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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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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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SPIRITUAL

I'M GONNA TELL GOD ALL MY TROUBLES
WHEN I GET HOME...
I'M GONNA TELL HIM THE ROAD WAS ROCKY
WHEN I GET HOME...
I'M GONNA TELL HIM I HAD HARD TRAILS
WHEN I GET HOME...
I'M GONNA TELL GOD HOW YOU'RE DOING
WHEN I GET HOME...

Where learned: DETROIT, ASSUMED ; Grandmother ; TOLD BY

Subject headings: Favorites
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Death
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Religious

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CHILDREN'S SONG

ONE LITTLE, TWO LITTLE, THREE LITTLE INDIANS
FOUR LITTLE, FIVE LITTLE, SIX LITTLE INDIANS
SEVEN LITTLE, EIGHT LITTLE, NINE LITTLE INDIANS.
TEN LITTLE INDIAN BOYS.

THEY JUMPED IN A BOAT AND THE BOAT TIPPED OVER,
THEY JUMPED IN A BOAT AND THE BOAT TIPPED OVER,
THEY JUMPED IN A BOAT AND THE BOAT TIPPED OVER,
NO LITTLE INDIAN BOYS.

Submitter comment: FROM CHILDHOOD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CHAIN

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

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR.

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Camp Songs, Girl Scouts

This song is used internationally
to proclaim the ending of an activity, day, or at a funeral
Day is done, gone the sun,
from the lakes, from the hills, from the skies,
all is well, safely rest, God is nigh.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Camp Innisfree ; Howell

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Death
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Parting
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Children
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Religious
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 08-00-1990

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When one dies in Greece, the body is taken to the deceased
person's home and there the wake takes place. At some point during
the wake all the women close to the deceased gather around the body
of the deceased and make up songs describing his/her life and his/her
accomplishments. These songs are known as "Merologie" - meaning
"words of fate." The songs sung all have rhyme and meter although
there is no prescribed rhyme scheme or certain meter used but rather
any that the singer chooses to use. One would sing her song first and
then the next in chronological order around the circle. If one
disagrees with what is being said, she gracefully interrupts and
sings what she thought of the deceased. This used to be widespread
but now takes place only in small towns of Greece for the most part.

Where learned: GREECE

Subject headings: Favorites
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Death
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 00001947CA

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Louisiana Funerals

My uncle and grandfather always told me of Louisiana-style
funerals where there were actually bands playing blues songs at the
funeral. After the memorial portion of the sermon, the funeral
procession would "march" to the place of interment to the beat of
blues songs. After gravesite services were over, the procession
would leave to the tune of "When the Saints Come Marching In."

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Joy Happiness
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Sorrow Unhappiness
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Death
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Dance
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial

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The Scottish song "You Take the High Road and I'll Take the Low Road" is really a song concerning death. The Scots believed that when they died they would return to their native land by the shortest route.Therefore if a person was killed for instance in the U.S. he would travel through the earth to Scotland. This would be the low road. If his companion was with him and still alive he would return, of course, overland or the high road.
 

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector are the same person.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROYAL OAK ; heard on the radio

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

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Song

"Witaj Krolowo": translated from the Polish is "Hail, Holy Queen." It is sung after the funeral at the grave.

 

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share the same surname.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN HEIGHTS ; St. Hedwig Cemetery

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

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Polish Burial Custom

At Roman Catholic religious burial, all in attendance would sing a song to the Blessed Virgin Mary known as Serdeczna Matka (Dear Mother). This song is so sad, the tears flow more than for the deceased.

Submitter comment:

Informant works with my father at Ford Motor Co., Dearborn, Michigan, and told him about this Polish burial custom.

 

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN ; TOLD AT FORD MOTOR CO

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Sorrow Unhappiness C325.346
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Death
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- C546

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showing 9 items

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