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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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Superstition

How Many Children?

Thread a needle and hold it at the top, next to your left wrist. If you keep watching for awhile, the needle and thread will move all by itself. If it moves in circles, for example, three times, that means you will have three daughters someday. If it sways back and forth, that means you will have the respective number of sons. If the needle and thread don't move at all, you will be childless.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P542, P860] crossed out. Replaced with current Classification

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BIRTH ; Childbirth, divination ; CHILDREN ; FUTURE ; GAME ; gender ; NUMBER ; Offspring ; Ordaining ; SUPERSTITION ; TRICK

James Callow Keyword(s): Reference

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

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Entertainment: Game

Jump Rope Song:

Not last night, but the night before, 24 robbers came knocking at my door. I went out (jump out of rope) to let them in (jump back in) and here's what they said to me:

"Spanish Dancer do the kicks, kicks, kicks, kicks, (jump with legs far apart)

Spanish Dancer do the splits, splits, splits, splits, (jump up with legs extended)

Spanish Dancer turn around, round, round, (turn rope)

Spanish Dancer Touch the ground, ground, ground. (touch the ground)

Submitter comment:

The informant learned it from the neighborhood kids

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

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

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): CHILDREN ; Entertainment ; GAMES ; Jump Rope ; Play ; RHYME

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

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Entertainment: Game

Jump Rope Song:

Mable, Mable, set the table. Don't forget the salt, but don't forget the red hot peppers. (when "red peppers" is said, the rope is spun faster.)

Submitter comment:

The informant learned it from neighborhood kids.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

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

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

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

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Superstition: Animals

La Cicilia (Snake Belief):

This is a little short snake (type of viper) which is blind and hisses. It comes out once a year on the feast of the Madonna degli Angeli. On this feastday no child is left alone for the people believe that these vipers seek babies and small children. The vipers are believed to have the spirit of the devil within them and seek little children's souls.

Submitter comment:

My mother really believes this story and claims to have seen them.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Written on the right hand side of the card: Date? Unknown.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Babies ; CHILDREN ; Feast ; FESTIVAL ; holiday ; Holy Day ; Prey ; Serpent ; Snake ; Soul ; Viper

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal
BELIEF -- Mammal

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Language

Weather Verse:

Rain Rain, go away. Come again another day.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Dup. of WPP

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ;

Keyword(s): CHILD ; CHILDREN ; Language ; Play ; Rain ; RHYME ; SONG ; VERSE ; WEATHER

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse Lyrical Verse
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Proverb Proverb
BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew

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Language

RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY, COME AGAIN ANOTHER DAY.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD / Updated on 1-13-2011

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CHILD ; CHILDREN ; Language ; Play ; Rain ; RHYME ; SONG ; VERSE ; WEATHER

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse Lyrical Verse
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Proverb Proverb
BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew

Date learned: 03-00-1968

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Language

Folk Song by Children:

RAIN RAIN GO AWAY, COME AGAIN ANOTHER DAY.

Submitter comment:

A SONG ALL LITTLE CHILDREN USED TO SING WHEN IT STARTED TO RAIN.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD / Updated on 01-13-2011

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CHILD ; CHILDREN ; Language ; Play ; Rain ; RHYME ; SONG ; VERSE ; WEATHER

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse Lyrical Verse
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Proverb Proverb
BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew

Date learned: 10-02-1977

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Language

RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY
COME AGAIN ANOTHER DAY.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD / Updated on 01-13-2011

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): CHILD ; CHILDREN ; Language ; Play ; Rain ; RHYME ; SONG ; VERSE ; WEATHER

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse Lyrical Verse
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Proverb Proverb
BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew

Date learned: 09-13-1973

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Language: Weather

Rain, rain, go away. Come back another day.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

KW: WP

Dup. of WPP

Keyword(s): CHILD ; CHILDREN ; Language ; Play ; Rain ; RHYME ; SONG ; VERSE ; WEATHER

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse Lyrical Verse
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Proverb Proverb
BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew

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Proverb

Little pitchers have big ears.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

The words (Not Pictures) is written under the submission, along with [sic]. On the back of the card, Callow has written: Type as is. A good illustration of narration in folklore.

Located in pile marked Duplicates and Other Rejects.

Keyword(s): CHILD ; CHILDREN ; CONVERSATION ; Eavesdrop ; Listen ; METAPHOR ; Overhear ; Speak ; TABU

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

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Language: Games

Pastime:

If you see another child with money you yell- "Butts on you." He then must share anything he buys with that money with you. However, when he pulls out his money, if he yells - "fan butts" first, then he doesn't have to share his purchases.

Submitter comment:

Bill used to play this as a child when he was given money, or if one of his friends was given money. He said it was common to yell this.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Miscellaneous grammar correction written on card.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FERNDALE

Keyword(s): Buy ; CHILDREN ; Currency ; Dollars ; GAME ; MONEY ; Own ; Ownership ; Pastime ; Purchase ; Share

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

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Entry filtered.

Play on Words

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

Too Young:

A young forth grade girl went up to her teacher and asked "can I have a baby?"

"Why no," ansewred the teacher, "you are much too young."

From the back of the room came a deep sigh of relief.

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): CHILD ; CHILDREN ; HUMOR ; JOKE ; PREGNANCY ; PUN ; SEX

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote
Filter - Mature Content

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Toast

May all your children be born bald and naked.

Data entry tech comment:

There were two identical cards for this submission: The only difference is that one listed an informant and the other did not. I included the informant in the submission and combined the cards to avoid duplicate entries.

Motifs added by TRD

Keyword(s): Bald ; CHILDREN ; DRINKING ; Naked ; Social ; TOAST

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

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Toast

may your children have rich parents.

Submitter comment:

She heard this from a Polish disk jockey who was from Chicago.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CHILDREN ; DRINKING ; ETHNIC ; fortune ; PARENTS ; POLISH ; Riches ; Social ; TOAST ; WEALTH

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

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Retort

Did your mother have any children that lived?

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

[To What?] is written next tot he title.

Keyword(s): CHILDREN ; COMEBACK ; INSULT ; MOTHER ; RETORT ; SARCASM ; Wisecrack

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

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Proverb

Children should be seen but not heard

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [V600, V300] crossed out. Replaced with  current classification.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Aphorism ; Apothegm ; CHILDREN ; FAMILY ; Heard ; Maxim ; PROVERB ; SEEN ; Sight ; Sound ; VERSE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

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Proverb

Children should be seen and not heard.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [V200] crossed out. Replaced with current classification.

Keyword(s): Aphorism ; Apothegm ; CHILD ; CHILDREN ; Hear ; Heard ; Maxim ; Parenting ; PROVERB ; Rearing ; See ; SEEN ; Sight ; VERSE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

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Proverb

Children should be seen and not heard.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [F533] crossed out. Replaced with current classification.

Where learned: OHIO ; Norwalk

Keyword(s): Aphorism ; Apothegm ; CHILD ; CHILDREN ; Hear ; Heard ; Maxim ; Parent ; Parenting ; PROVERB ; Rearing ; See ; Sight ; VERSE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

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Proverb

Little pitchers have big ears.

Submitter comment:

I heard this in Ferndale, MI

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Keyword(s): Aphorism ; Apothegm ; CHILDREN ; Maxim ; METAPHOR ; Pitcher ; PROVERB ; VERSE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

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Proverb

Children should be seen not heard.

Submitter comment:

When company is over, they should not talk unless spoken to.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [V200] crossed out. Replaced with current classification.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Aphorism ; Apothegm ; CHILDREN ; Heard ; Maxim ; PROVERB ; Raising ; Rearing ; SEEN ; VERSE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

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