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James Callow Folklore Archive

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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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Wheat Harvesting

In Kansas, we grow wheat in our section, and when it was tim eto cut and thrash the wheat, the neighbors would all help each _take turbns, first Mr. J's wheat. Then when finished, go the next day to Mr. H_then Mr. W_ etc._ All men in neighborhood would go and work with the other neighbors_and the wives of all of the men would meet at the home where the men were working, and help that housewife cook dinner for all, then next day to another house_this way everyone helped each other and had no wages to pay and the ladies loved being together.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: FLORIDA ; Plant City

Keyword(s): Agricultural ; Barter ; Community ; CUSTOM ; Domestic ; FARMING ; Harvesting ; LIFE ; Wheat

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Work Commerce Business

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