUPMKINS ROLLED OUT OF SIGHT.
ROLLED OUT OF SIGHT. REPEAT.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; MERIDIAN

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

Date learned: 09-00-1960

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SOUP DE SOUP

WAY DOWN YONDER;
SOUP DE SOUP.
WHERE THE WHITE FOLKS LIVE;
SOUP DE SOUP.
TRY'IN TO MAKE A MESS
SOUP DE SOUP
THE BISCUITS ARE HOT;
SOUP DE SOUP.
AND THE CORNBREAD IS COLD;
SOUP DE SOUP.
THANK GOOD ALMIGHTY
SOUP DE SOUP.
JUST GIVE ME A LITTLE MORE.
SOUP DE SOUP.

Submitter comment: WE SANG THIS SONG JUST TO PASS THE TIME OF DAY.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; MERIDIAN

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

Date learned: 09-00-1960

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RAIN RAIN GO AWAY

RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY,
PLEASE COME BACK ANOTHER DAY.
LITTLE JOHNNY WANTS TO PLAY. REPEAT THE STANZA.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; MERIDIAN

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

Date learned: 09-00-1960

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OLD MARY MACK ; OLD MARY MACK, MACK, MACK,

ALL DRESSED IN BLACK, BLACK, BLACK,
WITH HER SILVERY BUTTONS, BUTTONS, BUTTONS,
UP AND DOWN HER BACK, BACK, BACK,
I ASKED MY MOTHER, MOTHER, MOTHER,
FOR FIFTEEN CENTS, CENTS, CENTS,
TO SEE THE ELEPHANT, ELEPHANT, ELEPHANT.
WHO JUMPED THE FENCE, FENCE, FENCE,
AND HE JUMPED SO HIGH, HIGH, HIGH,
TIL HE TOUCHED THE SKY, SKY, SKY,
AND HE NEVER CAME BACK, BACK, BACK
TIL THE FOURTH OF JULY, LY, LY,
TIL THE FOURTH OF JULY.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; MERIDIAN

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

Date learned: 09-00-1960

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SIMON SAYS (GAME)

WHENEVER SIMON TELLS YOU TO DO SOMETHING YOU MUST SAY MAY I. IF
YOU FORGET TO SAY, MAY I, YOU HAVE TO GO BACK TO YOUR PLACE WHERE
YOU BEGAN AT. THE OBJECT OF THE GAME IS TO GET CLOSE ENOUGH TO
SIMON SO THAT YOU CAN TAKE HIS PLACE, THEN YOU BECOME SIMON.

Submitter comment: WE USED TO PLAY THIS GAME LATE AT NIGHT IN THE SUMMERTIME AFTER MY
MOTHER SAID STAY IN FRONT OF THE HOUSE.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; MERIDIAN

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

Date learned: 09-00-1960

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WHY THE NERGO IS BLACK?

NOAH HAD TWO SONS, A YOUNGER SON AND A OLDER SON. ONE NIGHT
NOAH CAME HOME DRUNK. THE OLDEST SON HAD A GIRLFRIEND OVER, AND HE
WAS EMBARARASS TO SEE HIS FATHER DRUNK. HE INTRODUCED HIS FATHER AS
HIS UNCLE. NOAH WAS NOT AS DRUNK AS HIS SON THOUGHT HE WAS, BECAUSE
HE TOLD HIS SON YOU MUST HAVE FORGOTTEN WHO I AM. I AM NOT YOUR
UNCLE. I AM YOUR FATHER. HE WAS SO ASHAMED OF HIS FATHER UNTIL HE
TOLD HIM TO TAKE HIS DRUNK SELF TO BED. MEANWHILE, GOD WAS LISTENING
AND WATCHING WHAT WAS HAPPENING. NOAH TOLD HIS OLDEST SON THAT GOD
PUNISHES THOSE WHO DO NOT RESPECT THEIR ELDERS. NOAH WENT TO BED.
THE NEXT DAY NOAH'S OLDEST SON WAS ARGUING WITH HIS YOUNGEST BROTHER
ABOUT THE INCIDENT, WHICH HAD HAPPEN THE NIGHT BEFORE, AND THE YOUNG-
EST SON WAS TAKING THE SIDE OF HIS FATHER. THE ARGUEMENT GOT SO
FEROCIOUS UNTIL GOD STEP IN AND TOLD THE OLDEST SON HE WAS WRONG
AND WOULD BE PUNISHED FOR SASHING HIS FATHER. THEREFORE, HE WAS
CURSED AND MADE BLACK. THE BLACKNESS STOOD FOR THE EVIL HE HAD DONE.
GOD TOLD THE YOUNGEST SON, HE WOULD BE BLESSED FOR NOT BEING ASHAMED
OF HIS FATHER, AND HE WAS MADE WHITE, TO STAND FOR THE GOODNESS HE
HAD DONE.

Submitter comment: I CAN NOT REMEMBER WHO TOLD ME THIS STORY, BUT I KNOW I HEARD IT
DOWN SOUTH.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; MERIDIAN

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Creation and Order of Human Life
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Body part Senses

Date learned: 09-00-1960

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SHORTENING BREAD

TWO LITTLE BOYS SICK IN THE BED.
ONE JUMPED UP AND BUMPED HIS HEAD.
HE WENT TO THE DOCTOR.
DOCTOR SAID:
TAKE HIM HOME AND GIVE HIM SOME SHORTENING BREAD.

Submitter comment: THESE ARE RHYMES STATING WHAT CHILDREN WOULD DO IN ORDER TO GET SOME
BREAD.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; MERIDIAN

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

Date learned: 09-00-1960

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PETER PIPER

PETER PIPER PICKED A PECK OF PICKLED PEPPERS, IF PETER PIPER
PICKED A PECK OF PICKLED PEPPERS.
WHERE DID PETER PIPER GET THE PECK OF PICKLED PEPPER THAT PETER
PIPER PICKED?

Submitter comment: WE USED THESE TONGUE TWISTERS DOWN SOUTH IN SCHOOL.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; MERIDIAN

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 09-00-1960

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SHE SELLS SEA SHELLS

SHE SELLS SEA SHELLS DOWN BY THE SEA SHORE, TO SICK SAILOR AND
SHELL SHOCKED SOLDIERS.

Submitter comment: WE USED THESE TONGUE TWISTERS DOWN SOUTH IN SCHOOL.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; MERIDIAN

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 09-00-1960

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