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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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BIRDIE, BIRDIE IN THE SKY,
DROPPED SOME WHITE WASH IN MY EYE.
I'M NO BABY, I WON'T CRY.
I'M JUST GLAD THAT COWS DON'T FLY.

Submitter comment: ORIGIN: KNEW IT AS A LITTLE CHILD, WALLED LAKE, MICHIGAN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; WALLED LAKE

Keyword(s): HUMOR ; REFRAIN, OBSERVATION ; RHYME: AAAA ; RHYME: MASCULINE

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

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A GOWN WITH A PARIS LABEL,
IS A THING TO SHOUT ABOUT,
IN FACT, IF I WERE ABLE,
I'D WEAR IT INSIDE OUT.

Submitter comment: JEFF HEARD THIS FROM HIS MOTHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FERNDALE

Keyword(s): CLOTHES FASHION ; HUMOR OVERSTATEMENT OBSERVATION WISH ; IAMBIC METER ; RHYME: FEMININE, IMPERFECT, ABAB ; SURPRISE ENDING QUATRAIN CONTRADICTION

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

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IT'S NOT THE COUGH
THAT CARRIES YOU OFF.
IT'S THE COFFIN
THEY CARRY YOU OFF IN.

Submitter comment: HEARD AND SAID WHEN YOUNG, 1915-1920.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; PITTSBURGH

Keyword(s): DEATH ; HUMOR TANGLETALK PUN ; IAMBIC-DACTYLIC, FEMININE RHYME, WORD PLAY, REPETITION ; OBSERVATION, TONGUETWISTER ; QUATRAIN SURPRISE ENDING CONTRAST ; RHYME: AABB

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

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LADY BUG, LADY BUG,
FLY AWAY HOME;
YOUR HOUSE IS ON FIRE,
AND YOUR CHILDREN WILL BURN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): OBSERVATION ; QUATRAIN, MONOLOGUE ; REPETITION FIRE ; RHYME: MASCULINE, IMPERFECT

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

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WE DON'T HAVE OUR BACKHOUSE ANYMORE,
THINGS ARE MIGHTY DIFFERENT THAN BEFORE.
ONCE I HAD TO GO IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT,
I WAS SUCH A LITTLE FELLOW, I DIDN'T FIT RIGHT.
I TIPPED THE DARN THING OVER AND GOD! WAS I A SIGHT!
WE DON'T HAVE OUR BACKHOUSE ANYMORE.

Submitter comment: MY DAD OFTEN RECITED THE FOLLOWING NURSERY RHYME TO
MY SISTERS AND ME WHEN WE WERE SAD. IT ALWAYS BROUGHT
A SMILE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ACCIDENT TOILET ; BACKHOUSE=PRIVY OUTHOUSE ; REPETITION SLANG HUMOR ; RHYME: MASCULINE, AABBBA ; UNDERSTATEMENT OBSERVATION

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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AUTOGRAPH BOOK MATERIAL

MM[ ROSES ARE RED,
VIOLETS ARE BLUE,
THE SHORTER THE DRESS,
THE BETTER THE VIEW.

Data entry tech comment: THIS SHOULD GO DOWN AS A CLASSIC IN THE ANNALS OF AUTOGRAPH MATERIAL

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): OBSERVATION ; PARODY OF " ROSES ARE RED..." ; RHYME: ABCB ; SEX

Subject headings: Favorites
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse Lyrical Verse
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Roses are red and other such associations

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AUTOGRAPH

MM[ BY HOOK OR CROOK
I'LL BE THE LAST IN THIS BOOK

Submitter comment: ENTERED ON LAST PAGE OF AUTOGRAPH BOOK

Data entry tech comment: CREDITED TO AUTOGRAPH BOOK ENTRY, JUNE 1961

Where learned: NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

Keyword(s): OBSERVATION

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Announcing a signature

Date learned: 06-00-1961

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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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VERSE

MM[ CANDY IS DANDY,
BUT LIQUOR IS QUICKER.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS WRITTEN IN AUTOGRAPH BOOK 1938

Data entry tech comment: DIVIDED BY KEYPUNCHER

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): DRINKING ; OBSERVATION

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

Date learned: 10-06-1970

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AUTOGRAPH VERSE

MM[ YOU ASK ME TO WRITE IN YOUR AUTOGRAPH BOOK
PRAY TELL ME HOW TO BEGIN
THERE IS NOTHING ORIGINAL ABOUT ME
EXCEPT MY ORIGINAL SIN

Submitter comment: 1939, BIRCH TREE, MO.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE

Keyword(s): OBSERVATION ; RHYME: ABCB

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Wisecracks, gags, silly stories, insults

Date learned: 03-01-1972

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HOPE IS A VIRTUE LOVING AND TRUE,

BUT BEAUTY IS THE GIFT GOD GAVE YOU

Submitter comment: ITEM WAS WRITTEN IN THE AUTOGRAPH BOOK OF COLETTE BY A SCHOOLMATE.

Where learned: LOCATION NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

Keyword(s): OBSERVATION

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Tender sentiment

Date learned: 10-08-1967

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AUTOGRAPH INSCRIPTION

BEWARE OF BOYS WITH EYES OF GREY,
THEY KISS YOU ONCE AND TURN AWAY.

BEWARE OF BOYS WITH EYES OF BROWN,
THEY KISS YOU ONCE AND TURN YOU DOWN.

BUT LOVE THE BOYS WITH EYES OF BLUE,
THEY KISS YOU ONCE AND ASK FOR TWO.

Submitter comment:

UNDATED ENTRY IN KATHY CRACCHIOLO'S AUTOGRAPH BOOK KEPT IN
ST. CLAIR SHORES, MICHIGAN IN 1968.

James Callow comment:

; OBSERVATION ;

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Keyword(s): HUMOR ; KISSING ; OBSERVATION ; RHYME AA BB ; SURPRISE ENDING

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Cynical insight

Date learned: 02-27-1971

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AUTOGRAPH

IT'S THE SONGS YOU SING AND THE SMILES YOU WEAR,
THAT PUT THE SUNSHINE EVERYWHERE.

Data entry tech comment: PUNCTUATION ADDED BY KEYPUNCHER
LINE DIVISION CHANGED BY KEYPUNCHER

Where learned: ALASKA

Keyword(s): ALLITERATION ; COUPLET ; OBSERVATION ; SONG

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

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PROVERBIAL MAXIM

AN ABLE ORGANIZER SURROUNDS HIMSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE MORE
ABLE THAN HE IS.

Where learned: SCHOOL

James Callow Keyword(s): OBSERVATION

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 03-05-1968

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PROVERBIAL METAPHOR

ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART GO WANDER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

Keyword(s): HUMAN BODY ; VARIANT

James Callow Keyword(s): OBSERVATION ; PARODY

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Proverb C880.700
PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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PROVERBIAL METAPHOR

ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER.

Where learned: NEW HAMPSHIRE ; MILFORD

Keyword(s): HUMAN BODY

James Callow Keyword(s): OBSERVATION

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 08-00-1967

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PROVERBIAL METAPHOR

ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER -- FOR ANYTHING AROUND.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): HUMAN BODY ; VARIANT

James Callow Keyword(s): OBSERVATION ; PARODY

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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PROVERBIAL METAPHOR

ABSENCE SHARPENS LOVE, PRESENCE STRENGTHENS IT.

Where learned: DETROIT ; MACKENZIE HIGH SCHOOL

Keyword(s): VARIANT

James Callow Keyword(s): BALANCE ; OBSERVATION ; PARALLELISM

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 10-15-1965

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POLISH PROVERB

AN ACHING FINGER AND A HEADACHE ARE TYPICAL EXCUSES FOR
MISSING SCHOOL.
PALUSZEK I GLOWKA TO SZKOLNA WYMOWKA.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ETHNIC ORIGIN (POLISH)

James Callow Keyword(s): ABSENTEEISM ; OBSERVATION

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

Date learned: 10-01-1967

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