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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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AN IMPORTANT YOUNG MAN IN QUEBEC
HAD TO WELCOME THE DUCHESS OF TECK.
SO HE BOUGHT FOR A DOLLAR
A VERY HIGH COLLAR
TO SAVE HIMSELF WASHING HIS NECK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): LIMERICK MONEY HUMOR ; METER: IAMBIC ; PLACE NAMES ; RHYME: AABBA ; RHYME: FEMININE, IMPERFECT

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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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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THERE WAS A YOUNG FELLOW NAMED WIER,
WHO HADN'T AN ATOM OF FEAR.
HE INDULGED A DESIRE,
TO TOUCH A LIVE WIRE.
(MOST ANY LAST LINE WILL DO HERE.)

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): FUNCTION AND GENRE ; HUMOR LIMERICK ; INDIRECTION ; METER: IAMBIC ; RHYME: MASCULINE, AABBA ; STRUCTURE, PATTERN AND FORM ; SUBJECT SOUND RHYME: ; TONE AND POINT OF VIEW

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

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THERE WAS A GIRL YOU COULD TICKLE,
BY POKING HER RIBS WITH A PICKLE.
AT A CHURCH FAIR ONE DAY,
THEY MADE THE BOYS PAY,
BY CHARGING A NICKEL A TICKLE.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED THIS FROM HER UNCLE, WHO WAS A MINISTER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): FIRST PERSON NARRATIVE ; HUMOR CHILDREN MONEY ; METER: TROCHAIC ; METONYMY ; RHYME: FEMININE, INTERNAL, AABBA

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

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O ALMIGHTY DOLLAR, THY SHINING FACE
THAT SPEAKS THY MIGHTY POWER
IN MY POCKET, FIND A RESTING PLACE,
FOR I NEED THEE EVERY HOUR.
AMEN.

Where learned: SCHOOL ; DETROIT ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Keyword(s): APOSTROPHE MONOLOGUE QUATRAIN ; INDIRECTION SATIRE MONEY ; METER: IAMBIC, ANAPESTIC ; MOCK-PIOUS ; RHYME: MASCULINE, IMPERFECT, ABAB

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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LYRICAL VERSE

THREE LITTLE ANGELS ALL DRESSED IN WHITE,
TRIED TO GET TO HEAVEN ON THE TAIL OF A KITE,
THE KITE STRING BROKE AND THEY ALL FELL,
INSTEAD OF GOING TO HEAVEN THEY ALL WENT TO ...
TWO LITTLE ANGELS ... (REPEAT REST OF VERSE #1)
ONE LITTLE ANGEL . . . (REPEAT THE REST OF VERSE #1)
THREE LITTLE DEVILS ALL DRESSED IN RED,
TRIED TO GET TO HEAVEN ON THE END OF A THREAD.
WELL THE THREAD IT BROKE AND THEY ALL FELL,
INSTEAD OF GOING TO HEAVEN THEY ALL WENT TO ...
TWO LITTLE DEVILS (REPEAT REST OF VERSE #2)
ONE LITTLE DEVIL... (REPEAT REST OF VERSE #2)
HELLO OPERATOR GIVE ME NUMBER EIGHT,
IF THE DEVIL GETS CONNECTED, TELL HIM I CAN'T WAIT.
DON'T GET DISCOURAGED, DON'T GET UPSET,
INSTEAD OF GOING TO HEAVEN, THEY ALL WENT TO BED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WESTLAND

Keyword(s): HELL TELEPHONE

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

Date learned: 09-15-1969

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TELEPHONE PRANK

CALL A NUMBER FOUR OR FIVE TIMES, AND EACH TIME ASK FOR HARRY.
THEN CALL AND SAY, THIS IS HARRY, ARE THERE ANY MESSAGES?

Submitter comment: AS THE INFORMANT OFFERED THIS ONE, I COULD SEE THAT SHE TOLD IT
RELUCTANTLY, AS IF SHE HAD FEAR OF IT HAPPENING TO HER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; RIVERVIEW

James Callow Keyword(s): TELEPHONE PRANK

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 01-00-1974

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QUESTION: WHAT'S YELLOW AND WEARS A MASK?
ANSWER: A LONE LEMON.

Where learned: DETROIT ; TOLD IN

James Callow Keyword(s): THE LONE RANGER

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 10-23-1972

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FORMULA SPEECH

A PERSON CALLS SOMEONE ON THE PHONE AND ASKS VERY RAPIDLY
IS THERE A JOHN THERE? SO THE ARTICLE "A" IS HARDLY IF AT ALL
HEARD. IF THE PERSON ANSWERS NO, THE CALLER SAYS, " THERE'S
NO JOHN THERE?" THE PERSON AGAIN SAYS NO, AND THE CALLER
THEN ASKS, "WHAT DO YOU DO? CAN THE STUFF?

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

James Callow Keyword(s): TELEPHONE PRANK

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion
SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 00-00-1972

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NEW YEAR'S CUSTOM

GRANDMOTHER SAID WHEN NEW YEAR'S WOULD COME AROUND SHE HAD THE
TRADITIONAL BLACK-EYED PEAS AND COLLARD GREENS TO COMPLETE HER NEW
YEAR'S DINNER. GRANDMOTHER SAID THE TRADITIONAL DINNER REPRESENTED
GOOD FINANCIAL LUCK THROUGHOUT THE YEAR. THE BLACK-EYED PEAS
SYMBOLIZED COINS AND THE COLLARDS REPRESENTED GREENBACKS.

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT
PRACTICED THIS CUSTOM SINCE THE EARLY YEARS OF HER MARRIAGE.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA

James Callow Keyword(s): HOMEOPATHIC MAGIC MONEY ; SYMBOLS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals
BELIEF -- Color
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.42

Date learned: 00001960S (MID)

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SHELL-OUT FALTER {PUN ON FALL-OUT-SHELTER}

A MAN WHO DIDN'T PAY HIS CHECK SUFFERED FROM SHELL-OUT FALTER
USED IN POST WWII DAYS {BY} MAUREEN'S PARENTS.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): SPOONERISM

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 11-08-1972

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BURIAL CUSTOM

JUST BEFORE A PERSON'S CASKET IS CLOSED TWENTY-FIVE CENTS IS PLACED
IN HIS POCKET SO THAT HE WILL HAVE THE MONEY TO CROSS THE BRIDGE
AND ENTER HEAVEN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): MONEY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 00001930S

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PRETENDED OBSCENE RIDDLE

Q: WHAT DOES A LADY DO SITTING DOWN, A MAN STANDING UP, AND A DOG ON
THREE LEGS?
A: SHAKE HANDS

Data entry tech comment: 2 MORE EXAMPLES ARE IN THE 5 X 8 CARD FILES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): AN ACTION (A) ; PART OF THE BODY (A) HANDS ; PERSONS (Q) AND DOG.

James Callow Keyword(s): URINATE, IS ONE'S FIRST THOUGHT

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 09-00-1971

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MIZSLE - LITHUANIAN RIDDLE

Q: KAS SALDESNIS US NEDIZ? - WHAT IS SWEETER THAN HONEY?
A: MIEGAS - SLEEP.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): AN ACTION (A) ; COMMUNICATIONS AND ; EATABLE (HONEY) (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 03-20-1968

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MIZSLE - LITHUANIAN RIDDLE

Q: PRAMUSI LEDAZ, RASE SIDABIG; PRANUISE SIDABIG, RASIAUKSG.
Q: BREAK ICE, FIND SILVER; BREAK SILVER, FIND GOLD.
A: KIAUSINIS - AN EGG.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): EATABLES AND DRINKS ; MONETARY (Q) ; NATURAL PHENOMENON (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 03-08-1968

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RIDDLE

Q: IF I HAD A HEAD AND A TAIL BUT NO BODY? WHAT AM I?
A: A COIN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): MONETARY ITEMS (A) ; PARTS OF THE BODY (Q) ; PRIVATIONAL

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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RIDDLE

A: A COIN.

James Callow comment: INCOMPLETE: CARD(S) MISSING

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): MONETARY ITEMS (A) ; PARTS OF THE BODY (Q) ; PRIVATIONAL

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 03-08-1970

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT IS IT THAT GOES FAST BUT NOT FAR?
A: A DOLLAR BILL.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN BY COLLECTOR

Keyword(s): ACTIONS (Q) ; CAUSAL OPPOSITIONAL ; MONETARY ITEMS (A) ; WISDOM

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 00-00-1965

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RIDDLE

Q: IT HAS A HEAD. IT HAS A TAIL, BUT IT DOES NOT HAVE A BODY.
WHAT IS IT?
A: A PENNY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): MONETARY ITEMS (A) ; PARTS OF THE BODY (Q) ; PRIVATIONAL

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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MONEY RIDDLE

Q: HOW CAN ONE HAVE 30 CENTS WITH ONLY TWO COINS IF ONE OF THEM IS
NOT A NICKLE?
A: EASY, ONE QUARTER AND ONE NICKLE. ONE OF THEM IS NOT A NICKLE,
IT IS A QUARTER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ANTITHETICAL ; MONETARY ITEMS (A) ; MONETARY ITEMS (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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