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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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LAUGH BEFORE BREAKFAST AND YOU WILL CRY BEFORE SUPPER

Submitter comment: INFORMANT REMEMBERS HER MOTHER TELLING HER THIS IN DETROIT DURING THE
EARLY 1930S

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN ; TOLD IN

James Callow Keyword(s): CONTRAST ; INEVITABILITY OF CHANGE

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 09-19-1972

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LIMERICK

THERE WAS A YOUNG ROSE OF TRALEE
WHO LET HERSELF GO ON A SPREE.
NOW SHE WRITES TO THE PAPERS,
CONDEMING SUCH CAPERS,
AND SIGNS HERSELF MOTHER OF THREE.

Submitter comment: THESE LIMERICKS WERE LEARNED OF IN A SIXTH GRADE ENGLISH CLASS
AT SAINT HEDWIG GRADE SCHOOL. THE BOOK THEY WERE TAKED FROM
IS NOT KNOWN BY ME BECAUSE THEY WERE TOLD BY THE TEACHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): METAPHOR: FLOWER (ROSE) FOR GIRL ; PERSONALITY CHANGE

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

Date learned: 00001960S

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PROVERB

BE NO TIME FOR CHEERS AND LAUGHTER, IN THE COLD GRAY DAWN OF THE
MORNING AFTER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): RHYME

James Callow Keyword(s): ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE (IMPLIED) ; HANGOVER ; OBSERVATION

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Proverb Proverb
PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 03-10-1968

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PROVERB

CHANGE THE NAME AND NOT THE LETTER, MARRY FOR WORSE AND NOT FOR

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CUSTOMS ; RHYME

James Callow Keyword(s): ELLIPSIS ; OBSERVATION ; RHYME ; USUALLY, IF YOU CHANGE. . . .

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Proverb
BELIEF -- Marriage
PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

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BELIEF

IN CELTIC COUNTRIES PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT IT IS GOOD LUCK
TO PUT NAILS IN THE CRIB OF A NEWBORN BABY. THIS PROTECTS
THEM FROM THE FAIRIES WHICH ACCORDING TO LEGEND CAME IN THE
NIGHT AND TOOK ALL BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN AND LEFT UGLY BABIES OR
"CHANGLINGS" IN THEIR PLACE. IF A MOTHER HAD A PARTICULARLY
UGLY CHILD SHE WOULD OFTEN SAY IT WAS A CHANGLING AND NOT HER
REAL CHILD. INCIDENTLY, PEOPLE BELIEVED THAT IRON WAS MAGICAL AND
SO IT IS NOT THE NAILS BUT THE IRON THAT THEY ARE MADE OUT OF
WHICH IS SUPPOSED TO BRING THE GOOD LUCK.

Data entry tech comment: "YOU" IS PROFESSOR FRANK PAULSEN.

Where learned: CLASS DURING WHICH HE SUBSTITUTED FOR YOU

Keyword(s): CHANGELINGS

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Fairy Elf Goblin Gnome
BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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LITTLE RABBIT FOO-FOO

( SONG ) LITTLE RABBIT FOO-FOO RUNNIN' THROUGH THE FOREST
SCOOPIN' UP THE FIELD MICE AND HITTIN' THEM OVER THE HEAD.

( SPOKEN ) AND ALONG COME THE GOOD FAIRY...AND SHE SAID,
" LITTLE RABBIT FOO-FOO, I'LL GIVE YOU 3 CHANCES,
( SUNG ) I DON'T WANT TO SEE YOU RUNNIN' THROUGH THE FOREST, SCOOPIN'
UP THE FIELD MICE AND HITTIN' THEM OVER THE HEAD--AND--
IF YOU DON'T DO WHAT I TELL YOU, I'LL TURN YOU INTO A GOON " .
BUT THE NEXT DAY--

(SUNG) LITTLE RABBIT FOO-FOO WAS RUNNIN' THROUGH THE FOREST,
SCOOPIN' UP THE FIELD MICE AND HITTIN' THEM OVER THE HEAD.
( SPOKEN ) AND ALONG CAME THE GOOD FAIRY...AND SHE SAID,
" LITTLE RABBIT FOO-FOO, I'LL GIVE YOU 2 CHANCES, ETC.
BUT THE NEXT DAY--

( REPEATED, BUT NOW WITH ONLY 1 CHANCE )
( SPOKEN ) FOO-FOO BLEW HIS CHANCES, SO THE FAIRY TURNED HIM INTO A
GOON, AND
NARRATOR 1 " DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE MORAL IS?"
NARRATOR 2 " I SURE DO, "
( TOGETHER IN UNISON ) " HARE TODAY, GOON TOMORROW. "

Submitter comment: INFORMANT SANG THIS SONG FOR ME BY HERSELF, BUT IT ACTUALLY SHOULD
BE DONE WITH TWO PEOPLE, ONE ACTING AS NARRATOR AND THE OTHER AS
THE GOOD FAIRY. THE TUNE SHOULD BE SUNG TO THIS MELODY:
" G-G-G-A-B ( REST ) B ( REST ) - A-G-A-B-G-D
GGG-A-B-B-A-G-A-B-G " ( GUITAR NOTES )

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ANIMAL ; BRUNVAND C30 ; CANTE FABLE ; PUN ; SHAGGY DOG CANTE FABLE ; THE RABBIT THAT WAS CHANGED INTO A GOON

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Fairy Elf Goblin Gnome
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Formula tale
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Children

Date learned: 12-02-1971

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CHILDREN'S VERSE

I WOKE UP SUNDAY MORNING,
I LOOKED UPON THE WALL,
THE COOTIES AND THE BEDBUGS
WERE HAVING A GAME OF BALL.
THE SCORE WAS 6 TO NOTHING,
THE COOTIES WERE AHEAD.
THE BEDBUGS HIT A HOMERUN AND KNOCKED ME OUT OF BED.

Submitter comment: FROM THE CHILDREN OF HER NEIGHBORHOOD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE

Keyword(s): HANGOVER VISION ; INSECTS ; MARVELS ; QUATRAIN HUMOR NONSENSE ; RHYME: ABCB

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Insect
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Narrative Verse

Date learned: 00001964 SUMMER

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SUPERSITITION (COLLECTOR,S TITLE)

ONE OF THE MOST DANGEROUS THINGS TO DO IS PASS SOMEONE ON THE STAIRS.
IF SOMEONE IS COMING UP AND YOU ARE GOING DOWN OR VICE-VERSA IN
ORDER TO WARD OFF BAD LUCK YOU MUST COUNT TO TEN BEFORE YOU PASS.
THE SAME HOLDS TRUE IF YOU ARE GOING IN THE SAME DIRECTION.
NEVER PASSING ANYONE ON THE STAIRS MIGHT HAVE BEN VERY GOOD ADVICE.
IF THAT PERSON WAS CARRYING SOMETHING HEAVY OR IN SOME WAY OBSTRUCT-
ING PASSAGE. HOWEVER IT HAS GROWN TO BE A VERY STRONG SUPERSTITION.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CHANGE IN LUCK FROM BAD TO GOOD (IN PASSING ON STAIRWAY).

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Conversions P883.2

Date learned: 11-22-1968

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Little Rabbit Foo Foo/Hopping through the forest/picking up the field mice and bopping them on the head.
 Then down came the good fairy and she said/Little rabbit Foo Foo I don't want to see you picking up those field mice and bopping them on the head/I'm going to give you three more chances and if you continue I'm going to turn you into a GOON.

Same except for 2 then 1 then no more chances [sic].

Now I'm going to turn you into a GOON..."poof!"

Moral: Hare today, Goon tomorrow.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs and BN added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Submission Card was located in a pile marked To Be Classified.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ANIMAL ; animal fable ; Fable ; Fairy ; Moral ; Rabbit ; THE RABBIT THAT WAS CHANGED INTO A GOON

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Animal Tale

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Proverb

Change Horses:

Don't change horses in the middle of a stream.

Submitter comment:

Read this in High School

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Located in pile marked Duplicates and Other Rejects.

Keyword(s): Change ; DIRECTION ; HORSE ; Stream ; Switch

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

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Proverb

You can't teach an old dog new tricks.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Adapt ; AGE ; Aphorism ; Apothegm ; Change ; DOG ; Maxim ; New ; Old ; PROVERB ; TRICK ; Tricks ; VERSE ; Young

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

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Proverb

Don't change horses in the middle of the stream.

Submitter comment:

When you start something, finish it before jumping to something else.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Aphorism ; Apothegm ; Change ; HORSE ; Maxim ; METAPHOR ; PROVERB ; Stream ; Switch ; VERSE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

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Language: Rhyme

Ridicule Rhyme:

Tattle Tale, Tattle Tale
Hang your britches on a nail,
Hang them high, hang them low,
Hang them in a picture show.
Hang them 'till your fanny shows.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): BRITCHES ; Entertainment ; Fanny ; Hang ; High ; Language ; Low ; Nail ; Picture Show ; rat ; RHYME ; RIDICULE ; Tattle Tale

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

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Saying

Give some folks enough rope and they will hang themselves.

(They talk too much)

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: FLORIDA ; Plant City

Keyword(s): GOSSIP ; Hang ; Rope ; Saying

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Vocabulary

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Superstition

The fisherman have two kinds of folk belief: magic and empirical. Magic have no rational explanation-porpoises bring good luck. Empirical can be explained or have a rational line of thought - Circle around moon means bad weather. There is a rational connection between moon, ring, and bad weather.

Beneath the instrumental function of beliefs (to explain something) there is a phycological [sic] function (to ease the dangers of their hazardous occupation.)

Black suitcase is a very bad taboo object. Going out (in boat) on Friday - bad luck. The word alligator - bad luck. Throw change overboard - good luck.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: The Function of Magic Among Texas Coastal Fisherman ; Journal of American Folklore

Keyword(s): Alligator ; BELIEF ; Boat ; Change ; Empirical ; Fisherman ; Friday ; LUCK ; MAGIC ; MONEY ; MOON ; Ocean ; Porpoise ; Sail ; Sailor ; SEA ; Ship ; Suitcase ; SUPERSTITION ; WEATHER

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Still water Large body.
BELIEF -- Bad luck

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"HANGMAN"

HANGMAN, HANGMAN SLACK YOUR ROPE.
HANGMAN, HANGMAN SLACK YOUR ROPE.
SLACK IT FOR A K-K-K-K- ( SOUND AS IF CHOKING).

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: OHIO ; TROTWOOD

Keyword(s): Children's Song ; Hangman ; RHYME ; Rope ; SONG

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

Date learned: 04-00-1972

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CLIFF HANGERS---MEAN A VERY CLOSE ATHLETIC CONTEST

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): Cliff Hanger ; GAME ; Nickname ; Score ; SLANG ; SPORTS

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Game Pastime Sport

Date learned: 04-00-1972

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SUPERSTITION

WHEN WE WERE CHILDREN IT WAS A POPULAR PRACTICE TO PUT
YOUR TOOTH WHICH HAD FALLEN OUT UNDER YOUR PILLOW. WE BELIEVED
THAT THE FAIRY GODMOTHER TOOK IT AND REPLACED IT, USUALLY WITH
A DIME OR QUARTER.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Exchange ; Faerie ; Fairy ; Fairytale ; MONEY ; Reward ; SUPERSTITION ; Tooth ; Toothfairy

James Callow Keyword(s): Toothfairy

Subject headings: Daily Life
BELIEF -- Fairy Elf Goblin Gnome
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Mouth, teeth, lips, tongue

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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IN BELGIUM CHRISTMAS GIFTS ARE EXCHANGED ON DECEMBER 6.
THE CELEBRATION OF CHRISTMAS IS STILL ON DECEMBER 25,
BUT NO GIFTS ARE EXCHANGED.

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT SAID THIS CUSTOM STILL PREVAILS TODAY.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BELGIUM ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Keyword(s): Belgium ; Celebration ; CHRISTMAS ; Gifts, Exchange ; holiday ; Nick ; Saint ; ST. NICHOLAS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 6 Feast of St. Nicholas

Date learned: 02-20-1972

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showing 19 items

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