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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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TWO'S A COUPLE,
THREE'S A CROWD,
FOUR ON THE SIDEWALK,
IS NEVER ALLOWED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): METER: TROCHAIC ; REFRAIN NUMBERS ; RHYME: MASCULINE, ABCB ; VARIATION: FOUR'S TOO MANY, FIVE'S NOT ALLOWED.

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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THE MONKEY'S DISGRACE

THREE MONKEYS SAT UNDER A COCONUT TREE,
DISCUSSING THINGS AS THEY ARE TO BE.
SAID ONE TO THE OTHER, NOW LISTEN YOU TWO,
THERE IS A CERTAIN RUMOR THAT CANNOT BE TRUE.
THAT MAN DESCENDED FROM OUR NOBLE RACE,
THE VERY IDEA IS A DISGRACE.
NO MONKEY EVER DESERTED HIS WIFE,
STARVED A BABY OR RUINED A LIFE,
AND YOU HAVE NEVER KNOWN A MOTHER MONK
TO LEAVE HER BABIES WITH OTHERS TO BUNK.
OR PASS THEM ON FROM ONE TO ANOTHER
TILL THEY SCARCELY KNOW WHO IS THEIR MOTHER.
ANOTHER THING YOU WILL NEVER SEE;
A MONK TO BUILD A FENCE AROUND A COCONUT TREE.
AND LET THE COCONUTS GO TO WASTE,
FORBIDDING ALL OTHER MONKS TO TASTE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): IRONY SARCASM ; JUDGMENT ON HUMAN RACE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse C730.327

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Entry filtered.

TAUNT OF THE WELSH

JOHNNY WAS A WELSHMAN,
JOHNNY WAS A THIEF,
JOHNNY CAME TO MY HOUSE
AND STOLE A LEG OF BEEF.
I WENT TO JOHNNY'S HOUSE,
JOHNNY WAS IN BED,
SO I TOOK UP A POKER
AND HIT HIM ON THE HEAD.

Submitter comment:

THIS IS AN IRISH TAUNT OF THE WELSH, USUALLY SUNG BY
SMALL CHILDREN AT SCHOOL OR PLAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; PLYMOUTH

Keyword(s): TAFFY WAS A WELSHMAN NURSERY RHYME

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse Lyrical Verse
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Speech Speech
PROVERB -- Blason Populaire

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AUTOGRAPH

IF YOUR HUSBAND IS THIRSTY
AND HE WANTS A DRINK,
TAKE HIM TO THE KITCHEN
AND SHOW HIM TO THE SINK)

Where learned: LOCATION NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

Keyword(s): COMMAND ; DRINK ; HUMOR ; MARRAIGE ; RHYME ABCB ; SURPRISE ENDING

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Matrimony

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MISCELLANEOUS CUSTOMS

A SEAMAN LEAVING THE FORECASTLE TO GO AFT, EITHER FOR HIS TRICK AT
THE WHEEL OR OTHER WORK, GOES AFT ALONG THE LEESIDE OF THE VESSEL,
UNLESS HIS IMMEDIATE DUTY LIES TO THE WINDWARD.
A SEAMAN SUMMONED TO THE CAPTAIN'S CABIN REMOVED HIS CAP AND
DROPPED IT TO THE DECK JUST OUTSIDE THE DOOR.
A MARINER ENTERING A NEW SHIP, OR EVEN AN OLD SHIP, FOR THE FIRST
TIME MAKES CERTAIN THAT HIS RIGHT FOOT IS THE FIRST TO TOUCH THE
DECK.
IT WAS A BREECH OF ETIQUETTE FOR A SEAMAN TO LOCK HIS SEA CHEST
WHILE ON BOARD HIS SHIP. OFFENDERS OFTEN FOUND, WHEN THEY
RETURNED TO THE FORECASTLE FROM THEIR WATCH ON DECK, THAT THE
COVER HAD BEEN NAILED DOWN.
IN THE BRITISH AND UNITED STATES NAVIES, A SCARF OF BLACK SILK IS
WORN, ORIGINALLY AS A MARK OF WARNING (MOURNING?) FOR THE DEATH
OF LORD NELSON.
IN THE ROYAL NAVY, OFFICERS WHO HAVE BEEN ROUND EITHER THE CAPE
OF GOOD HOPE OR CAPE HORN MAY PUT ONE FOOT ON THE WARDROOM TABLE;
BOTH CAPES CARRY THE RIGHT TO PUT BOTH FEET ON THE TABLE.
BY NAVAL CUSTOM THE SENIOR OFFICER PRESENT IS ALWAYS THE LAST
INTO A BOAT AND THE FIRST OUT OF IT.

Submitter comment:

CAPTAIN LUMAS SAYS THAT HE HAS LEARNED THESE CUSTOMS THROUGH THE
YEARS THAT HE HAS BEEN SAILING, BOTH IN THE U.S. NAVY AND UP AT
MACKINAW ISLAND.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MACKINAW ISLAND

Keyword(s): British ; Captain ; Etiquette ; Language ; Lingo ; Naval ; Navy ; POSITION ; Seaman ; Ship ; Uniform ; United States

James Callow Keyword(s): DIRECTION ; LEFT ; POSITION ; RIGHT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Work Commerce Business
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F535
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Maturity
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Initiation rite Hazing
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress Overall body coverUpper body and arms
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Color
BELIEF -- Number Last events: the last person to the table...
SPEECH -- Gesture

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JAMAICAN SUPERSTITION: MENSTRUATION

WHEN A WOMAN IS MENSTRUATING, SHE SHOULD NEVER LOOK AT THE DEAD
OR SOMETHING TERRIBLE MIGHT HAPPEN.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM A LADY-FRIEND FROM JAMAICA.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; JAMAICA

Keyword(s): B477 HUMAN ACTIVITY (BODILY FUNCTION)

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 01-01-1964

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IF A GIRL TAKES THE LAST PORTION FROM A SERVING BOWL
OR PLATTER, SHE WILL BE AN OLD MAID.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): FUNCTION ; SPINSTER ; TABLE MANNERS

Subject headings: Observation
Favorites
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Measure of time Eating For menu, see N222.
BELIEF -- Number Last events: the last person to the table...

Date learned: 10-25-1968

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IF YOU TAKE A PIECE OF BREAD WHEN YOU ALREADY HAVE A
PIECE, THAT MEANS SOMEONE HUNGRY IS COMING TO YOUR HOUSE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BERKELEY

James Callow Keyword(s): TABLE MANNERS

Subject headings: 686 Seconds / Twice / Two
Observation
Food Drink -- Plant food
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Measure of time Eating For menu, see N222.

Date learned: 03-24-1970

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BEDTIME PRAYER

IN GOTT'S NAMEN, SCHLAFEN GINGEN,
VIERTEHN ENGEL MIT MIR GINGEN
ZWEI ZU KOPF, ZWEI ZU FUSSE,
ZWEI ZU MEINER RECHTE SEITE,
ZWEI ZU MEINER LINKE SEITE,
ZWEI ZU MICH DECKEN,
ZWEI ZU MICH WECKEN,
ZWEI ZU MICH WEISEN,
IN DIE HIMMLICH PARADIESEN.
GOING TO SLEEP IN GOD'S NAME,
WITH FOURTEEN ANGELS GOING WITH ME,
TWO AT MY HEAD, TWO AT MY FEET,
TWO AT MY RIGHT SIDE,
TWO AT MY LEFT SIDE,
TWO TO COVER ME,
TWO TO WAKE ME,
TWO TO SHOW ME INTO
THE HEAVENLY PARADISE.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT TELLS THAT THIS PRAYER HAS BEEN HANDED DOWN IN HER FAMILY
FROM MOTHER TO CHILD FOR MANY GENERATIONS.

Where learned: OHIO ; CLEVELAND

James Callow Keyword(s): INITIAL ITERATION GERMAN

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

Date learned: 09-10-1972

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FARMER WITH TROUBLE

A FARMER HAD THREE SONS WHO WORKED VERY HARD ON THE FARM AND DID
NOT SEEM TO HAVE ANY ENEW JERSEYOYMENT OTHERWISE. SO THE OLD GENT,
FIGURED
D HE HAD TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, AND HE SUGGESTED THEY CLEAN UP
THE BACK FORTY WHERE THE COWS USUALLY HERDED AND MAKE A BASEBALL
DIAMOND SO THEY COULD INVITE THEIR FRIENDS TO PLAY BALL AND
PICNIC. SO, THE FIRST SUNDAY, BEFORE THE GAME WAS HALF OVER
ONE OF THE SONS CAME TO THE HOUSE, AND BROTHER, WAS HE A MESS.
THE OLD MAN ASKED WHAT HAPPENED. "WELL," THE SON SAID, "I HIT
ONE A COUNTRY MILE, THE COACH ON FIRST SAID KEEP GOING. WHEN I
REACHED SECOND THE COACH ON THIRD WAIVED ME TO COME AHEAD. THE
PLAY WAS CLOSE BUT I WAS CALLED OUT WHEN I SLID INTO WHAT I
THOUGHT WAS THIRD BASE. SO, HERE I AM."

Where learned: DETROIT, ASSUMED

James Callow Keyword(s): COW MANURE

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote

Date learned: 10-07-1972

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PATRON SAINT

ST. JOSEPH IS THE PATRON SAINT OF THE MALTESE AND WEARING HIS
MEDAL BRINGS GOOD LUCK.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET TALISMAN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Emblem
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.1

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CHARMS

A COMMON CHARM IS A TINY PIECE OF THE BLARNEY STONE FITTED INTO
A RING OR SMALL SILVER CASTLE.

James Callow comment: COLLECTOR'S SPELLING CORRECTED

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET TALISMAN ; IRELAND

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration

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HEX CHARM

THE GERMANS HAVE A CHARM WHICH IS A CIRCLE WITH POINTS. IT REMOVES A
CURSE IF IT IS WORN EVERY DAY FOR A MONTH.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET TALISMAN

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Measure of time Month
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Circle and other round forms
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Angular forms
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: CA1963-1975

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MEXICAN GOOD LUCK

THE MEXICANS HAVE A CHARM WHICH IS A CLOSED FIST WITH A BRACELET.
THIS IS PROTECTION FROM THE EVIL EYE.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET TALISMAN

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Curse
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: CA1963-1975

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ST. CHRISTOPHER

A ST. CHRISTOPHER MEDAL IS WORN FOR PEDESTRIAN PROTECTION.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET TALISMAN

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Religious hero

Date learned: CA1963-1975

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BABIES

WHEN A BABY IS BORN, PIN A MEDAL TO THE CRIB FOR PROTECTION.

Where learned: HOME ; SCHOOL ; MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

James Callow Keyword(s): AMULET TALISMAN

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: CA1963-1975

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PROVERBIAL METAPHOR

ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART GO WANDER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

Keyword(s): HUMAN BODY ; VARIANT

James Callow Keyword(s): OBSERVATION ; PARODY

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Proverb C880.700
PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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PROVERBIAL METAPHOR

ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER.

Where learned: NEW HAMPSHIRE ; MILFORD

Keyword(s): HUMAN BODY

James Callow Keyword(s): OBSERVATION

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 08-00-1967

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PROVERBIAL METAPHOR

ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER -- FOR ANYTHING AROUND.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): HUMAN BODY ; VARIANT

James Callow Keyword(s): OBSERVATION ; PARODY

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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