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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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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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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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VERSE (COLLECTOR'S TITLE)

NEEDLES AND PINS,/ NEEDLES AND PINS,/ WHEN YOU GET OLDER,/ YOUR
TROUBLE BEGINS. P.S. DON'T COME TO ME.

Where learned: AUTOGRAPH BOOK

Keyword(s): LOSS OF YOUTH ; REPETITION ; RHYME: AABA

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Cynical insight

Date learned: 00-00-1959

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TALE

WHILE HUNTING IN THE UPPER PENINSULA ONE SEASON, I CLIMBED A TREE
TO GET A BETTER VIEW OF THE TERRAIN. THE BRANCH I SAT ON BROKE
AND I FELL INTO WHAT TURNED OUT TO BE A HOLLOW TREE WITH BEAR CUBS
IN IT. KNOWING THAT THE MOTHER BEAR WOULD SOON BE BACK, I TRIED
MY BEST TO CLIMB OUT OF THE TREE, TO NO AVAIL. SO I GRABBED MY
KNIFE AND WAITED FOR HER. JUST THEN, I HEARD HER SCRATCHING HER
WAY UP THE TREE. I SAW HER AT THE TOP OF THE TREE CLIMBING INTO
THE HOLE REAR FIRST, SO I GRABBED HER TAIL AND JABBED MY KNIFE
INTO HER BEHIND. SHE SHOT UP THE TREE, PULLING ME WITH HER. AS
SOON AS WE WERE OUT, I PICKED UP MY GUN AND SHOT HER.

Where learned: NORTHERN MICHIGAN

Keyword(s): SEE ROBERTS' SOUTH FROM HELL-FOR-SATAN, TALE 71.

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Mammal
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Lie Tall tale

Date learned: 08-15-1969

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SINGING, DANCING, AND CLAPPING GAME

TAKE ME OUT TO THE CAFE. TAKE ME OUT WITH THE CROWD.
BUY ME SOME WHISKEY AND GINGERALE,
I DON'T CARE IF I WIND UP IN JAIL.
CAUSE IT IS ONE ROOT-ROOT FOR THE CAFE./
DRINK IS ALRIGHT WITH ME.
SO IT'S ONE/, TWO, THRE OUTE STRIKES YOU'RE .

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME

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

Date learned: 11-00-1974

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PAT AND MIKE STORY

PAT AND MIKE NEVER WENT TO THE COUNTRY. THEY WERE CITY SLICKERS. THEY
WENT TO THE COUNTRY ONE DAY AND MET A FARMER. THEY HAD NEVER BEEN
SWIMMING AND DECIDED TO TRY IT. THEY ASKED THE FARMER WHERE THEY
COULD GO SWIMMING. THE FARMER SAID TO WALK ABOUT A MILE DOWN THE ROAD
AND THERE WOULD BE A BIG GREEN LAKE. PAT AND MIKE WALKED ABOUT HALF A
MILE AND SAW A BIG GREEN PASTURE. THEY THOUGHT IT WAS THE LAKE. PAT
TOLD MIKE TO GO FIRST AND TELL HIM HOW IT FEELS. MIKE GOT ON THE
FENCE AND DOVE IN AND HIT HIS HEAD. PAT ASKED HOW IT FELT. MIKE SAID
"I DON'T KNOW BUT I THINK YOU BETTER DIVE A LITTLE TO THE RIGHT,
I HIT A SAND BAR."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Sterling Heights

James Callow Keyword(s): OUTLANDER

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Stupid man or woman
IRIS

Date learned: 11-15-1973

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RETORT

WHEN SOMEONE HAS CALLED YOU A DIRTY OR A NASTY NAME, YOU ARE TO
RETORT WITH "I KNOW YOU ARE BUT WHAT AM I?"

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT, MY YOUNGER SISTER, SAYS THIS IS A VERY GOOD WAY TO
KEEP BIG MOUTHS AWAY BECAUSE THIS RETORT HAS A CIRCULAR MOTION
TO IT, AND YOU COULD KEEP SAYING IT ALL DAY.

Where learned: DETROIT ; TOLD IN

James Callow Keyword(s): METONYMY: BIG MOUTH FOR OFFENSIVE TALKER ; SLANG: BIG MOUTH FOR OFFENSIVE TALKER

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 09-20-1972

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CHOOSING SIDES

BEFORE A BASEBALL GAME TWO CHILDREN TOSS A BASEBALL BAT
BETWEEN THEM AND THEN PUT FIST OVER FIST UP TO TOP TO SEE
WHO CHOOSES A TEAMMATE FIRST.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

James Callow Keyword(s): COUNTING OUT

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

Date learned: 11-09-1972

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SLEEPING BELIEF

DON'T SLEEP WITH YOUR HEAD TO THE SOUTH. THIS RESULTS IN A HEAD
ACHE.

Where learned: DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): DIRECTION--SOUTH ; HEADACHE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness
BELIEF -- Plant P754.86

Date learned: 09-08-1972

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SONG

TAKE ME BACK TO TEXAS,
I'M TOO YOUNG TO MARRY.
WHITE MAN MAKE GET TO TAKE THE MONEY,
NEGRO MAKE THE COTTIN.
TAKE ME BACK TO TEXAS,
I'M TOO YOUNG TO MARRY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): ENVELOPE PARALLELISM ; NEGRO WANTS TO RETURN SOUTH?

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

Date learned: 10-00-1974

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PROVERB

DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF.

Where learned: TV SHOW

Keyword(s): ALLITERATION

James Callow Keyword(s): ADVICE: ; DON'T WORRY ABOUT SMALL MATTERS ; PERSPIRATION

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 10-03-1967

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IN THE OLDEN TIMES, IT WAS SAID IF A GIRL KISSED A BOY, SHE
WOULD HAVE A BABY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): PREGNANCY WITHOUT SEXUAL INTERCOURSE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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IN THE OLDEN DAYS IT WAS BELIEVED BY THE YOUNG THAT THE
DOCTOR BROUGHT THE BABIES IN A LITTLE BLACK BAG.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): EUPHEMISM ; PREGNANCY WITHOUT SEXUAL INTERCOURSE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 10-12-1971

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HOURS OF SLEEP

NATURE NEEDS FIVE
CUSTOM TAKES SEVEN
LAZINESS TAKES NINE
AND WICKEDNESS ELEVEN

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): ROUTINE

Subject headings: 686 Fifths
686 Seven / Sevenths / Several
686 Ninths / Nine
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Proverb Proverb
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.11

Date learned: 00-00-1965

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PROVERBIAL APOTHEGM

NEVER LAMENT THE LOSS OF WHAT IS NOT WORTH HAVING

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

James Callow Keyword(s): ADVICE: NEGATIVE ; DON'T WORRY ABOUT TRIFLES

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Number Emptiness, nothingness, zero
PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 03-07-1970

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PROVERBIAL METAPHOR

NEVER WALK WHEN YOU CAN RIDE

Submitter comment: HEARD DURING CONVERSATION

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): "TAKE THE EASY WAY OUT." ; ADVICE: NEGATIVE ; LAZINESS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Number Emptiness, nothingness, zero
PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 00-00-1965

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PROVERBIAL PHRASE

IN EXPRESSING EXTRAORDINARY DIFFERENCE ONE SAYS THE
TWO ARE POLES APART.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TRAVERSE CITY

James Callow Keyword(s): NORTH AND SOUTH POLES

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

Date learned: 02-21-1970

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LEAVE_TAKING

IN THE SOUTH, THE PEOPLE WERE WARMER AND MORE DEMONSTRATIVE,
THAT WHEN PEOPLE WERE READY TO LEAVE FOR HOME, THEY WOULD
KISS EVERYONE IN THE HOUSE GOOD BYE.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): SOUTH KISS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 10-12-1970

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CHILDREN'S SONG

DO YOUR EARS HANG LOW? DO THEY WOBBLE TO AND FRO?
CAN YOU TIE THEM IN A KNOT? CAN YOU TIE THEM
IN A BOW? CAN YOU THROW THEM OVER YOUR
SHOULDER LIKE A CONTINENTAL SOLDIER?
DO YOUR EARS HANG LOW?

Where learned: TELEPHONE

Keyword(s): EARS ; HYPERBOLE ; STRUCTURE: QUESTIONS WITHOUT ANSWERS

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Ill humor Ridicule Mockery
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Children

Date learned: 10-13-1967

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BROWNIE SONG:
I'VE GOT SOMETHING IN MY POCKET THAT BELONGS ACROSS
MY FACE,
I KEEP IT VERY CLOSE IN HAND IN A MOST CONVENIENT PLACE.
I'M SURE YOU'LL NEVER GUESS IT IF YOU GUESS
A LONG, LONG WHILE
SO I'LL TAKE IT OUT AND PUT IT ON
IT'S A GREAT BIG BROWNIE SMILE}

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): GIRL SCOUTS

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Good humor Jest
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Social reunion

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