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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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WHOM SHALL I MARRY?

SOLDIER BRAVE, SAILOR TRUE,
SKILLED PHYSICIAN, OXFORD BLUE,
LEARNED LAWYER, SQUIRE SO HALE,
DASHING AIRMAN, CURATE PALE.

Data entry tech comment: SIMILAR TO GAME PLAYED ON BUTTONS OF DRESS OR COAT
CALLED "DOCTOR, LAWYER, MERCHANT, THIEF?"

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

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

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POPULAR SAYING

DON'T COME IN THE WORLD,
BACKWARDS

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA

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

Date learned: 09-00-1974

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CHILDREN'S VERSE

STEP ON A LINE,
BREAK YOUR MOTHER'S SPINE.

Submitter comment: FROM THE CHILDREN IN HER NEIGHBORHOOD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE

James Callow Keyword(s): SIDEWALK

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 00001964 (SUMMER)

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EASTER EGG CRACK

A TRADITION OF THE GREEKS AT EASTER IS THE EGG CRACK. EVERYONE GETS
A RED EGG WHICH THEY HIT AGAINST ANOTHER. IF ONE CRACKS, HE IS OUT
AND THE ONE THAT REMAINS WHOLE IS KEPT FOR SEVEN YEARS, AND
THEN IT CAN BE BROKEN. IT MUST BE A RED EGG BECAUSE RED REPRESENTS
CHRIST'S BLOOD AND THE CRACK REPRESENTS COMING OUT OF SORROW OF HIS
DEATH AND THE JOY OF HIS RISING. THIS TRADITION GOES BACK TO THE DAYS
OF CHRIST.

Submitter comment: WHEN MY NEIGHBOR TOLD ME THIS STORY, I THOUGHT THAT IT WAS A TERRIFIC
ONE. IT HAD SO MUCH MEANING TO IT. SHE REMEMBERED DOING IT WHEN SHE
WAS A CHILD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): SYMBOLS

Subject headings: Favorites
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Sunday
BELIEF -- P681 P681.1
BELIEF -- Color

Date learned: 00-00-1980

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PROVERB

AN APPLE A DAY KEEPS THE DOCTOR AWAY.

Submitter comment: FROM-UNCERTAIN

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE

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

Date learned: 00001964 SUMMER

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STEP ON A CRACK AND YOU BREAK YOUR MOTHER'S BACK,
STEP ON A LINE AND YOU BREAK YOUR MOTHER'S SPINE.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS SAID WHEN TWO PEOPLE WERE WALKING ALONG TRYING
TO AVOID STEPPING ON THE LINES AND CRACKS OF THE
SIDEWALK. IT SOON TURNED INTO A GAME TO SEE WHO STEPPED
ON THE MOST LINES AND CRACKS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

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

Date learned: 07-00-1964

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WEAR OUT YOUR TOE, YOU SPEND AS YOU GO;
WEAR OUT YOUR HEEL, YOU SPEND A GOOD DEAL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROYAL OAK ; SAINT MARYS

James Callow Keyword(s): THRIFT

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

Date learned: 11-17-1968

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STIR WITH A KNIFE, AND YOU STIR UP STRIFE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

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

Date learned: 02-07-1970

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CHILDREN'S VERSE

STEP ON A CRACK,
BREAK YOUR MOTHER'S BACK.

Submitter comment: FROM-UNCERTAIN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE

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

Date learned: 00001964 SUMMER

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SHORT AND THICK
DOES THE TRICK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

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

Date learned: 11-00-1968

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CHANT

RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY,
COME AGAIN SOME OTHER DAY.

Submitter comment: FROM-UNCERTAIN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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THE DEADLY SIDEWALK

STEP ON A CRACK YOU BREAK (YOUR MOTHER'S OR ANYONE NAMED)
BACK.
STEP ON A LINE YOU BREAK (NAME) SPINE.

Submitter comment: THIS CHANT WAS SUNG WHILE WALKING DOWN THE PAVEMENT AND
GREAT CARE WAS TAKEN TO MISS ALL LINES AND CRACKS IN THE
SIDEWALK (UNLESS YOU WISHED TO HARM SOMEONE IN THE
FANTASY & THEN THE CRACKS AND LINES WERE AIMED FOR).
I RECALL THE VERSE FROM EARLY CHILDHOOD BUT FROM NO
SPECIFIC INFORMANT.

Where learned: EARLY CHILDHOOD

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

Date learned: EARLY CHILDHOOD

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CHARMING PIN

SEE A PIN AND LET IT LAY
BAD LUCK YOU WILL HAVE THAT DAY.
SEE A PIN AND PICK IT UP,
ALL THAT DAY YOU'LL HAVE GOOD LUCK.

Submitter comment: (LEARNED FROM) HER MOTHER

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; PURCHASING DEPARTMENT

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

Date learned: 07-28-1964

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STEP ON A CRACK, BREAK YOUR MOTHER'S BACK.

Submitter comment: SHE DID NOT BELIEVE IT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 00-00-1978 ; 00-00-1985

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RED SKY AT NIGHT, SAILOR'S DELIGHT
RED SKY IN THE MORNING, SAILOR TAKE WARNING

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- C860

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"MONDAY'S CHILD IS FAIR OF FACE,
TUESDAY'S CHILD IS FULL OF GRACE,
WEDNESDAY'S CHILD IS FULL OF WOE,
THURSDAY'S CHILD HAS FAR TO GO,
FRIDAY'S CHILD IS LOVING AND GIVING,
SATURDAY'S CHILD WORKS FOR A LIVING,
AND SUNDAY'S CHILD IS FAIR AND WISE AND GOOD AND GAY."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAGINAW

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour

Date learned: 02-20-1990

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There is a saying we used to do on the way
home from school. "Step on a crack, break your
mother's back. Step on a line, break your
father's spine." We would try not to step on
any cracks or lines. If we did, we were always
afraid that it would come true.

Where learned: NEW JERSEY ; Tuckerton

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 00001970S

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At my old job I use to always hear the guys say that preppy
girls like to be wined and dined while loose girls like to lay and
play.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

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

Date learned: 00-00-1990

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In grade school while eating lunch in the cafeteria, I would
see children drop food on the floor. But to be sure the food
wouldn't harm them when they picked it up to eat it, they would say
a little prayer;
God made dirt so it won't hurt
Put it in your mouth and it won't work.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; Louise

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- School
BELIEF -- Prayer
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 00-00-1970

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Entry filtered.

Guys had a saying about girls. It went like this:
If it smells like fish
Eat all you wish
If it smells like cologne
Leave it alone.

Submitter comment: They were referring to the girl's vagina.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; Louise

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief
Filter - Mature Content

Date learned: 00-00-1990

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