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ONE WHITE FOOT, BUY IT.
TWO WHITE FEET, TRY IT.
THREE WHITE FEET, SEE HOW IT GOES,
FOUR WHITE FEET, AND WHITE NOSE,
CUT OFF ITS FEET AND THROW IT TO THE CROWS.

Submitter comment: THIS APPLIES TO BUYING A HORSE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD HILLS

Keyword(s): ADVICE ; ANIMAL NUMBERS ; HUMOR EUPHEMISM SYMBOL OVERSTATEMENT ; INCREMENTAL REPETITION, SURPRISE ENDING CONTRAST QUINTET ; INTERACTION INITIAL INCREMENTAL REPETITION ; METER: DACTYL RHYME: FEMININE TRIPLE ; RHYME AABBB

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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ONE FOR THE MONEY,
TWO FOR THE SHOW,
THREE TO GET READY,
AND FOUR TO GO.

Data entry tech comment: COUNTING OFF AT THE BEGINNING OF A RACE OR GAME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): INCREMENTAL REPETITION ; METER: IAMBIC ; NUMBERS, FUNCTION ; QUATRAIN ; RHYME: MASCULINE, ABAB

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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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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FORMULAIC VERSE WITHOUT MUSIC

I WENT TO THE RIVER, I COULDN'T GET ACROSS,
SO I PAID SIX BITS FOR AN OLD GRAY HORSE,
I RODE HIM IN, HE WOULDN'T PULL,
SO I RODE HIM OUT AND TRADED HIM FOR A BULL.
THE BULL WOULDN'T HOLLAR, SO I TRADED FOR A DOLLAR,
THE DOLLAR WOULDN'T PAY, SO I TRADED FOR SOME HAY,
THE HAY WOULDN'T GROW, SO I TRADED FOR A HOE,
THE HOE WOULDN'T DIG, SO I TRADED FOR A PIG,
THE PIG WOULDN'T SQUEAL, SO I TRADED FOR A WHEEL,
THE WHEEL WOULDN'T RUN, SO I TRADED FOR A GUN.
THE GUN WOULDN'T SHOOT, SO I TRADED FOR A BOOT.
THE BOOT WOULDN'T FIT, SO I GUESS I'D BETTER QUIT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FERNDALE

Keyword(s): FIRST PERSON NARRATIVE ; INCREMENTAL REPETITION ; METER: IAMBIC ; MONEY FUTILITY BARTER ; RHYME: INTERNAL, IMPERFECT ; RHYME: MASCULINE, AABB

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

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HE WAS ONLY A LAVENDER COWBOY,
THE HAIRS ON HIS CHEST NUMBERED TWO.
HE WANTED TO BE LIKE THE HEROES
AND DO AS THE BIG MEN DO.

RED, GREEN, MANY-COLORED HAIR TONICS
HE RUBBED ON HIS CHEST DAY AND NIGHT,
BUT WHEN HE AWOKE THE NEXT MORNING,
ONLY TWO HAIRS WERE IN SIGHT.

HE BATTLED FOR RED NELLY'S HONOR,
HE HELD UP AN OUTLAW'S NEST,
BUT THEY FOUND HIM DEAD THE NEXT MORNING,
WITH ONLY TWO HAIRS ON HIS CHEST.

Where learned: OFFICE

Keyword(s): FIRST PERSON NARRATIVE ; METAPHOR OVERSTATEMENT HEROES ; METER: IAMBIC ; REPETITION ; RHYME: IMPERFECT, MASCULINE, ABCA

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

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MY DEAR, DO YOU KNOW,
HOW A LONG TIME AGO,
TWO POOR LITTLE CHILDREN,
WHOSE NAMES I DON'T KNOW,
WERE STOLEN AWAY
ON A FINE SUMMER'S DAY,
AND LEFT IN THE WOODS,
AS I'VE HEARD PEOPLE SAY.
AND WHEN IT WAS NIGHT,
SO SAD WAS THEIR PLIGHT,
THE SUN IT WENT DOWN,
AND THE MOON GAVE NO LIGHT;
THEY SOBBED AND THEY SIGHED,
AND THEY BITTERLY CRIED,
AND THE POOR LITTLE THINGS,
THEY LAY DOWN AND DIED.
AND WHEN THEY WERE DEAD,
THE ROBINS, SO RED,
BOUGHT STRAWBERRY LEAVES, (BROUGHT?)
AND OVER THEM SPREAD.
AND ALL THE DAY LONG
THEY SANG THEM THIS SONG:
"POOR BABES IN THE WOODS,
POOR BABES IN THE WOODS,
AND DON'T YOU REMEMBER,
THE BABES IN THE WOODS."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): DEATH ; FIRST PERSON NARRATIVE ; METER: ANAPESTIC ; MONOLOGUE REPETITIION ; RHYME: MASCULINE, AABA CCDC

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

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THREE WISE MEN OF GOTHAM, WENT TO SEA IN A BOWL; IF THE BO; HAD BEEN STRONGER,

Submitter comment: HEARD IN SCHOOL.

James Callow comment: RDNeedsReview

Where learned: OHIO ; TOLEDO

Keyword(s): ACCIDENT NONSENSE ; NUTSHELL NARRATIVE QUATRAIN ; RHYME: ABCC ; RHYME: FEMININE, REPETITION ; SATIRE UNDERSTATEMENT EPITAPH LAMENT

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

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'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
AND ALL THROUGH THE TOWN
ST. JOSEPH WAS SEARCHING,
WALKING UP ROADS AND DOWN.
OUR LADY WAS WAITING
SO MEEK AND SO MILD,
WHILE JOSEPH WAS SEEKING
A PLACE FOR THE CHILD.
THE CHILDREN WERE NESTLED,
EACH SNUG IN HIS BED;
AND THE GROWNUPS WOULDN'T BOTHER,
"THERE'S NO ROOM," THEY SAID.
WHEN EVEN THE INNKEEPER SENT THEM AWAY
AND JOSEPH WAS WONDERING WHERE THEY WOULD STAY,
HE THOUGHT OF THE CAVE IN THE SIDE OF THE HILL.
"LET'S GO THERE," SAID MARY, "IT'S SILENT AND STILL."
THE MOON ON THE BREAST
OF THE NEW FALLEN SNOW
MADE A PATHWAY OF LIGHT
FOR THEIR TIRED FEET TO GO.
AND IN THE CAVE
IN A CRADLE OF HAY
THE SAVIOR WAS BORN
ON THAT FIRST CHRISTMAS DAY!
THE FATHER WAS WATCHING
IN HEAVEN ABOVE,
AND SENT FOR HIS ANGELS,
HIS COURTIERS OF LOVE.
MORE RAPID THAN EAGLES,
GOD'S BRIGHT ANGELS CAME,
REJOICING AND EAGER,
AS EACH HEARD HIS NAME.
"COME POWERS, COME CHERUBS,
COME VIRTUES AND RAPHAEL;
COME THRONES AND DOMINIONS,
COME MICHAEL AND GABRIEL."
"NOW FLY TO THE EARTH
WHERE MY POOR PEOPLE LIVE,
ANNOUNCE THE GLAD TIDINGS
MY SON COMES TO GIVE!"
THE SHEPHERDS WERE WATCHING
THEIR FLOCKS ON THIS NIGHT;
AND SAW IN THE HEAVENS
AN UNEARTHLY LIGHT.
THE ANGELS ASSURED THEM
THEY'D NOTHING TO FEAR,
"IT'S CHRISTMAS," THEY SAID,
"THE SAVIOR IS HERE."
THEY HASTENED TO FIND HIM,
AND STOOD AT THE DOOR,
UNTIL MARY INVITED THEM IN
TO ADORE.
HE WAS SWADDLED IN BANDS
FROM HIS HEAD TO HIS FEET,
AND NEVER DID SHEPHERDS
SEE A BABY SO SWEET.
HE SPOKE NOT A WORD,
BUT THE SHEPHERDS ALL KNEW
HE WAS TELLING THEM SECRETS,
AND BLESSING THEM, TOO.
THEN SOFTLY THEY LEFT HIM,
THE BABE IN THE HAY,
AND REJOICED WITH GREAT JOY,
ON THAT FIRST CHRISTMAS DAY.
MARY HEARD THEM EXCLAIM
AS THEY WALKED UP THE HILL,
"GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST;
PEACE TO MEN OF GOOD WILL."

Submitter comment: SISTER BANKERT SAID THAT IT WAS A CUSTOM FOR MANY YEARS,
FOR THE SISTERS TO MAKE UP PICTURE BOOKS OF THIS POEM FOR
NIECES AND NEWPHEWS. SISTER GAVE ME THIS COPY IN 1953.

Data entry tech comment: VARIATION OF "THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS"

Where learned: DETROIT ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Keyword(s): METER: ANAPESTIC ; PIOUS, THIRD PERSON NARRATIVE ; RELIGION CHRISTMAS NATIVITY ; RHYME: MASCULINE, ABCB

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

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BILL HAD A BILLBOARD
HE ALSO HAD A BOARD BILL
BILL SOLD HIS BILLBOARD TO PAY FOR HIS BOARD BILL
THEREFORE, BILL'S BILLBOARD NO LONGER BORED BILL.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT STATES THE RHYME HAS BEEN IN THE FAMILY FOR A LONG
TIME AND WAS RELATED TO HIM BY HIS FATHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ADVERTISING NONSENSE ; HUMOR PUN INCREMENTAL REPETITION ; RHYME: ABBB ; TONGUETWISTER ; WORD PLAY, ITERATION (FINAL) ALLITERATION

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

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IF I DIE, BURY ME,
HANG MY BONES ON A CHERRY TREE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD HILLS

Keyword(s): COUPLET ; INSTRUCTIONS ; PREPARATION FOR DEATH ; VERSE WITHOUT MUSIC

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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I LOVE COFFEE,
I LOVE TEA,
I LOVE THE BOYS,
AND THE BOYS LOVE ME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BOAST SEX ; ITERATION INITIAL ; RHYME: MASCULINE

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

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TAUNT

I SEE LONDON,
I SEE FRANCE,
I SEE (NAME OF PERSON)'S UNDERPANTS.

Where learned: OLD NEIGHBORHOOD

Keyword(s): HUMOR TAUNT REPETITION ; PLACE NAMES IMPROPRIETY ; RHYME: MASCULINE, ABB ; SURPRISE ENDING

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

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IT'S NOT THE COUGH
THAT CARRIES YOU OFF.
IT'S THE COFFIN
THEY CARRY YOU OFF IN.

Submitter comment: HEARD AND SAID WHEN YOUNG, 1915-1920.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; PITTSBURGH

Keyword(s): DEATH ; HUMOR TANGLETALK PUN ; IAMBIC-DACTYLIC, FEMININE RHYME, WORD PLAY, REPETITION ; OBSERVATION, TONGUETWISTER ; QUATRAIN SURPRISE ENDING CONTRAST ; RHYME: AABB

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

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LADY BUG, LADY BUG,
FLY AWAY HOME;
YOUR HOUSE IS ON FIRE,
AND YOUR CHILDREN WILL BURN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): OBSERVATION ; QUATRAIN, MONOLOGUE ; REPETITION FIRE ; RHYME: MASCULINE, IMPERFECT

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

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SITTIN' BY THE ROADSIDE ON A SUMMER DAY,
CHATTING WITH MY MESS MATES, PASSING TIME AWAY,
LAYING IN THE SHADOW UNDERNEATH THE TREE,
GOODNESS, HOW DELICIOUS EATING GOOBER PEAS!

CHORUS: PEAS, PEAS, PEAS, PEAS,
GOODNESS HOW DELICIOUS EATING GOOBERPEAS!

Submitter comment: INFORMANT RECITED IT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): FOOD ; FOOD, EATING ; GOOBERS=PEANUTS ; IT MAY ALSO BE SUNG. ; METER: IAMBIC, ANAPESTIC ; RHYME: AABB

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

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WE DON'T HAVE OUR BACKHOUSE ANYMORE,
THINGS ARE MIGHTY DIFFERENT THAN BEFORE.
ONCE I HAD TO GO IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT,
I WAS SUCH A LITTLE FELLOW, I DIDN'T FIT RIGHT.
I TIPPED THE DARN THING OVER AND GOD! WAS I A SIGHT!
WE DON'T HAVE OUR BACKHOUSE ANYMORE.

Submitter comment: MY DAD OFTEN RECITED THE FOLLOWING NURSERY RHYME TO
MY SISTERS AND ME WHEN WE WERE SAD. IT ALWAYS BROUGHT
A SMILE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ACCIDENT TOILET ; BACKHOUSE=PRIVY OUTHOUSE ; REPETITION SLANG HUMOR ; RHYME: MASCULINE, AABBBA ; UNDERSTATEMENT OBSERVATION

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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WHEN I'M DEAD AND IN MY GRAVE,
NO MORE WHISKEY SHALL I CRAVE,
FOR ON MY TOMBSTONE SHALL BE WROTE,
MANY A QUART'S WENT DOWN MY THROAT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GARDEN CITY

Keyword(s): DRINKING ; METER: ANAPESTIC DIMETER ; MONOLOGUE QUATRAIN EPITAPH EUPHEMISM ; POOR GRAMMAR ; RHYME: MASCULINE, AABB

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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YOU SCREAM, I SCREAM,
WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): METER: IAMBIC ANAPESTIC ; REPETITION FOOD REFRAIN CACOGRAPHY ; RHYME: MASCULINE

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

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FLOWERS MAY WITHER,
SONGS MAY DIE,
SOME WILL FORGET YOU,
BUT NEVER WILL I...

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; BATON ROUGE

Keyword(s): AUTOGRAPH VERSE? ; RHYME: MASCULINE, ABCB ; SINCERITY INDIRECTION PLEDGE FRIENDSHIP

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse C730.325

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