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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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TRUE FRIENDS ARE LIKE DIAMONDS--
PRECIOUS AND RARE.
FALSE ONES ARE LIKE LEAVES--
FOUND EVERYWHERE.

Submitter comment: THIS USED TO BE ONE OF MY PEN PALS (1957). THIS WAS
ONE OF HER CLEVER SAYINGS.

Data entry tech comment: OFTEN FOUND IN AUTOGRAPH BOOKS.

Where learned: Wyoming ; ROCK SPRINGS

Keyword(s): FRIENDSHIP JEWELS ; METER: TROCHAIC ; QUATRAIN FUNCTION AUTOGRAPH VERSE ; RHYME: MASCULINE, ABCB

James Callow Keyword(s): AUTUMN LEAVES SCATTERED EVERYWHERE--AMA BARR

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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NEVER SHAKE HANDS OVER A FENCE; IT IS BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: HER FATHER, A PENNSYLVANIA FARMER, ALWAYS BELIEVED
AND PRACTICED IT, EVEN TO THE POINT OF NOT SHAKING
HANDS OR WALKING AROUND THE FENCE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MARYGROVE COLLEGE ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): BARRIER

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hands, palms, fingernails
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Bad luck Activities
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 03-00-1968

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Entry filtered.

THE CANDY BAR SITUATION

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

ONE DAY MR. GOODBAR THOUGHT HE WOULD LIKE A BIT OF HONEY,
SO HE WENT DOWN TO FIFTH AVENUE AND PICKED UP MISS HERSHEY.
THEY WENT BEHIND THE POWERHOUSEE.
MR. GOODBAR SAID, "LET'S PRODUCE 3 MUSKETEERS".
MR. GOODBAR STARTED FEELING HER MOUNDS,
WHICH TO HIM WAS PURE ALMOND JOY.
HE SNICKERED UP HER MILKY WAY.
THEN SHE FELT HIS BUTTERNUTS AND CRIED, "OH HENRY, I AM
FOREVER YOURS".
THE RESULTS, BABY RUTH

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HUNTINGTON WOODS

James Callow Keyword(s): EUPHEMISMS FOR BREASTS, VAGINA, AND GONADS ; PUNS ON NAMES OF CANDY BARS ; SEX

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Formula tale
Filter - Mature Content

Date learned: CA00001977

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Entry filtered.

NO TITLE SUPPLIED

A COLORED BARKEEP IN MISSISSIPPI WAS BEING ANNOYED BY AN
OBVIOUSLY RACIST DRUNK WHO KEPT SAYING, "GIVE ME ANOTHER
DRINK, NIGGER." AFTER MUCH PATIENCE THE BARTENDER SAID. "WHY DON'T
WE SWITCH PLACES, HONKEY?" THE DRUNK ACCEPTED AND THE BLACK ORDERED
"GIVE ME A DOUBLE, WHITEY ." THE DRUNK RETORTED,
"WE DON'T SERVE NIGGERS AT THIS BAR."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WESTLAND

Keyword(s): BAR ; DIOLOGUE ; DRINKING ; HUMOR ; INSULT ; SLANG

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Stupid man or woman

Date learned: 12-02-1971

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POLISH JOKE

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE POLACK WHO WENT DOWN TO CITY HALL FOR
HIS DRIVER'S LICENSE? IT WAS SO CROWDED HE GOT IN THE WRONG
LINE. NOW HE IS THE ONLY GUY IN THE WORLD MARRIED TO A SUBARU.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

James Callow Keyword(s): SUBARU IS AN AUTOMOBILE, MADE IN JAPAN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Poli

Date learned: 02-00-1980

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SWIFTIE

"I'M VERY FOND OF LAMB CHOPS," HE SAID SHEEPISHLY.

Keyword(s): FOOD

James Callow Keyword(s): PUN MEEKLY EMBARRASSEDLY

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Wellerism Quotation

Date learned: 10-00-1968

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TERMITE

A TERMITE WENT INTO A BAR AND ASKED, "IS THE
BAR TENDER HERE?"

Where learned: HOME

James Callow Keyword(s): BARTENDER PUN

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Insect
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote

Date learned: 11-15-1968

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WHAT'S A JEWISH DILEMMA? FREE HAM!

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

James Callow Keyword(s): BARGAIN ; CHEAP ; EATING TABU: PORK

Subject headings: JEWI

Date learned: 10-00-1983

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SAYING

AS RED AS A PREGNANT NUN IN CHURCH.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): EMBARRASSMENT

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Comparison

Date learned: 03-00-1972

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The Nun in the Bar

A guy picked up a nun in the street and invited her into a bar to have a drink with him. "I really shouldn't," said the nun. But the man finally convinced her. when they got into the bar she told him she'd have a double martini, but to bring it in a coffee cup so that other people wouldn't knwo she was drinking. "Hey bartender," the man yelled out. "Give me a double martini in a coffee cup!" "oh," replied the bartender, "That nun's back again."

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Keyword(s): BAR ; Bartender ; Bartender Jokes ; Comic dialogue ; DIALOGUE ; DRINKING HUMOR ; HUMOR ; JOKES ; Pub ; RELIGION ; RELIGIOUS ; Religious Jokes

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Religious

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Ethnic Joke: The Italian Who Came to Detroit

Ima don lak Detroit worth a sheet. I check inna hotel and go down for breakfast an I tella da girl I wanna ham and eggs and two piece a toast. I tella her I wanna two peese. She say if you wanna to peese go to da toilet. I say you no unnerstand, I wanna two peese on my plate. She say you don peese on your plate, you sonna ma beech. I no eat, I go to my room.

At lunch time I go donna da street for my lunch inna Drake Hotel. The waitress brings me a knife an a napkin but no foke. I tella her I wanna foke. She say whatta you talk, everybody wanna foke. I say you no unnerstand, I wanna foke on the table. She say you don care where you foke, you sonna ma bech. So when she call me sonna ma beech, I go back to hotel.

When I get inna da room I got no sheet on my bed, so I calla da manager and tell him I wanna sheet on my bed. He says don sheet on your bed, go to the bathroom. You no unnerstand, I say, I wanna sheet on the bed. He say you better not sheet on your bed, you sonna ma beech. So when he call me a sonna ma beech, I go check out. I go to da desk to check out to New York, and when I leave the manacer say Peace on You. I say peese on you too, you sonna ma beech cause I go back to Italy.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs and BN added by TRD

James Callow comment:

The word Italian is written in the upper left hand corner of the submission.

Submission card was located in a pile marked To Be Classified.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Keyword(s): AMERICAN ; Cultural Divide ; EUPHEMISM ; HUMOR ; Italian ; Language ; Language Barrier ; NEW YORK ; OBSCENE IMPLICATION ; SPEECH ; Stereotype

James Callow Keyword(s): Italian

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote
ITAL

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Ethnic Joke: Italian

Two Italians were watching ships in the harbor when a submarine came in. One turned to the other and said,

"Thatsa U Boat."

"No, I justa watch."

Submitter comment:

Informant said that he first heard this at wedding last summer. It took the informant at least ten minutes to tell this joke because he kept laughing.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs and BN added by TRD

James Callow comment:

The word Italian is written in the upper left hand corner of the submission card.

Submission card located in pile marked To Be Classified.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ETHNIC ; Italian ; Language ; Language Barrier ; Submarines

James Callow Keyword(s): Italian

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Translations, plays on words, symbol writing
RIDDLE -- W566

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Custom

Custom About Buying Beer:

In the olden days, when you had saloons, and you had draft beer, you would go to the saloon with a bucket to carry home the beer that you bought. One of the old tricks was to gease the inside of the bucket so that the beer wouldn't foam, and you'd get more beer that way.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [F500] crossed out. Replaced with F530.

Submission Card located in pile labeled F500's that can be filed.

Where learned: TOLD AT INFORMANTS HOME

Keyword(s): BAR ; BEER ; CUSTOM ; FRUGALITY ; THRIFT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Daily Life

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Proverb

Barking dogs never bite.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Dup of WPP

The B in Barking is underlined in red.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Keyword(s): Bark ; Bite ; Dogs ; Maxim ; Misdirection ; PROVERB ; SIGN

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

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Proverb

Words of Wisdom:

Don't hide your light under a bushel.

Submitter comment:

Handed down to Shirley from her father, Frank.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Located in pile marked Duplicates and Other Rejects.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ;

Keyword(s): Barrel ; Bushel ; LIGHT ; POTENTIAL

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

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Play on Words

Four fraternity men came rolling out of the off-campus bar and started to climb into their Mustang. The leader of the jolly group decided to take charge of the situation. "Frank," he sputtered, "you drive. You're too drunk to sing."

Submitter comment:

I learned this while I was at Sacred Heart Seminary

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Submission card located in pile marked These don't sound traditional - Do Not File Yet.

Keyword(s): BAR ; COLLEGE ; DRINK ; DRIVING ; DRUNK ; HUMOR ; PUN ; Sing

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Stupid man or woman

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Proverb

A barking dog never bites.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Keyword(s): ANIMAL ; Aphorism ; Apothegm ; Bark ; Bite ; DOG ; Maxim ; METAPHOR ; PROVERB ; Signal ; VERSE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

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Proverb

Why lock the barn after the horse is stolen?

Submitter comment:

She learned from her grandfather

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Keyword(s): Aphorism ; Apothegm ; Barn ; Hindsight ; HORSE ; Lock ; Lock ; Maxim ; PROVERB ; Steal ; VERSE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

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Proverb

His bark is worse than his bite.

Submitter comment:

From - Uncertain

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [V300] crossed out. Replaced with current classification.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE

Keyword(s): Aphorism ; Apothegm ; Bark ; Bite ; Maxim ; METAPHOR ; PROVERB ; VERSE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

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