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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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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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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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PROVERB

AS YOU SOW, SO SHALL YOU REAP.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): PLANTS

James Callow Keyword(s): FUNCTION ; HOMEOPHONE: SOW SO ; OBSERVATION

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor
PROVERB -- Proverbial Comparison

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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CHILDREN'S SONG

A SAILOR WENT TO SEA, SEA, SEA
TO SEE WHAT HE COULD SEE, SEE, SEE;
BUT ALL THAT HE COULD SEE, SEE, SEE
WAS THE BOTTOM OF THE DEEP BLUE SEA, SEA, SEA

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): FINAL ITERATION ; HOMOPHONES ; SONG ; SPONDEES

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

Date learned: 12-01-1967

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HELEN

HELEN HAD A STEAMBOAT
STEAMBOAT HAD A BELL
HELEN PULLED THE WRONG CORD
AND BLOW US ALL TO HELLO OPERATOR,
GIVE ME NUMBER NINE
IF IT DOES NOT ANSWER
GIVE ME BACK MY DIME

Submitter comment: SUNG TO A TUNE BUT I HAVE NO WAY OF EXPLAINING.
I CANNOT THINK OF A FAMOUS SONG WITH THIS TUNE.

Data entry tech comment: EUPHEMISM FOR HELL IN LINE FOUR

Where learned: FERNDALE ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Keyword(s): RHYME: ABA ; TELEPHONE

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

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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Entry filtered.

POLISH JOKE

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

WHO WAS ALEXANDER GRAHAM POLOWSKI? THE FIRST TELEPHONE POLE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

James Callow Keyword(s): ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL, INVENTOR OF THE TELEPHONE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Poli

Date learned: 02-00-1980

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THE DOVES

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW PANE
THE DOVES ARE MATING ONCE AGAIN
THEY BOW, THEY BILL, THEY FLAP, THEY FLUTTER
FROM ROOF TO RAIL, FROM GATE TO GUTTER.
THEY PECK AND PREEN AND SCRATCH AND SCATTER,
MAKING THE MOST INFERNAL CHATTER--
A COURSE OF CONDUCT OPPORTUNE,
NO DOUBT, TO SUCH A MONTH AS JUNE.
AND YET, I MUST CONFESS I FIND
SUCH BEDLAM (TO THE TEMPERATE MIND),
WHEN EMPHASISED WITHOUT ABATEMENT,
MERELY BECOMES AN OVER-STATEMENT.

Where learned: AUSTRALIA ; TOORAK ; VICTORIA

Keyword(s): ALLITERATION ; HUMOR ; MONOLOGUE ; ONOMATOPAEIA ; PHONETIC INTENSIVE: FLAP, FLUTTER ; RHYME: AABB

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Prose Narrative C820.444

Date learned: CA10001968

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RIDDLE

WHAT IS PURPLE AND LIVES IN PHONEBOOTHS?
ANSWER: SUPERGRAPE

Data entry tech comment: SUPERMAN, A CARTOON CHARACTER, CHANGED INTO HIS ; SUPERMAN

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; CAMPUS

James Callow Keyword(s): PHONEBOOTH

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 11-02-1970

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SHAGGY DOG STORY

A MAD SCIENTIST WAS TRYING TO GET RID OF A FOUL-MOUTHED
CLONE HE HAD CREATED BY SHOVING THE CLONE OUT OF A WINDOW.
THUS THE SCIENTIST WAS MAKING AN OBSCENE CLONE FALL.

Submitter comment: READ THIS SOMEWHERE IN THE DETROIT FREE PRESS NEWSPAPER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FRANKLIN VILLAGE

James Callow Keyword(s): PUN ON OBSCENE PHONE CALL

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote

Date learned: 07-00-1983

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Emergency Phone Calls

When I was a child, I always wore Penny Loafers. My mother would
put dimes in the penny slots of my shoes, just so that I would always
have twenty cents to make a phone call in case of an emergency.

Submitter comment: The dimes I was forced to wear helped me out of a difficult
situation more than once.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAGINAW

Keyword(s): Telephone call, price of

Subject headings: 686 First / Once / One / Newness
Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of quality Monetary system Money Wealth
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress HandsFeet
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.20

Date learned: 00001980CA

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YELLOW FINGERS

ONCE THERE WAS A KING WHO WANTED TO GET A MESSAGE THROUGH
TO A NEIGHBORING KINGDOM. BUT IN ORDER TO GET THROUGH,
THE MESSANGER WOULD HAVE TO PASS THE MONSTROUS YELLOW
FINGERS. FIRST A KNIGHT WAS SENT, BUT THE YELLOW FINGERS
PINCHED HIM TO DEATH. THEN A SQUIRE TRIED, BUT MET WITH
THE SAME FATE. FINALLY, A PAGE WAS SENT AND MADE IT
THROUGH.
THE MORAL OF THE STORY IS: LET YOUR PAGES DO THE WALKING
THROUGH THE YELLOW FINGERS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): PUN ON COMMERCIAL FOR THE BELL TELEPHONE CO., WHICH SAYS,

Subject headings: 6677 Formula Tale

Date learned: 10-15-1969

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YELLOW FINGER

ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WAS A CASTLE THAT WAS GUARDED BY
A HUGE YELLOW FINGER, WHO WOULDN'T LET ANYONE PASS
THE KING FROM A RIVALING CASTLE SENT ONE OF HIS BRAVEST
KNIGHTS TO GET BY THE FINGER, BUT THE FINGER KILLED HIM.
SO THE KING SENT A DUKE, BUT HE, TOO, WAS KILLED. THEN
THE KING SENT ONE OF HIS PAGES. HE JUST WALKED RIGHT
THROUGH.
MORAL: LET YOUR PAGES DO THE WALKING THROUGH THE YELLOW
FINGER.

Submitter comment: IT SEEMS TO ME THERE WAS SLIGHTLY MORE BUILD-UP ON THIS
STORY, BUT I CAN'T REMEMBER IT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): PUN ON TELEVISION ADVERTISEMENT: LET YOUR FINGERS DO THE WALKING THROUGH THE YELLOW PAGES. COMMERCIAL FOR THE BELL TELEPHONE CO., REGARDING SAVING TIME AND ENERGY BY PRE-SHOPPING THROUGH MAKING CAL

Subject headings: 6677 Formula Tale

Date learned: 11-18-1968

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YELLOW FINGERS

ONCE THERE WAS A KING WHO WANTED TO GET A MESSAGE THROUGH
TO A NEIGHBORING KINGDOM. BUT IN ORDER TO GET THROUGH,
THE MESSANGER WOULD HAVE TO PASS THE MONSTROUS YELLOW
FINGERS. FIRST A KNIGHT WAS SENT, BUT THE YELLOW FINGERS
PINCHED HIM TO DEATH. THEN A SQUIRE TRIED, BUT MET WITH
THE SAME FATE. FINALLY, A PAGE WAS SENT AND MADE IT
THROUGH.
THE MORAL OF THE STORY IS: LET YOUR PAGES DO THE WALKING
THROUGH THE YELLOW FINGERS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): PUN ON COMMERCIAL FOR THE BELL TELEPHONE CO., WHICH SAYS, "LET YOUR FINGERS DO THE WALKING, THROUGH THE YELLOW PAGES." TIMESAVING AND ENERGY SAVING METHOD OF SHOPPING--LOOK UP IN THE YELLOW PAGES O

Subject headings: 6677 Formula Tale

Date learned: 10-15-1969

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TELEPHONE ANSWER

HELLO, THIS IS __________'S CRACKER COMPANY. WHICH CRUMB
WOULD YOU LIKE TO SPEAK TO?
THE BLANK IS FILLED IN WITH THE FAMILY NAME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): TELEPHONE

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 03-16-1971

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TELEPHONE ANSWER

PICH UP PHONE "HOUSE OF THE LORD, GOD SPEAKING".

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Keyword(s): TELEPHONE

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 03-09-1971

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TELEPHONE ANSWER

PICK UP PHONE, SAY, "CITY MORGUE; YOU STAB EM, WE SLAB EM".

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Keyword(s): TELEPHONE

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 03-09-1971

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TELEPHONE ANSWER

WHEN THE PHONE RINGS AND YOU ANSWER IT, YOU REPLY,
"IT'S YOUR DIME, START TALKING".

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): TELEPHONE

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 10-30-1971

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NUMBER PLEASE

DID YOU KNOW EVE HAD A TELEPHONE?
NO, WHAT WAS THE NUMBER?
ADAM ATE ONE TOO (ADAM 812).
NO RECORD.

Where learned: KENTUCKY ; LOUISVILLE

Keyword(s): TELEPHONE NUMBER

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 09-22-1967

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Prank

In LeRoy, N.Y. a common prank would be to call a person on the telephone and tell him you were from teh water department. You would ask him to fill up his bathtub, since the water was to be off for the next day. The pranksters had no connections with the water department, and people would be without use of bathtubs for the night.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: Myself

Keyword(s): Bathtub ; Diversion ; Entertainment ; PRANKS ; TELEPHONE PRANK ; Water Department

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

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