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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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Maxim

Christopher Columbus set an example the Government's never forgotten. He didn't know where he was going, he didn't know where he was when he got there, and he did it all on borrowed money.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs and BN added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [B660] crossed out. Nothing replaces it.

Submission card located in pile marked To Be Classified.

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): AMERICAN ; Christopher Columbus ; Government ; Jest, Anecdote, Pun, Joke, Irony ; JOKE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

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Entry filtered.

Ethnic Joke: Jewish

Descriptions of a Jewish Christmas Card: on the front it has a tree, and strung from the tree, instead of the usually bulbs [sic], it has 32 colored Matzo Balls, and on the top, instead of the star of Bethlehem, it has a Jewish star, not the star adavin [sic], but a picture of Sammy Davis Jr. or Liz Taylor, you can take your pick.

Submitter comment:

Sammy Davis Jr. and Liz Taylor are Jewish movie stars.

Data entry tech comment:

I believe that adavin is supposed to be "of David."

Motifs and BN added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Submission card located in pile marked [?]

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; OAK PARK

Keyword(s): CHRISTMAS ; Decoration ; Distasteful ; ETHNIC ; Hollywood ; HUMOR ; Jewish ; JOKES ; Offensive ; Stereotype ; Tree

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

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Mnemonic Device

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [ C750.534] is crossed out. Replaced with the words Mnemonic Device.

Keyword(s): Christopher Columbus ; MEMORY ; MNEMONIC ; RHYME

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- MNEM

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Entry filtered.

Ethnic Joke: Italian

Why couldn't Christ have been born in Italy?

There aren't three wise men or any virgins...

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs and BN added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Italian

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

Keyword(s): Christ ; ETHNIC ; HUMOR ; Italian ; JOKE ; Off-Color ; Stereotype ; Virgin

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Ill humor Ridicule Mockery
RIDDLE -- W566

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Custom/Belief

Holy Communion:

Sometime around her First Communion, Mary was told always to swallow the host because if you chewed it, Christ would cry out in pain and blood would fill your mouth.

Data entry tech comment:

motifs added by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; CHILD ; Christ ; Communion ; Host ; RELIGION ; RELIGIOUS ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): Reference

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Church

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Belief: Animal

Crosses on Donkeys:

The fur on a donkey's back seems to make a dark cross length-wise. According to the informant, the cross is there because Christ rode the donkey into Jerusalem. When she told me this, another person who was present said she had always heard it was there because Mary rode on the donkey.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P682.4, M247.3] crossed out. Replaced with current classification.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; OAKLAND UNIVERSITY ;

Keyword(s): ANIMAL ; ASS ; Christ ; CHRISTIANITY ; Cross ; DONKEY ; DONKEY ; Fur ; HAIR ; Jerusalem ; JESUS ; Mary ; RELIGION ; SYMBOL ; VIRGIN MARY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal

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Custom: Holiday

Rudolph:

In conjunction with the legend of Santa Claus is his famous team of reindeer. The leader being Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Every child knows the song about Rudolph, and looks upon him as a sort of hero of Christmas.

Data entry tech comment:

Motif added by TRD

Where learned: CHICAGO

Keyword(s): CHRISTMAS ; Hero ; holiday ; Legend ; MYTH ; Reindeer ; Rudolph ; Santa

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal

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Legend

CROSS ON WHICH CHRIST WAS CRUCIFIED WAS SUPPOSEDLY
OF DOGWOOD. THUS THE DOGWOOD FLOWER IS SHAPED LIKE A
CRUCIFIX AS A REMINDER OF THE CRUCIFIXTION. THE TEAR
DROP IN THE CENTER OF THE FLOWER REPRESENTS A TEAR
WHICH IS SHED FOR THE DEATH OF CHRIST.

Submitter comment:

ORIGIN: UNKNOWN

Data entry tech comment:

Updated 02-22-2011 by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Christ ; CRUCIFIXION ; CURSE ; DEATH ; Dogwood ; FLOWER ; Legend ; RELIGION ; Story ; Tale ; Tear ; Tree

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Plant

Date learned: 07-30-1964

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Legend

CROSS ON WHICH CHRIST WAS CRUCIFIED WAS SUPPOSEDLY
OF DOGWOOD. THUS THE DOGWOOD FLOWER IS SHAPED LIKE A
CRUCIFIX AS A REMINDER OF THE CRUCIFIXTION. THE TEAR
DROP IN THE CENTER OF THE FLOWER REPRESENTS A TEAR
WHICH IS SHED FOR THE DEATH OF CHRIST.

Submitter comment:

ORIGIN: UNKNOWN

Data entry tech comment:

Updated on 2011-02-22 by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Christ ; CURSE ; Cursed ; DEATH ; Dogwood ; FLOWER ; Legend ; RELIGION ; Story ; Tale ; Tear ; Tree

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Plant

Date learned: 07-30-1964

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Ethnic: Polish

A POLISH, CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER CALLS FOR EACH SERVING TO BE
SERVED SEPARATELY. THE NEXT SERVING IS NOT BROUGHT ON UNTIL THE
PREVIOUS ONE HAS BEEN CONSUMED BY ALL THAT WANT IT. GENERALLY,
THE SERVINGS ARE OF VEGETABLES. THERE IS NO MEAT EATEN. NOTHING
IS DRANK DURING THE MEAL.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated 02-23-2011 / TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ABSTINENCE ; CHRISTMAS ; Course ; CUSTOM ; Dinner ; DRINK ; ETHNIC ; Feast ; FOOD ; holiday ; meat ; POLISH ; Serve ; tradition

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Christmas

Date learned: 11-00-1968

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Ethnic: Polish

IN POLAND, AND IN MANY POLISH-AMERICAN HOMES, THE VIGIL OF
CHRISTMAS IS A VERY SOLEMN OCCASION. A VARIETY OF FOOD IS SERVED,
TWELVE DISHES IN ALL, TO REPRESENT THE TWELVE APOSTLES. NO DAIRY
PRODUCTS ARE ALLOWED. IT ALSO CONSISTS OF SPECIAL WAFERS CALLED
OPTATKI, WHICH THE HEAD OF THE HOUSEHOLD DISTRIBUTES TO EACH
MEMBER OF THE FAMILY.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated / 02-24-2011 / TRD

Where learned: OHIO ; TOLEDO

Keyword(s): ABSTINENCE ; CHRISTMAS ; CUSTOM ; DAIRY ; Dinner ; ETHNIC ; FAMILY ; Feast ; FOOD ; holiday ; POLAND ; POLISH ; SYMBOL ; Symbolic ; Vigil

Subject headings: 122 Christmas
686 Seconds / Twice / Two
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve F122.82

Date learned: 10-27-1968

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Christmas Custom

Stringing popcorn and cranberries for Christmas tree ornaments.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs Added by TRD

Where learned: MAINE ; Houlton

Keyword(s): CHRISTMAS ; Cranberries ; CUSTOM ; Decoration ; Popcorn

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Custom

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Entry filtered.

Q:WHAT DID MR. & MRS. MINK GIVE EACH OTHER FOR CHRISTMAS?
A:A FULL LENGTH JEW.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: OHIO ; TROTWOOD

Keyword(s): ; CHRISTMAS ; ETHNIC SLUR ; Fur ; GERMAN ; HOLOCAUST ; Jewish ; JOKE ; Mink

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question
Filter - Mature Content

Date learned: 04-00-1972

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IF ONE IS GOOD, THE WITCH LEAVES CANDY, BUT IF ONE IS
BAD SHE WILL LEAVE ASHES AND SWITCHES.
CHRISTMAS CUSTOM-ITALIAN

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): Ashes ; CANDY ; CHRISTMAS ; CUSTOM ; holiday ; Italian ; Switches ; Witch

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Typical Elements of a Festive Pattern

Date learned: 04-00-1972

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Verse - Wit

Jungle Bells, shotgun shells
Robin laid an egg
The batmobile lost a wheel
and the Joker got away.

 

(sung to the tune of Jingle Bells)

Data entry tech comment:

Entered by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): BATMAN ; Carol ; Christmas Carol ; Comic ; holiday ; Jingle Bells ; Pop Culture ; SONG ; Spoof

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

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O TANNENBAUM

O TANNENBAUM, O TANNENBAUM,
WIE TRER SIND DUNE BLATTER.
DU GRUNST NICHT NUR ZUR SOMMER
ZUT NEIN AUCH IM WINTER WENN ES SCHNEIT. MM
O TANNENBAUM, O TANNENBAUM,
WIE TRER SIND DEINE BLATTER.
SO, SO WIRE ICH DICH LIEBE,
SO, SO LIEBE OUCH MICH!
DIE, DIE ZART-LICH-STEN TRIEBE FUHLE ICH EINZIG FUR DICH.
JA, JA, JA, JA FUHLE ICH EINZIG FUR DICH. MM
O CHRISTMAS TREE, O CHRISTMAS TREE,
HOW TRUE ARE YOUR LEAVES.
YOU ARE GREEN NOT ONLY IN THE SUMMER TIME,
BUT ALSO IN THE WINTER WHEN IT SNOWS. MM
O CHRISTMAS TREE, O CHRISTMAS TREE,
HOW TRUE ARE YOUR LEAVES.
SO, SO THE WAY I LOVE YOU,
SO, SO YOU LOVE ME TOO!
THE TENDER LONGING I FEEL ONLY FOR YOU.
YES, YES, YES, YES I FEEL ONLY FOR YOU.

Submitter comment:

SHE DID NOT KNOW HOW TO SPEAK ENGLISH UNTIL SHE ENTERED
HIGH SCHOOL.

Data entry tech comment:

Keypunched by R.J.Miller 11/82

Updated by TRD 01/12

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; PEORIA

Keyword(s): Carol ; CHRISTMAS ; Evergreen ; holiday ; Lyrics ; SONG ; Tree

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Admiration Praise Adulation
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F122
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Songs, caroling

Date learned: 11-00-1971

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BELIEF CONCERNING DEATH

UKRANIANS BELIEVE THAT A PERSONS SPIRIT STAYS ON EARTH FOR
NINE DAYS AFTER DEATH. IT THEN TAKES THE SPIRIT FORTY DAYS TO GET TO
HEAVEN. IT IS THOUGHT THAT THIS BELIEF REPRESENTS
THE FORTY DAYS AFTER CHRIST'S DEATH, BEFORE HE AROSE.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Keyword(s): Christ ; DEATH ; NUMBER ; RELIGION ; SYMBOLISM ; UKRAINIAN

Subject headings: 686 Ninths / Nine
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.40

Date learned: 03-26-1972

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MYTH

SANTA CLAUS- A FAT JOLLY OLD MAN WITH A WHITE BEARD WHO LIVES AT
THE NORTH POLE AND DISTRIBUTES TOYS AND GIFTS ON CHRISTMAS EVE.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

Keyword(s): CHRISTMAS ; Claus ; holiday ; MYTH ; Santa ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Supernatural Being

Date learned: 11-00-1968

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BELIEF

ON THE RADIO ONE NIGHT I HEARD A SCIENTIST TALKING ABOUT
U.F.O.'S (UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECTS). HE EXPRESSED BELIEF
IN THE IDEA THAT THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM WAS ACTUALLY A FLYING SAUCER
FROM VENUS, AND CHRIST, HE BELIEVES, WAS VENETIAN.

Submitter comment:

I HEARD THIS AT THE TIME WHEN U.F.O.'S WERE THE BIG THING IN 1968.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

James Callow comment:

The Star of Bethlehem, according to Christian Belief, is the star seen by the local sheperds on the night of Christ's birth. It also led the Three Wise Men from the East to Christ.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Keyword(s): Alien ; Broadcast ; Christ ; Planet ; RADIO ; RELIGION ; RELIGION ; Star of Bethlehem ; UFO ; Unidentified Flying Object ; Venetian ; VENUS

Subject headings: Prophet / Seer / Soothsayer
Observation
BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Celestial body come to earth

Date learned: 00-00-1970

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CHRISTMAS LEGEND

ON DECEMBER 6, ST. NICHOLAS VISITS THE HOMES OF THE PEOPLE
AND LEAVES GOODIES FOR GOOD LITTLE CHILDREN, AND SOOT IN THE
SHOES OF BAD ONES.

Submitter comment:

RONNIE LEARNED THIS ITALIAN LEGEND FROM HER FATHER WHO IS
FROM ITALY.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CHRISTMAS ; GIFTS ; holiday ; Presents ; Saint Nicholas

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F120
BELIEF -- Religious hero

Date learned: 12-04-1967

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