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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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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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NEVER INDULGE IN ONIONS, UNLESS YOUR LOVE EATS ONIONS TOO.
FOR YOUR SCENTED BREATH WILL BE THE DEATH
OF THE LOVE, HE BEARS, FOR YOU.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD

Keyword(s): FOOD SEX ; MONOLOGUE INDIRECTION ADVICE ; QUATRAIN? ; RHYME: IMPERFECT, ABCA ; RHYME: INTERNAL, MASCULINE

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

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AUTOGRAPH VERSE

IF YOU SEE A MONKEY UP IN A TREE,
PULL HIS TAIL AND THINK OF ME.

Submitter comment: FROM HER AUTOGRAPH BOOK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROYAL OAK

Keyword(s): COUPLET ; HUMOR ; REMEMBRANCE ; SURPRISE ENDING

James Callow Keyword(s): METER: IAMBS ; RHYME: AA ; RHYME: INTERNAL ; SELF-CRITICISM

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

Date learned: 00-00-1938

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