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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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FORMULAIC VERSE WITHOUT MUSIC

I WENT TO THE RIVER, I COULDN'T GET ACROSS,
SO I PAID SIX BITS FOR AN OLD GRAY HORSE,
I RODE HIM IN, HE WOULDN'T PULL,
SO I RODE HIM OUT AND TRADED HIM FOR A BULL.
THE BULL WOULDN'T HOLLAR, SO I TRADED FOR A DOLLAR,
THE DOLLAR WOULDN'T PAY, SO I TRADED FOR SOME HAY,
THE HAY WOULDN'T GROW, SO I TRADED FOR A HOE,
THE HOE WOULDN'T DIG, SO I TRADED FOR A PIG,
THE PIG WOULDN'T SQUEAL, SO I TRADED FOR A WHEEL,
THE WHEEL WOULDN'T RUN, SO I TRADED FOR A GUN.
THE GUN WOULDN'T SHOOT, SO I TRADED FOR A BOOT.
THE BOOT WOULDN'T FIT, SO I GUESS I'D BETTER QUIT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FERNDALE

Keyword(s): FIRST PERSON NARRATIVE ; INCREMENTAL REPETITION ; METER: IAMBIC ; MONEY FUTILITY BARTER ; RHYME: INTERNAL, IMPERFECT ; RHYME: MASCULINE, AABB

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

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MNEMONIC DEVICE

MY VERY EDUCATED MOTHER JUST SERVED US NINE PICKLES.

Submitter comment: THIS SENTENCE HELPS TO REMEMBER THE PLANETS IN THE ORDER OF NEAREST
TO THE SUN TO FURTHEST FROM THE SUN
INFORMANT SAID HE LEARNED THE DEVICE FROM SOME OF HIS FRIENDS AT
SCHOOL. HE DIDN'T REMEMBER WHO TOLD IT TO HIM BUT SAID IT WAS USED
BY ALMOST EVERYONE IN HIS CLASS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MADISON HEIGHTS

James Callow Keyword(s): FUNCTION ; NEPTUNE ; PLANETS: MERCURY, VENUS, EARTH, MARS, JUPITER, SATURN, ; PLUTO ; URANUS

Subject headings: Favorites
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- MNEM

Date learned: 10-00-1973

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RHYME OF DERISION

TEACHER, TEACHER, I DECLARE
I SEE (SO-AND-SO'S) UNDERWEAR
MIGHT BE PINK, MIGHT BE WHITE,
MIGHT BE FULL OF DYNAMITE.

I SAW LONDON, I SAW FRANCE
I SAW (SO-AND-SO'S) UNDERPANTS
MIGHT BE WHITE, MIGHT BE PINK,
I DON'T KNOW, BUT THEY SURE STINK.

Submitter comment: THIS IS USED BY CHILDREN WHEN THEY SEE SOMEONE ELSE'S UNDERWEAR.
IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE A "HINT" TO TUCK IN YOUR SHIRT, OR PULL UP
YOUR FLY, AND IS USED BY BOTH BOYS AND GIRLS. USUALLY ONE OR THE
OTHER VERSE IS USED, BUT SOMETIMES THEY ARE BOTH USED IN SUCCESSION.
THE LAST STANZA OF EACH VERSE IS OFTEN SUBSTITUTED IN THE OTHER,
SINCE IT DOES NOT AFFECT THE RHYME.

Where learned: OHIO ; MASSILLON

James Callow Keyword(s): METAPHOR: NAMES OF COUNTRIES FOR BODY PARTS

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse Lyrical Verse
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse Lyrical Verse
SPEECH -- Formula
SPEECH -- Place

Date learned: 11-00-1973

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DONALD DUCK

A RHYME RECITED WHILE JUMPING ROPE.
DONALD DUCK IS A ONE-LEGGED
ONE-LEGGED, ONE-LEGGED DUCK/ DONALD DUCK IS A TWO-LEGGED/ TWO-LEGGED
TWO-LEGGED DUCK./ DONALD DUCK IS A THREE-LEGGED/ THREE-LEGGED, THREE-
LEGGED DUCK/ DONALD DUCK IS A FOUR-LEGGED/ FOUR-LEGGED, FOUR-LEGGED
DUCK/ JUMP OUT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; PORT HURON

James Callow Keyword(s): CARTOON AND COMIC STRIP CHARACTER ; CHAIN COUNTING

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

Date learned: 10-30-1972

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VERSE

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

BEANS, BEANS, THE MUSICAL FRUIT, THE MORE YOU EAT THE MORE YOU TOOT,
THE MORE YOU TOOT, THE BETTER YOU FEEL, SO EAT BEANS AT EVERY MEAL.

Where learned: DETROIT ; TOLD IN

James Callow Keyword(s): EUPHEMISM: TOOT FOR FART ; RHYME: AABB ; SCATALOGICAL

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

Date learned: 09-20-1972

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"EVERY DAY WE WOULD WALK DOWNTOWN TO TIEDKIES(IN TOLEDO, OHIO)
AND MEET
DAD WHERE WE'D BUY THE GROCERIES, LOOK AT THE ORGAN IN THE STORE, GO
THROUGH THE COFFEE DEPARTMENT AND SMELL ALL THE DIFFERENT SMELLS, AND
WATCH THE MAN PLAY THAT OLD ORGAN. PEOPLE WOULD NEVER THINK OF
WALKING THAT FAR NOW."

Where learned: DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): SINCE BURNED DOWN. ; TIEDKIES WAS A DEPARTMENT & GROCERY STORE. IT HAS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 11-05-1972

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DEPARTMENT STORE LEGEND

THERE IS A STORY GOING AROUND KMART 4177 OF A SHIPMENT OF
CLOTHES FROM OVERSEAS THAT, WHEN OPENED, SNAKES WERE FOUND
INSIDE, MIXED IN WITH THE CLOTHES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

James Callow Keyword(s): K-MART OR K MART DEPARTMENT STORE

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Animal
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 11-00-1972

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RIDDLE

THIRTY-TWO WHITE CALVES STANDING IN A STALL, ALONG
COMES A RED
COW AD LICKS THEM ALL. A: N TEETH AND TONGUE

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FARMINGTON ; TOLD IN

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMAL (Q) ; BODY PARTS (A)

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

Date learned: 09-26-1972

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RIDDLE

Q: A TRAVELER IS WALKING DOWN A ROAD WHEN HE COMES TO A FORK. NOT
KNOWING WHICH ROUTE TO TAKE HE DECIDES TO ASK FOR DIRECTIONS.
THERE IS A MAN AT EACH PATH. ONE ALWAYS TELLS THE TRUTH WHILE THE
OTHER ALWAYS LIES. IF OUR TRAVELER CAN ASK ONLY ONE MAN ONLY ONE
QUESTION WHAT IS HIS QUESTION AND WHO WILL HE ASK?
A: IT DOES NOT MATTER WHO HE ASKS IF HE SAYS - IF I ASK THE OTHER
MAN WHICH WAY I SHOULD GO, WHAT WILL HE TELL ME?
LEARNED FROM HIS FATHER.

Where learned: DETROIT ; J L HUDSONS ; DEPARTMENT STORE

Keyword(s): ACTIONS (Q) ; AN ACTION (A) ; PARTICULAR AREA (Q) ; PERSONS (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 10-02-1967

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT MUST BE DONE TO HAVE SOFT HANDS?
A: NOTHING.

Submitter comment: TRANSLATED FROM LITHUANIAN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): AN ACTION (A) ; LITERAL ; PARTS OF THE BODY (Q) HANDS

James Callow Keyword(s): IRONY

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 02-17-1971

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PRETENDED OBSCENE RIDDLE

Q: WHAT DOES A LADY DO SITTING DOWN, A MAN STANDING UP, AND A DOG ON
THREE LEGS?
A: SHAKE HANDS

Data entry tech comment: 2 MORE EXAMPLES ARE IN THE 5 X 8 CARD FILES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): AN ACTION (A) ; PART OF THE BODY (A) HANDS ; PERSONS (Q) AND DOG.

James Callow Keyword(s): URINATE, IS ONE'S FIRST THOUGHT

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 09-00-1971

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT IS IT THAT WHEN YOU GO IN THE FRONT YOU ARE AT THE BACK?
A: A CHURCH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ANTITHETICAL ; BUILDING (A) ; PARTICULAR AREA - CHURCH (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 11-14-1968

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FINNISH RIDDLE

Q: KUMU KULLATTU, SEINAT SELKEAT, VINAPUTELI KIRSTUSSA.
A: VASTAUS? KIRKKO TRANSLATION:
Q: GOLDEN DOME/ PLAIN WALLS/ BATTLE OF SPIRITS/ IN THE CASKET.
A: A CHURCH.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; FINLAND

Keyword(s): BUILDING (A) ; METAPHORICAL ; PARTICULAR AREA (Q) CHURCH

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 10-00-1968

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FINNISH RIDDLE

Q: WEEK AFTER WEEK, STOMACH FULL OF SPARROWS.
A: CHURCH AND CONGREGATION.
Q: VIIKON PAASTA VIIKON PAAHAN VARPUSIA VATSAN TYSI.
A: VASTAUS? KIRKKO JA KIRKKOVAKI.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; FINLAND

Keyword(s): BUILDING (A) PERSONS ; PARTS OF THE BODY (Q) AND BIRDS

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 10-00-1968

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COUNTRY RIDDLE

Q: WHAT IS FOUND IN THE CENTER OF AUSTRALIA AND AMERICA?
A: THE LETTER R

Where learned: NOT GIVEN BY COLLECTOR

Keyword(s): COMMUNICATIONS AND RELATED MATTER (A) ; PARTICULAR AREAS (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT STAYS IN THE SAME CORNER ALL THE TIME, BUT TRAVELS AROUND
THE WORLD?
A: A POSTAGE STAMP.

Data entry tech comment: ANOTHER VARIANT IN U OF D FOLKLORE 5 X 8 CARD FILES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; LINCOLN PARK

Keyword(s): COMMUNICATIONS AND RELATED MATTER (Q) ; PARTICULAR AREA (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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COMMERCIAL RIDDLE

Q: WHAT HAS A HEAD BUT NO HAIR?
A: KOEHLER BEER.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; ERIE

Keyword(s): EATABLES AND DRINKS (A) ; PARTS OF THE BODY (Q) ; PRIVATIONAL

James Callow Keyword(s): SLANG: HEAD FOR FOAM

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 00-00-1963

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT HAS A HEAD AND CANNOT THINK?
A: A CABBAGE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): EATABLES AND DRINKS (A) ; PART OF THE BODY (Q) ; PRIVATIONAL

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 00-00-1965

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT HAS ONE LEG AND HIS HEART IN HIS HEAD?
A: A STUFFED CABBAGE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

Keyword(s): EATABLES AND DRINKS (A) ; METAPHORICAL ; PART OF THE BODY (Q)

James Callow Keyword(s): VEGETABLE

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT HAS EARS AND CANNOT HEAR?
A: AN EAR OF CORN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): EATABLES AND DRINKS (A) ; PARTS OF THE BODY (Q) ; PRIVATIONAL

James Callow Keyword(s): VEGETABLE

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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