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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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JUMP-ROPE RHYME

OH MARY MACK, MACK, MACK, ALL DRESSED IN BLACK, BLACK, BLACK,
WITH SILVER BUTTONS, BUTTONS, BUTTONS, ALL DOWN HER BACK,/
BACK, BACK,
SHE ASKED HER MOTHER, MOTHER, MOTHER,
FOR FIFTY CENTS, CENTS, CENTS,
TO SEE THE ELEPHANTS, ELEPHANTS, ELEPHANTS,
JUMP OVER THE FENCE, FENCE, FENCE,
THEY JUMPED SO HIGH, HIGH, HIGH, THEY TOUCHED THE SKY, SKY, SKY,
THEY NEVER CAME BACK, BACK, BACK,
TILL THE FOURTH OF JU-LY-LY-LY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): FINAL ITERATION

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Verse Game Verse
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- July 4 Independence Day

Date learned: 11-00-1974

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IF THE CORN IS NOT KNEE HIGH BY THE FOURTH OF JULY IT WILL BE
A BAD YEAR FOR CORN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; JACKSON

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- July 4 Independence Day
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- June 21 solstice to September 22
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Plants
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Food

Date learned: 10-01-1972

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CORN

CORN IS KNEE-HIGH BY THE 4TH OF JULY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): FOOD ; RHYME ; WEATHER PROVERB

James Callow Keyword(s): OBSERVATION

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Proverb
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- July 4 Independence Day
PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 11-20-1968

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PLANTING BELIEF

IF CORN IS KNEE HIGH BY THE 4TH OF JULY, IT WILL BE A
GOOD CROP YEAR.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT IS MY GRANDFATHER, AND THIS IS
AN OLD FARMING BELIEF

Where learned: WISCONSIN ; KANSASVILLE

James Callow Keyword(s): INTERNAL RHYME

Subject headings: Observation
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- July 4 Independence Day
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year

Date learned: UNKNOWN

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AGRILCULTURE BELIEF

CORN SHOULD BE KNEE HIGH ON THE 4TH OF JULY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TROY

James Callow Keyword(s): INTERNAL RHYME

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- July 4 Independence Day
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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CUSTOM FESTIVAL

FIREWORKS ON JULY 4TH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN HEIGHTS

Keyword(s): NOISEMAKING

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- July 4 Independence Day

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4TH OF JULY CUSTOM

THE SHOOTING OFF OF FIREWORKS IS TRADITIONAL IN AMERICA ON THE
4TH OF JULY, PERHAPS TO COMMEMORATE THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION'S
BATTLES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): NOISEMAKING

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- July 4 Independence Day

Date learned: 11-00-1969

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PROVERB

HE WHO GOES FORTH WITH A FIFTH ON THE FOURTH, MAY NOT GO
FORTH ON THE FIFTH.

Submitter comment: READ IN PARISH BULLETIN. ALSO APPEARED IN READER'S DIGEST.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): WORD PLAY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- July 4 Independence Day
PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

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CORN SHOULD BE KNEE HIGH BY THE FOURTH OF JULY.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED THIS FROM HIS FATHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- July 4 Independence Day
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming

Date learned: 01-00-1979

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KNEE HIGH

IF A FARMER'S CROP OF CORN IS "KNEE HIGH BY THE 4TH OF JULY," HIS
CROP WILL BE A GOOD ONE.

Where learned: LOCATION NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

Keyword(s): OBSERVATION

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- July 4 Independence Day
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming
PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim
PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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ARGICULTURE BELIEF

CORN SHOULD BE KNEE HIGH BY THE FOURTH OF JULY

Submitter comment: A BELIEF OF THE FARMS IN OHIO

Where learned: OHIO ; CONVOY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- July 4 Independence Day
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming

Date learned: 00001960S

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GOOD CROP

IF THE CORN IS KNEE HIGH BY THE FOURTH OF JULY IT WILL BE A
GOOD CROP

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROSEVILLE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- July 4 Independence Day
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming

Date learned: 04-00-1980

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JUMP ROPE RHYME

I ASKED MY MOTHER FOR FIFTEEN CENTS
TO SEE THE ELEPHANT JUMP THE FENCE
HE JUMPED SO HIGH
HE TOUCHED THE SKY
AND DIDN'T GET BACK
TILL THE FOURTH OF JULY.
HOW HIGH DID HE JUMP?
1, 2, 3, ETC.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Sterling Heights

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMAL ; COUNTING ; HYBERBOLE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Verse Game Verse
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- July 4 Independence Day

Date learned: 00-00-1969

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AGRICULTURAL BELIEFS

THE CORN CROP WILL BE GOOD IF IT IS KNEE HIGH BY THE FOURTH
OF JULY.

Submitter comment: WE NEVER GREW CORN IN ROYAL OAK, BUT MY PARENTS ALWAYS
SAID THIS BECAUSE THEY GREW CORN WHERE THEY GREW UP IN OHIO.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROYAL OAK

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- July 4 Independence Day
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming

Date learned: 00001960S

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"DID THE LUMBERJACKS HAVE ANY FESTIVALS?"
"THEY HAD ONLY TWO FESTIVALS. THE FIRST CAME IN THE SPRING
WHEN THE ICE MELTED. DURING THE WINTER, ALL THE LOGS HAD BEEN
BROUGHT BY SLEIGH TO THE RIVER BANK. THEN IN THE SPRING THEY
WOULD DUMP THE LOGS IN THE RIVER, AND FLOAT THEM DOWN THE
STREAM TO A LUMBER MILL, WHERE THAY WERE SAWED INTO LUMBER.
AFTER ALL THIS WORK WAS DONE, THE LUMBERJACKS AND THEIR
FAMILIES WOULD HAVE A BIG CELEBRATION. THERE WOULD BE LOG-
ROLLING, LOG CLIMBING, LOG CUTTING, AND AXE THROWING CONTESTS
DURING THE DAY, AND SQUARE DANCING AND OTHER PARTY FESTIVITIES
AT NIGHT. THE OTHER FESTIVAL WOULD BE THE FOURTH OF JULY.
ON THIS HOLIDAY THEY WOULD HAVE FIREWORKS AND A PARTY DURING
NIGHT. BESIDES FOR THESE TWO DAYS, THERE WERE NO OTHER
HOLIDAYS."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HOUGHTON LAKE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- July 4 Independence Day
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting

Date learned: 00001930S

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IF IT IS A GOOD GROWING YEAR, THE CORN WILL BE KNEE HIGH
BY THE FOURTH OF JULY.

Submitter comment: THIS BELIEF WAS PASSED TO BRIAN AS A CHILD GROWING UP IN
RURAL OHIO.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): RHYME

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief C860.475
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- July 4 Independence Day
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- P535

Date learned: 11-02-1984 ; 00001960S

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TO HAVE A GOOD CROP, CORN SHOULD BE,
"KNEE HIGH BY THE FOURTH OF JULY."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- July 4 Independence Day
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- P535
BELIEF -- Measure of space: distance, height, depth

Date learned: 00-00-1960

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Crop prediction

Knee high by the fourth of July. If the corn stalks are at
knee height, then the crop will be abundant. If the crop is below
this point the crop will be rather sparse.

Submitter comment: Jennifer's father is a farmer and so is her grandfather. Many
generations of farmers have worked the land she lives on. Her
family has acquired many superstitions and sayings about farming
in general.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Sandusky

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- July 4 Independence Day
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 00-00-1976

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I learned this saying in Hillsdale, Michigan where I spent
most of my summers as a young boy, "If the corn is knee-high by
the 4th of July it will be a good crop". This was believed to be
true by all the local farmers.

James Callow comment: See Puckett, Ohio, no. 32659: "If the corn is knee-high
by the Fourth of July, it will be a good crop...."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HILLSDALE

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- July 4 Independence Day
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Measure of space: distance, height, depth

Date learned: 07-00-1980

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THIS FAMILY WAS ALWAYS TAUGHT TO SPEND THE FOURTH OF JULY
AT HOME AND THEY ALWAYS HAD LOTS OF FIREWORKS UNTIL THE
LAW WAS PASSED BANNING THEM.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED IT FROM HER PARENTS.

Where learned: HOME

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- July 4 Independence Day
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Typical Elements of a Festive Pattern

Date learned: 11-00-1967

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