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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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THE COMPANY STORE

THE INSTITUTION KNOWN AS THE COMPANY STORE, IMMORTALIZED IN THE
SONG "SIXTEEN TONS" STILL EXISTS.
WHILE THOUGHT TO BE SOMETHING OUT OF THE PAST, OWING ITS FAME TO THE
SONG, WHILE TRAVELING THROUGH THE COPPER COUNTRY OF ARIZONA, I CAME
UPON ONE OPERATED BY PHELPS_DODGE CORPORATION. UPON TALKING TO SOME
OF THE EMPLOYEES, I FOUND THAT THE BASIC CONCEPT IS STILL THE SAME
AS THE NOTORIOUS STORES OF THE EASTERN MOUNTAIN "COAL TOWNS" _ THE
EMPLOYEE CAN BUY FROM THE COMPANY AND HAVE HIS BILL (WHICH, FROM
PRICING THE ITEMS, WOULD BE A BIT HIGH) PAID BY DEDUCTIONS FROM HIS
PAYCHECK (WITH INTEREST}), OF COURSE, TODAY THE MINER IS NOT
COMPELED TO BUY THERE.

Where learned: Arizona ; DOUGLAS-BISBEE

Keyword(s): COPPER COAL TOWNS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Work Commerce Business

Date learned: 06-00-1968

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SCOTTISH-IRISH CUSTOM

THEY CALL THIS FIRST-FOOTING. IT IS A SCOTTISH CUSTOM ALSO FOUND
IN SCOTTISH INFLUENCE AREAS OF IRELAND.
YOUR HOME AND YOU WILL HAVE GOOD LUCK IF YOUR FIRST VISTOR IN THE
NEW YEAR IS A DARK HAIRED MAN, ESPECIALLY IF HE BRINGS YOU A PIECE
OF COAL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ANN ARBOR

Keyword(s): COAL ; GIFTGIVING

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Fixed DateFor specific dates, use the following system: F640.0101
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Color
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.42

Date learned: 02-04-1968

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DON'T TAKE UP ASHES ON WEDNESDAY--BAD LUCK.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): FIREPLACE? COAL? FURNACE?

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 04-20-1969

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Song: Parody

FOUND A PEANUT
FOUND A PEANUT
FOUND A PEANUT JUST NOW
JUST NOW I FOUND A PEANUT
FOUND A PEANUT JUST NOW.

CRACKED IT OPEN
CRACKED IT OPEN
CRACKED IT OPEN JUST NOW
JUST NOW CRACKED IT OPEN
CRACKED IT OPEN JUST NOW.

FOUND IT ROTTEN
FOUND IT ROTTEN
FOUND IT ROTTEN JUST NOW
JUST NOW FOUND IT ROTTEN
FOUND IT ROTTEN JUST NOW.

ATE IT ANYWAY
ATE IT ANYWAY
ATE IT ANYWAY JUST NOW
JUST NOW I ATE IT ANYWAY
ATE IT ANYWAY JUST NOW

GOT SICK
GOT SICK
GOT SICK JUST NOW
JUST NOW I GOT SICK
GOT SICK JUST NOW.

CALLED A DOCTOR
CALLED A DOCTOR
CALLED A DOCTOR JUST NOW
JUST NOW I CALLED A DOCTOR
CALLED A DOCTOR JUST NOW.

SAID I WOULDN'T DIE
SAID I WOULDN'T DIE
SAID I WOULD'T DIE JUST NOW
JUST NOW HE SAID I WOULDN'T DIE
SAID I WOULDN'T DIE JUST NOW.

DIED ANYWAY
DIED ANYWAY
DIED ANYWAY JUST NOW
JUST NOW I DIED
DIED ANYWAY JUST NOW.

WENT TO HEAVEN
WENT TO HEAVEN
WENT TO HEAVEN JUST NOW
JUST NOW I WENT TO HEAVEN
WENT TO HEAVEN JUST NOW.

PLAYED THE HARP
PLAYED THE HARP
PLAYED THE HARP JUST NOW
JUST NOW I PLAYED THE HARP
PLAYED THE HARP JUST NOW.

BROKE A STRING
BROKE A STRING
BROKE A STRING JUST NOW
JUST NOW I BROKE A STRING
BROKE A STRING JUST NOW.

WENT DOWN
WENT DOWN
WENT DOWN JUST NOW
JUST NOW I WENT DOWN
WENT DOWN JUST NOW

SHOVELED COAL
SHOVELED COAL
SHOVELED COAL JUST NOW
JUST NOW I SHOVELED COAL
SHOVELED COAL JUST NOW.

BURNT MY FINGER
BURNT MY FINGER
BURNT MY FINGER JUST NOW
JUST NOW I BURNT MY FINGER
BURNT MY FINGER JUST NOW.
THE END

Data entry tech comment:

PROBABLY TO THE TUNE OF " MY DARLING CLEMENTINE "

Updated / 02-24-2011 / TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; STERLING

Keyword(s): CHIASMUS ; COAL ; DEATH ; Doctors ; FOOD ; HARP ; HEAVEN ; HELL ; MUSIC ; NUT ; Peanut ; REPETITION ; SATIRE ; SHOVELING

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Ill humor Ridicule Mockery
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Children

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR.

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Riddle

Black we are, but much admired
Men seek for us until they are tired.
We tire the horse, but comfort man
Tell me this riddle, if you can!

Answer: Coal

Data entry tech comment:

No informant or collector data given.

Entry by TRD

Keyword(s): COAL ; GAME ; Language ; RHYME ; RIDDLE

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

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showing 5 items

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