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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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A CANNER, EXCEEDINGLY CANNY,
ONE MORNING REMARKED TO HIS GRANNY:
A CANNER CAN CAN, ANYTHING THAT HE CAN CAN;
BUT A CANNER CAN'T CAN A CAN CAN HE?

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WYANDOTTE

Keyword(s): METER: TROCHAIC ; PUN, WORD PLAY HUMOR ; RHYME: AABA ; RHYME: FEMININE, IMPERFECT

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

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BILL HAD A BILLBOARD
HE ALSO HAD A BOARD BILL
BILL SOLD HIS BILLBOARD TO PAY FOR HIS BOARD BILL
THEREFORE, BILL'S BILLBOARD NO LONGER BORED BILL.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT STATES THE RHYME HAS BEEN IN THE FAMILY FOR A LONG
TIME AND WAS RELATED TO HIM BY HIS FATHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ADVERTISING NONSENSE ; HUMOR PUN INCREMENTAL REPETITION ; RHYME: ABBB ; TONGUETWISTER ; WORD PLAY, ITERATION (FINAL) ALLITERATION

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

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IT'S NOT THE COUGH
THAT CARRIES YOU OFF.
IT'S THE COFFIN
THEY CARRY YOU OFF IN.

Submitter comment: HEARD AND SAID WHEN YOUNG, 1915-1920.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; PITTSBURGH

Keyword(s): DEATH ; HUMOR TANGLETALK PUN ; IAMBIC-DACTYLIC, FEMININE RHYME, WORD PLAY, REPETITION ; OBSERVATION, TONGUETWISTER ; QUATRAIN SURPRISE ENDING CONTRAST ; RHYME: AABB

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

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MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMP
SHE FILLED IT WITH BENZINE.
SHE WENT TO LIGHT HER LITTLE LAMP,
AND HASN'T SINCE BENZINE (BEEN SEEN).

Where learned: RESIDENCE

Keyword(s): IAMBIC METER WORD PLAY ; PARODY NURSERY RHYME ; PUN ACCIDENTS GORE ; SURPRISE ENDING, NUTSHELL NARRATIVE QUATRAIN

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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AUTOGRAPH BOOK MATERIAL

THERE ARE WARSHIPS,, THERE ARE SCHOLARSHIPS BUT THE BEST SHIP
IS OUR "FRIENDSHIP"

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

James Callow Keyword(s): FINAL ITERATION INITIAL ITERATION WORD PLAY

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

Date learned: 00-00-1965

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2 SWEET
2 DRINK
4 ROSES

Data entry tech comment:

Updated 11.10.13 by TRD

James Callow comment:

WRITTEN AS AN ADDITION PROBLEM.

4 Roses is a wine/whiskey

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Wordplay, Mathematics, Addition, Slang

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Translations, plays on words, symbol writing

Date learned: 10-05-1971

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2 YOUNG
2 DRINK
4 ROSES

Data entry tech comment:

Updated on 11.10.13 by TRD

James Callow comment:

WRITTEN AS AN ADDITION PROBLEM

4 Roses is a wine/whiskey

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Wordplay, Pun, Addition, Mathematics

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Translations, plays on words, symbol writing

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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ACE OF SPADES

IF YOU WALK THRU AN OPEN FIELD WITH A DECK OF CARDS WITH THE ACE
OF SPADES ON THE TOP, FACE UP, YOU CAN HEAR THE DEVIL FOLLOW YOU

Where learned: DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): PLAYING CARDS

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Devil Demon

Date learned: 11-19-1972

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AUTOGRAPH BOOK MATERIAL

THERE ARE WARSHIPS,, THERE ARE SCHOLARSHIPS BUT THE BEST SHIP
IS OUR "FRIENDSHIP"

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

James Callow Keyword(s): FINAL ITERATION INITIAL ITERATION ; WORD PLAY

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

Date learned: 00-00-1965

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PROVERB

A MAN WHO KNOWS AND KNOW THAT HE KNOWS, FOLLOW HIM.

James Callow Keyword(s): ITERATION WORD PLAY

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

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PROVERB

A MAN WHO KNOWS AND KNOW NOT THAT HE KNOWS IS A FOOL, SHUN HIM.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA

James Callow Keyword(s): ITERATION WORD PLAY

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 10-25-1972

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FRIENDSHIP PROVERB

THERE E BIG SHIPS AND THERE ARE LITTLE SHIPS, BUT THE BEST SHIPS AR
ARE FRIENDSHIPS.

Where learned: CANADA ; ONTARIO ; DORM ; WINDSOR

James Callow Keyword(s): WORD PLAY

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

Date learned: 09-22-1972

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STOP MAKING LOVE AT (NAME'S) GATE,
LOVE IS BLIND, BUT NEIGHBORS AIN'T.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): AA ; HUMOROUS PLAY ON PROVERB ; RHYME

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse
PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 10-10-1972

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GOOD LUCK FROM A DEAD SPIRIT WHEN YOU PLAY A NUMBER

IF YOU PUT A GLASS OF WATER UNDER YOUR BED IT WILL MAKE YOUR DEAD
GRANDMOTHER COME BACK TO YOU. HER SPIRIT WILL COME TO YOU AND
BRING YOU GOOD LUCK. IT HAS BEEN KNOWN TO HAPPEN BECAUSE A LADY
GOT RICH THAT WAY. YOU PICK OUT THE NUMBER WHICH YOU WANT TO
COME OUT. AND PUT IT INTO THE GLASS OF WATER. THE SPIRIT OF A
DEAD RELATIVE WILL COME TO GET A TASTE OF THE WATER AND THANK YOU
BY MAKING THE NUMBER COME OUT. THIS WAS PASSED ON TO ME BY MY
GRANDMOTHER. SHE CAME FROM THE SOUTH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): GAINING WEALTH ; GAMBLING: PLAYING THE NUMBERS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Number

Date learned: 10-00-1974

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT IS BLACK AND WHITE AND RED ALL OVER?
A: NEWSPAPER.

Data entry tech comment: 7 OTHER EXAMPLES IN THE 5 X 8 CARD FILES.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA

Keyword(s): CONUNDRUM (PLAY ON WORDS) ; NATURAL PHENOMENON (Q) COLOR

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 09-12-1965

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT IS GREEN AND WHITE AND COLD ALL OVER?
A: GRASS WITH SNOW ON IT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): LITERAL ; NATURAL PHENOMENA (A) ; STATES OF BEING (Q) COLOR

James Callow Keyword(s): WORD-PLAY: PUN ON "GOLD"

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 11-28-1967

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PROVERBIAL PHRASE

ACE IN THE HOLE

Data entry tech comment: GAMBLING TERM APPLIED TO A HIDDEN ADVANTAGE.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Keyword(s): NUMBERS

James Callow Keyword(s): CARD PLAYING: POKER

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

Date learned: 11-00-1968

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WELLERISM

'"ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL,"' SAID THE PEACOCK WHEN HE LOOKED AT
HIS TAIL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BIRD ; COLOR

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMAL ; PARODY ; PUN: PLAY ON "END" "TAIL"

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Wellerism Quotation

Date learned: 10-24-1968

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PROVERB

DEFICIENT:
WHAT YOU'VE GOT WHEN YOU HAVEN'T GOT AS MUCH AS YOU HAD
WHEN YOU HAD NOTHING.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): DEFINITION

James Callow Keyword(s): VERBAL PLAY?

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

Date learned: 00-00-1965

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CARD BELIEF

CUT THIN AND WIN. CUT DEEP AND WEEP.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE WOODS

James Callow Keyword(s): CARD-PLAYING ; ELLIPSIS ; RHYME PARALLELISM

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Entertainment Diversion
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance
SPEECH -- Game Pastime Sport S555.500
PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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