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MARCH 21, THE OFFICIAL FIRST DAY OF SPRING, IS FAMILY DAY. SONGS
ABOUT FAMILIES ARE PLAYED ON THE RADIO AND T.V. CHILDREN WRITE
COMPOSITIONS IN SCHOOL ABOUT THE FAMILY. THEY DISCONTINUED
MOTHER'S DAY BECAUSE FAMILIES WITHOUT MOTHERS WERE LEFT OUT.

Submitter comment: (THIS HAPPENED IN) EGYPT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): MOTHER'S DAY IN EGYPT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- March 21

Date learned: 02-00-1972

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THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE RULES THE WORLD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM ; TOLD AT HIS HOME

Keyword(s): CONTRAST ; MOTHERHOOD

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 03-21-1971

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PROVERB

THE FOOT ON THE CRADLE AND THE HAND ON THE DISTAFF IS THE SIGN OF A
GOOD HOUSEWIFE.

Submitter comment: SPANISH SAYING

Where learned: MACKENZIE HIGH SCHOOL

Keyword(s): MOTHERHOOD ; SPINNING WHEEL ; SYMBOLS ; WORK, INDUSTRY

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 10-12-1965

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Entry filtered.

MOMMY, MOMMY

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

MOMMY, MOMMY, WHY CAN'T I WEAR DRESSES LIKE OTHER CHILDREN?
SHUT UP, RALPH

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT IS A FRIEND OF MINE, AND HE REMEMBERS
THIS FROM HIS CHILDHOOD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ABSURD ; CHILDREN ; DIOLOGUE ; DRESS ; HOMOSEXUALITY ; HUMOR ; MOTHER ; TRANSVESTISM

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote

Date learned: 00-00-1971

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"MAMA, MAMA" JOKE

CHILD: MAMA, MAMA, I DON'T WANT TO RUN IN CIRCLES.
MOTHER: SHUT UP, OR I'LL NAIL YOUR OTHER FOOT TO THE FLOOR.
THIS ITEM WAS COLLECTED WITH MANY SIMILAR ITEMS THROUGH
NUMEROUS MEETINGS AT VARIOUS BARS IN DETROIT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): CRUEL MOTHER ; CRUELTY

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote

Date learned: 00001970S ; 03-00-1980

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"MAMA, MAMA" JOKE

CHILD: MAMA, MAMA, I DON'T WANT TO GO TO FRANCE.
MOTHER: SHUT UP AND KEEP SWIMMING.
THIS ITEM WAS COLLECTED WITH MANY SIMILAR ITEMS THROUGH
NUMEROUS MEETINGS AT VARIOUS BARS IN DETROIT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): CRUEL MOTHER ; CRUELTY

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote
Food Drink -- Food

Date learned: 00001970S ; 03-00-1980

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THE MOTH BALL

THEY HAD BEEN TRAINING THE MOTH FOR YEARS GIVING HIM
JUST THE PROPER TYPE OF FOOD; KEEPING HIS LIVING
QUARTERS AT THE CORRECT HEAT; MAKING SURE HE GOT
JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF SLEEP. HE WAS DOING
CALESTHENTICS NOW BECAUSE HE WAS IN TRAINING FOR
THE BIG DAY--THE MOTH EATING CONTEST OF THE
NEIGHBORHOOD.
THE STORY GOES ON THAT THIS MOTH WON THE NEIGHBORHOOD
CONTEST, GOES ON TO WIN THE PARISH, DISTRICT,
CITY, STATE, COUNTRY, WESTERN HEMISPHERE, WORLD, AND
IS FINALLY ENTERED INTO THE UNIVERSE CONTEST. ALL
THIS TIME, HE IS GETTING BIGGER AND BIGGER, FROM THE
SIZE OF A BUTTERFLY TO THE SIZE OF THE EMPIRE STATE
BUILDING. ALSO, THE PLACE WHERE THE CONTEST IS
HELD GETS BIGGER AND BIGGER, I.E., THE WORLD
CONTEST BEING HELD WITH SIBERIA AS THE CONTEST
GROUNDS AND THE UNIVERSE ON THE MOON. WHAT THEY
EAT ALSO INCREASES IN SIZE FROM HANDKERCHIEFS
UNTIL NOW IT'S MINK COATS AND BLANKETS. THIS MOTH
JUST BARELY EDGES OUT EVERY OTHER MOTH BY EATING ONE
MORE ARTICLE THAN THEY DO--AND JUST BARELY ABLE TO
GET IT DOWN.
ALL THE MOTHS HAD ASSEMBLED ON THE MOON EXCEPT FOR THE
REPRESENTATIVE FROM MARS. EVERYONE WAS WAITING FOR
THIS ONE, BECAUSE HE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE THE BIGGEST
MOTH IN EXISTENCE. ALL OF A SUDDEN, EVERYTHING WAS
DARK--WE LOOKED UP AND SAW THE MARTIAN MOTH FLYING
DOWN. HE WAS SO BIG, HE HAD COVERED THE SUN AS HE FLEW
IN. SO ALL THE MOTHS WERE READY; THE MOMENT OF TRUTH
HAD ARRIVED. THE JUDGES PLACED THE MINK COATS AND
BLANKETS IN FRONT OF THE MOTHS. TEN MINK COATS, TEN
BLANKETS, TWENTY COATS, TWENTY BLANKETS, THIRTY
COATS, THIRTY BLANKETS; AFTER FORTY COATS AND FORTY
BLANKETS, THERE WERE ONLY THREE MOTHS LEFT; OURS,
THE MOTH FROM VENUS, AND THE MOTH FROM MARS. AFTER
50 COATS AND 45 BLANKETS, THE MOTH FROM VENUS
DROPPED OUT. IT WAS US AND MARS. 60 COATS-60 BLANKETS,
70 COATS-70 BLANKETS. IT LOOKED AS THOUGH THERE WOULD
BE NO END TO THIS CONTEST. BUT, LO AND BEHOLD, AFTER 78
COATS AND 77 BLANKETS, THE MOTH FROM MARS ROLLED OVER,
HIS FEET STICKING UP IN THE AIR, GAVE A GREAT ROAR AND
DIED. WE WERE IN. ALL OUR MOTH HAD TO DO WAS EAT 3
MORE COATS AND 2 MORE BLANKETS--HE HAD ALREADY CONSUMED
76 COATS AND 75 BLANKETS. (HE ALWAYS WAS A SLOW EATER.)
SO HE ATE ONE COAT, ONE BLANKET; ANOTHER COAT AND ANOTHER
BLANKET. IT WAS TIED. ALL HE HAD TO DO NOW WAS FINISH
THAT LAST COAT AND WE WOULD BE THE CHAMPIONS OF THE
ENTIRE UNIVERSE. HE WALKED OVER TO THE LAST COAT,
LOOKED AT IT, PICKED IT UP AND TRIED TO EAT. HE
COULDN'T. WE BEGGED HIM, THREATENED HIM, BRIBED HIM,
DID EVERYTHING WE COULD POSSIBLY DO TO TRY TO MAKE HIM
EAT THIS LAST COAT. HE GOT A FIERY LOOK IN HIS EYES,
WENT UP TO THE COAT AGAIN, PICKED IT (UP) SET IT DOWN
AGAIN, AND WENT TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RING AND
STARTED TO CRY. AND DO YOU KNOW THAT WAS THE FIRST
TIME A MOTH BAWL.

Submitter comment: DENNIS DID NOT RECALL HEARING THIS STORY BEFORE THAT
SUMMER AND DID NOT KNOW WHERE HE FIRST HEARD IT.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

James Callow Keyword(s): MOTHBALL

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Formula tale

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Happy is she who married the son of a dead mother.

Submitter comment: Her mother-in-law used to tell her that whenever
she could tell she was annoying her.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE ILE

Keyword(s): mother-in-law, nag

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 00001940S

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The Cat

Joe called up Jim and said "How's my cat?" Jim told him, "He's dead." Joe said "You shouldn't have come out and said 'he's dead.' You should have said 'He's up on the roof' and then I'd call back later and you could say 'he fell off the roof and he's in the hospital.' Then a few days later you should say 'he's very sick in the hospital,' and then a few days after that you should say 'he passed away.' That way the shock wouldn't be so much for me."

Jim then said "I'm sorry. I'll do it like that next time." Joe said "OK. By the way, how's my mother?" Jim said "she's up on the roof."

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original Boggs Numbers [B620, F546] have been crossed out and B667 written nest to them. The number 2 is written on top of the number 7 in the new boggs number.

Keyword(s): CAT ; DIALOGUE ; Humorous ; JOKE ; MOTHER ; Roof ; Stupid

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Stupid man or woman

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Etymology

Origin of Name:

Hungry Mother State Park gets its name from the little boy who is said to have been found wandering through the park (which was at the time only pasture) crying and saying "Hungry, Mother." Later the child's mother was found dead.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Keyword(s): CHILD ; Dead ; ETYMOLOGY ; HUNGRY ; Legend ; MOTHER ; NAME ; Origin ; Pasture

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Folk etymology

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A MOTHER'S PRAYER WILL SAVE SOULS FROM THE DEEP.

Where learned: RUSSIA ; MOSCOW

James Callow Keyword(s): DROWNING ; MOTHER ; PRAYING

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor
PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 00001905-1910

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A woman was in church praying to the Blessed Mother. Suddenly she heard a voice say, "My name is Jesus." The woman did not answer, but only prayed harder. Again the voice sounded. The woman turned around, looked, and continued praying. Again in happened. The woman was then very angry and said "Keep Quiet! Can't you see I am talking to your mother?"

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs entered by TRD

Where learned: SCHOOL ; Myself

Keyword(s): Catholic ; CATHOLICISM ; Family Relationships ; HUMOR ; MOTHER ; RELIGION ; RELIGIOUS ; Religious Humor ; Respect for Elders ; VIRGIN MARY

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Religious

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A woman was in church praying to the Blessed Mother. Suddenly she heard a voice say, "My name is Jesus." The woman did not answer, but only prayed harder. Again the voice sounded. The woman turned around, looked, and continued praying. Again in happened. The woman was then very angry and said "Keep Quiet! Can't you see I am talking to your mother?"

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs entered by TRD

Where learned: SCHOOL ; Myself

Keyword(s): Catholic ; Catholocism ; Family Relationships ; HUMOR ; MOTHER ; RELIGION ; RELIGIOUS ; Religious Humor ; Respect for Elders ; VIRGIN MARY

Subject headings:

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Belief: Children's Song

Step on a Crack-break mother's back

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P880] is crossed out. C860.740 replaces it.

The words Bad Luck are written across the top of the submission card, and subsequently crossed out.

Where learned: Myself

Keyword(s): Back ; BELIEF ; CHILDHOOD ; CHILDREN ; Crack ; GAME ; Line ; MOTHER ; RHYME ; SONG ; Spine ; SUPERSTITION ; VERSE

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

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Belief: Children's Song

DON'T STEP ON A CRACK OR YOU'LL BREAK YOUR MOTHER'S BACK.

Submitter comment:

IS AN OLD CHILDHOOD SAYING THAT THIS INFORMANT REMINDED ME OF.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated on 12-01-2010 / Motifs and Keywords added by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Back ; BELIEF ; CHILDHOOD ; CHILDREN ; Crack ; GAME ; MOTHER ; RHYME ; SONG ; Spine ; SUPERSTITION ; VERSE

James Callow Keyword(s): ADVICE: NEGATIVE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse Lyrical Verse
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief Belief
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness
SPEECH -- Game Pastime Sport S555.500

Date learned: 03-30-1968

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Belief: Children's Song

STEP ON A LINE,
BREAK YOUR FATHER'S SPINE.
STEP ON A CRACK,
BREAK YOUR MOTHER'S BACK.
STEP ON A HOLE,
BREAK YOUR MOTHER'S SUGAR BOWL.

Submitter comment:

CHILDREN SING THIS SONG WHILE WALKING TO SCHOOL.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated on 12-01-2010 / Motifs and Keywords added by TRD

Where learned: UNKNOWN

Keyword(s): Back ; BELIEF ; CHILDHOOD ; CHILDREN ; Crack ; Domestic ; GAME ; Hole ; Line ; MOTHER ; RHYME ; SONG ; Spine ; Sugar ; SUPERSTITION ; VERSE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Children
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief Belief
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 01-21-1968

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Belief: Children's Song

STEP ON A CRACK, BREAK THE DEVIL'S BACK.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated on 12-01-2010 / Motifs and Keywords added by TRD

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): AA ; Back ; BELIEF ; CHILDHOOD ; CHILDREN ; Crack ; DEVIL ; GAME ; MOTHER ; RELIGION ; RHYME ; SONG ; Spine ; SUPERSTITION ; VERSE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse Lyrical Verse
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief Belief
BELIEF -- Devil Demon

Date learned: 11-19-1969

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Belief: Children's Song

(1) DON'T STEP ON A CRACK OR YOU'LL BREAK YOUR MOTHER'S BACK.
(2) IF YOU STEP ON A LINE YOUR MOTHER DRINKS WINE.

Submitter comment:

MY BLACK NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOORS TOLD ME THESE TALES WHEN I WAS A KID.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated on 12-01-2010 / Motifs and Keywords added by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FRANKLIN VILLAGE

Keyword(s): ALCOHOL ; Back ; BELIEF ; CHILDHOOD ; CHILDREN ; Crack ; GAME ; Line ; MOTHER ; RHYME ; SONG ; Spine ; SUPERSTITION ; VERSE ; Wine

James Callow Keyword(s): NEGRO

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

Date learned: 00001960S

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Belief: Children's Song

STEP ON A CRACK, BREAK YOUR MOTHER'S BACK. STEP ON A LINE
BREAK YOUR FATHER'S SPINE.

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT USED TO SING THIS WHEN SHE PLAYED HOPSCOTCH ON
THE SIDEWALK.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated on 12-01-2010 / Motifs and Keywords added by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Back ; BELIEF ; CHILDHOOD ; CHILDREN ; Crack ; Father ; GAME ; Line ; MOTHER ; RHYME ; SONG ; Spine ; SUPERSTITION ; VERSE

James Callow Keyword(s): GAME SONG

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Children
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Singing Dancing Marching
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief Belief

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Belief: Children's Song

WHEN WALKING DOWN THE STREET SOME CHILDREN WILL CAREFULLY WATCH
WHERE THEY STEP AND SAY, "IF YOU STEP ON A CRACK YOUR MOTHER'S
GOT A BROKEN BACK, AND IF YOU STEP ON A LINE YOUR FATHER DRINKS
WINE.

Submitter comment:

I USED TO PLAY THIS GAME.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated on 12-01-2010 / Motifs and Keywords added by TRD

Keyword(s): ALCOHOL ; Back ; BELIEF ; CHILDHOOD ; CHILDREN ; Crack ; Father ; GAME ; Line ; MOTHER ; RHYME ; SONG ; Spine ; SUPERSTITION ; VERSE ; Wine

James Callow Keyword(s): COUNTING

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Verse C750.520
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Custom Festival C840.533
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief Belief

Date learned: 00001958-00001966

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