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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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THERE WAS A MAN UPON THE STAIRS,
GEE I WISH HE WASN'T THERE.
HE WASN'T THERE AGAIN TODAY,
GEE, I WISH HE'D GO AWAY.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED THIS FROM HER MOTHER MANY YEARS AGO.

Data entry tech comment: YESTERDAY UPON THE STAIR, I SAW A MAN THAT WASN'T THERE.
HE WASN'T THERE AGAIN TODAY,
OH, HOW I WISH HE'D GO AWAY (THAT'S THE WAY I HEARD IT)

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CHIASMUS CONTRADICTIONS QUATRAIN ; FIRST PERSON NARRATIVE ; REPETITION METER: IAMB. RHYME: IMPERFECT, DOUBLE ; RHYME AABB ; SLANG CONTRADICTION ; WISH GHOSTS FEAR

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Verse without Music

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THERE WAS A YOUNG WOMAN NAMED BRIGHT,
WHOSE SPEED WAS MUCH FASTER THAN LIGHT.
SHE SET OUT ONE DAY,
IN A RELATIVE WAY,
AND RETURNED ON THE PREVIOUS NIGHT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WYANDOTTE

Keyword(s): HUMOR, FIRST PERSON NARRATIVE ; INDIRECTION LIMERICK ; METER: ANAPESTIC TETRAMETER ; QUATRAIN CONTRADICTIONS ; RHYME: MASCULINE, AABBA ; RIDICULE NONSENSE

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

Date learned: 11-12-1968

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SPARKLE, STARKLE, LITTLE TWINK,
WHO THE TELL YOU ARE I HINK.
I'M NOT IMBRICATED,
I'M NOT AS DRUNK AS SOME TINKLE PEEP I AM.
I'VE ONLY HAD TEA MARTOONIES,
ANYWAY I'VE ALL DAY SOBER TO SUNDAY UP IN.
I FOOL SO FEELISH, I DON'T KNOW WHO IS ME YET,
BUT THE DRUNKER I STAND HERE,
THE LONGER I GET.

Submitter comment: LEARNED IN GRADE SCHOOL.

Where learned: OHIO

Keyword(s): CONTRADICTIONS MONOLOGUE HUMOR ; EUPHEMISM PARODY DRINKING ; NONSENSE WORDS METER TROCHEE ; TANGLETALK

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

Date learned: 00-00-1948

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CHILDREN'S RIME

OND DARK NIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY,
TWO DEAD BOYS WENT OUT TO PLAY.
BACK TO BACK THEY FACED EACH OTHER,
DREW THEIR SWORDS AND SHOT EACH OTHER.
A DEAF POLICEMAN HEARD THE SHOT,
AND CAME AND GOT THEM TWO DEAD BOYS.
IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE THIS STORY THAT'S TRUE,
ASK ANY BLIND MAN, HE SAW IT TOO.

Where learned: DORM ROOM

Keyword(s): CONTRADICTIONS

Subject headings: Favorites
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Prose Narrative Prose Narrative

Date learned: 09-22-1969

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WELLERISM

"I SEE", SAID THE BLIND MAN TO THE DEAF MAN OVER
THE TELEPHONE.

Submitter comment: THIS IS A WELLERISM, IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE A DEAF
MAN LISTENING AND A BLIND MAN SEEING.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): CONTRADICTIONS ; PARADOX

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Wellerism Quotation

Date learned: 00-00-1975

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ONE BRIGHT DAY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT,
TWO DEAD BOYS GOT UP TO FIGHT,
DREW THEIR SWORDS AND SHOT EACH OTHER,
DREW THEIR GUNS AND FOUGHT EACH OTHER.
A DEAF POLICEMAN HEARD THE NOISE
AND CAME AND SHOT THE TWO DEAD BOYS.
IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE THIS LIE IS TRUE
ASK THE BLIND MAN; HE SAW IT TOO.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROCHESTER HILLS

Keyword(s): CONTRADICTIONS

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Formula tale
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Narrative Verse
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Prose Narrative Prose Narrative

Date learned: 00-00-1984

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showing 6 items

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