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Belief: Children's Song

(1) DON'T STEP ON A CRACK OR YOU'LL BREAK YOUR MOTHER'S BACK.
(2) IF YOU STEP ON A LINE YOUR MOTHER DRINKS WINE.

Submitter comment:

MY BLACK NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOORS TOLD ME THESE TALES WHEN I WAS A KID.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated on 12-01-2010 / Motifs and Keywords added by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FRANKLIN VILLAGE

Keyword(s): ALCOHOL ; Back ; BELIEF ; CHILDHOOD ; CHILDREN ; Crack ; GAME ; Line ; MOTHER ; RHYME ; SONG ; Spine ; SUPERSTITION ; VERSE ; Wine

James Callow Keyword(s): NEGRO

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

Date learned: 00001960S

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Belief: Children's Song

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

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT USED TO SING THIS WHEN SHE PLAYED HOPSCOTCH ON
THE SIDEWALK.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated on 12-01-2010 / Motifs and Keywords added by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Back ; BELIEF ; CHILDHOOD ; CHILDREN ; Crack ; Father ; GAME ; Line ; MOTHER ; RHYME ; SONG ; Spine ; SUPERSTITION ; VERSE

James Callow Keyword(s): GAME SONG

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Children
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Singing Dancing Marching
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief Belief

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Belief: Children's Song

WHEN WALKING DOWN THE STREET SOME CHILDREN WILL CAREFULLY WATCH
WHERE THEY STEP AND SAY, "IF YOU STEP ON A CRACK YOUR MOTHER'S
GOT A BROKEN BACK, AND IF YOU STEP ON A LINE YOUR FATHER DRINKS
WINE.

Submitter comment:

I USED TO PLAY THIS GAME.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated on 12-01-2010 / Motifs and Keywords added by TRD

Keyword(s): ALCOHOL ; Back ; BELIEF ; CHILDHOOD ; CHILDREN ; Crack ; Father ; GAME ; Line ; MOTHER ; RHYME ; SONG ; Spine ; SUPERSTITION ; VERSE ; Wine

James Callow Keyword(s): COUNTING

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Verse C750.520
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Custom Festival C840.533
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief Belief

Date learned: 00001958-00001966

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Belief: Children's Song

STEP ON A CRACK (AS IN A SIDEWALK) (SIC) BREAK YOUR MOTHER'S BACK.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs and Keywords added by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; ASSUMED

Keyword(s): Back ; BELIEF ; CHILDHOOD ; CHILDREN ; Crack ; GAME ; MOTHER ; RHYME ; SONG ; Spine ; SUPERSTITION ; VERSE

James Callow Keyword(s): ELLIPSIS

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief C860.533
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief Belief
BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 06-00-1972

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Belief: Children's Song

If you step on a crack you'll break your mother's back.

Submitter comment:

Stepping on Cracks Superstition

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P880] crossed out and replaced with C860.740

Where learned: CHILDHOOD ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; Myself

Keyword(s): Back ; BELIEF ; CHILDHOOD ; CHILDREN ; Crack ; GAME ; Line ; MOTHER ; RHYME ; SONG ; Spine ; SUPERSTITION ; VERSE

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

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Belief: Children

Wednesday's Child:

Wednesday's Child is full of woe.

Submitter comment:

(A person born on Wednesday is believed to be ill-fated through-out life.)

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BIRTH ; Born ; CHILDREN ; DAYS OF THE WEEK ; DESTINY ; Destiny, Fate ; Wednesday ; WOE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance

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Ethnic: Belgium

Solemn Communion:

In Belgium, at the age of 12, there would be a Solemn Communion. Although they had made their First Communion at the age of 7, at this time, the children would assemble in Church to renew their Baptismal vows. there were weeklong preparations for the event. Girls wore white gowns, much in the manner of a bridal outfit. There would be a three day celebration. On the first day, the parents and godparents gathered at the child's home. The second day saw the cousins and other immediate relatives there. And on the third day, the neighbors and friends joined in the activities.

Submitter comment:

See also F5444

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; PITTSBURGH

Keyword(s): Belgium ; CHILDREN ; CHURCH ; Communion ; Community ; ETHNIC ; FAMILY ; RELIGION ; RELIGIOUS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church

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Custom/Belief

Baptism:

In Belgium, children were baptized when they were 3 days old. When the ceremonies were completed, signified by bell ringing at the church, other children would gather outside the church, at which time, the parents of the one baptized would throw chocolate covered almonds or other candy to the awaiting children.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [F543, P686, S720, N247, F533] crossed out. Replaced with current classifications

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; PITTSBURGH

Keyword(s): BAPTISM ; Belgium ; CANDY ; CHILDREN ; CUSTOM ; ETHNIC ; FOOD ; RELIGION ; RELIGIOUS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Baptism Naming rite

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Ethnic:Polish

Naming:

It is a custom in Poland, that a child is not given the name of a living grandparent, for fear that either the grandparent or the child will die within seven years.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: CANADA ; WINNIPEG ; MANITOBA

Keyword(s): CHILDREN ; Cultural ; CUSTOM ; ETHNIC ; FAMILY ; Naming ; POLAND

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Baptism Naming rite

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Belief: Children

Determining Sex of Unborn Child:

A pin on a thread, if held motionless over the wrist of an expectant mother, can determine sex of child by the motion which it takes up after it is perfectly still. If pin or needle takes up a circular motion than first child weill be a girl. If needle takes up back and forth motion then a boy. If pin stops and then moves again, this can be used to predict the future sex and number of children.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P860] crossed out. Replaced with current classification

Where learned: HOME ; NEW YORK ; ROCHESTER

Keyword(s): ANAPEL ; BELIEF ; Biology ; BIRTH ; CHILDREN ; CUSTOM ; Forecasting ; gender ; Ordain ; Pendulum ; Predictions ; SEX

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth

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Ethnic: Belium

Funeral:

In Belgium, during funeral processions, the children would carry boquets or wreaths of flowers which they had picked.

Submitter comment:

Recorded on tape

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; PITTSBURGH

Keyword(s): Belgium ; BURIAL ; CHILDREN ; CUSTOM ; DEATH ; ETHNIC ; FLOWERS ; Funeral ; RESPECT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial

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Entertainment: Game

London Bridge:

London Bridges falling down, falling down. London Bridges falling down, my fair lady. Take the key and lock her up, lock her up. Take the key and lock her up, my fair lady. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

Everyone says the verse, two people hold each other's hands and walk around at Monday and when Sunday comes they put someone between them, swinging their arms back and forth and throwing the person away.

Data entry tech comment:

Entered by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [C730.360, C523] crossed out. Replaced with current classification

Submission card located in a pile marked C750 Jump Rope Rhyme

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; Myself

Keyword(s): Bridges ; CHILDREN ; GAMES ; Jump Rope ; London ; Playground ; Rhymes

Subject headings: -- .C750500

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Entertainment: Game

Method of Choosing IT:

To choose the "it" in a smae, the kids get together and someone would volunteer. Everyone eventually got chosen, and the ones that did not volunteer often enough were made "it" by mob rule. The informant learned it from the neighborhood kids.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [C570, C570.500] crossde out. Replaced with current classifications.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CHILDREN ; Entertainment ; GAME ; Playground

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

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Entertainment: Game

Method of Choosing "it" for Games:

(Rhyme is chanted by one person who, at the same time, points to the children one by one. I will indicate when the person points by partially unerlining the corresponding words.)

Ee nie meenie minie moe

Catch a rabbit by the toe

If he hollers, let him go

My mother told me to choose the very best one

O U T spells out goes you.

Submitter comment:

I learned this in my grade school days in Detroit.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [C570.560, C300.03] crossed out. Replaced with current classifications.

Where learned: Myself

Keyword(s): CHILDREN ; Entertainment ; GAME ; RHYME

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

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Entertainment: Game

A Chant for Picking the "It":

This is a chant that the neighborhood kids used to choose the "it" in their games. It went: "1 potato, 2 potato, 3 potato, 4. 5 potato, 6 potato, 7 potato, or." The person who "or" fell on was out and the rhyme started again.

Submitter comment:

The informant learned it from his friends.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [C570] crossed out. Replaced with current classification.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CHILDREN ; Entertainment ; GAMES ; Playground ; RHYME

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

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Entertainment: Game

A Chant for Picking the "IT":

To pick the "it" the people playing would gather together and someone would say: "Engine, Engine, number nine. Going down Chicago Line. If the train falls off the track, do you want your money back?" 

The person who "back" was said to is out and the rhyme is started over.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [C570] is crossed out. Replaced with current classification.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BASEBALL GAME. ; CHILDREN ; Elimination ; Entertainment ; Playground ; RHYME

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

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Ethnic: German

Tros, tros, tril,

Der Bauerhat ein Phil,

Das Philchen will nicht lauffen,

Der Bauer will verkaufen,

Tros, tros, tril.

This verse was sung by a grandfather to a small child. It accompanied a little game in which the grandfather sat with his knees crossed. On his right leg the child was seated facing the grandfather who grasped the child's hands. As the grandfather sings the verse, he gives the child a "pony" ride on his leg.

The verse tells of a farmer who had a horse, the horse would not run, so the farmer wants to sell the horse.

Submitter comment:

The informant remembers her German-born father entertaining his grandchildren with this game in Kenosha, Wisconsin about 30 years ago.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Loose (very loose) translation:

Tros, Tros, tril, The Bauerhat a Phil, The Philchen will not often run, the farmer wants to sell, Tros, Tros, tril.

James Callow comment:

Original BN [C520, C750] crossed out. Replaced with current classification.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CHILDREN ; Entertainment ; ETHNIC ; Fable ; GAME ; GERMAN ; HORSE ; Play ; RHYME ; SONG

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Verse C750.520

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Entertainment: Games

"It":

One of several methods of determining who would be "it" in games like tag and hide and seek was found in the following rhyme:

Lincoln, Lincoln, I been thinking,

What the world have you been drinking?

It ain't bourbon, it ain't wine,

Oh My God, it's turpentine!

All the participants put one foot into a circle. One goes through this rhyme and eliminates the participants one at a time. The one who is left is it.

Submitter comment:

I often used this methid to determine who would be it in the games in Washington DC (1950's)

Data entry tech comment:

motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [C500, C750, C500.1; S555] crossed out. Replaced with current classification

Where learned: Myself

Keyword(s): CHILD ; CHILDREN ; Choice ; Diversion ; Entertainment ; GAME ; Play ; RHYME

Subject headings: -- .C750520

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Entertainment: Games

Hide and Seek Call:

When playing hide and seek, and the person who is it cannot find everyone, he calls out "Ally Ally in Free" and all those who are still hidden come out of their places to hide again for the next game.

Submitter comment:

The informant learned it from the other kids in the neighborhood

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original Bn [C524, S70] crossed out. Replaced with current classification

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): CHILD ; CHILDREN ; Diversion ; Entertainment ; GAMES ; Play

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Verse C750.520

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Entertainment: Games

Jump Rope Song:

Two, four, six, eight, time to transubstantiate.

Submitter comment:

The informant learned it from neighborhood friends

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [C570] crossed out. replaced with current classification

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CHILD ; CHILDREN ; Diversion ; Entertainment ; GAME ; RHYME

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

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