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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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ONE WHITE FOOT, BUY IT.
TWO WHITE FEET, TRY IT.
THREE WHITE FEET, SEE HOW IT GOES,
FOUR WHITE FEET, AND WHITE NOSE,
CUT OFF ITS FEET AND THROW IT TO THE CROWS.

Submitter comment: THIS APPLIES TO BUYING A HORSE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD HILLS

Keyword(s): ADVICE ; ANIMAL NUMBERS ; HUMOR EUPHEMISM SYMBOL OVERSTATEMENT ; INCREMENTAL REPETITION, SURPRISE ENDING CONTRAST QUINTET ; INTERACTION INITIAL INCREMENTAL REPETITION ; METER: DACTYL RHYME: FEMININE TRIPLE ; RHYME AABBB

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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AN EPICURE, DINING AT CREWE,
FOUND QUITE A LARGE MOUSE IN HIS STEW.
SAID THE WAITER, "DON'T SHOUT,
OR WAVE IT ABOUT,
OR THE REST WILL BE WANTING ONE TOO."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

Keyword(s): METER: IAMBIC ; PLACE NAMES, EATING ; RHYME: AABBA ; RHYME: MASCULINE ; SURPRISE ENDING LIMERICK HUMOR

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

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"OH, CAPTAIN! OH, CAPTAIN! LET'S MAKE FOR SHORE,
FOR THE WINDS THEY DO RAGE, AND THE WAVES THEY DO ROAR!"
"NAY, NAY," SAID THE CAPTAIN, "THOUGH THE FIERCE WINDS MAY
BLOW,
I WILL STICK TO MY VESSEL, WITH A YO-HEAVE-A YOH.
FAREWELL TO THE MAIDEN, THE GIRL I ADORE,
FAREWELL TO MY FRIENDS, I SHALL SEE THEM NO MORE."
THE CREW SHRIEKED WITH TERROR, THE CAPTAIN HE SWORE:
THEY HAD STRUCK ON A SANDBANK, SO THE MEN WALKED ASHORE.

Where learned: AUSTRALIA ; TOORAK ; VICTORIA

Keyword(s): ACCIDENTS SHIPS ; METER: ANAPESTIC ; RHYME: MASCULINE, IMPERFECT, AAAA ; SURPRISE ENDING DIALOGUE ; THIRD PERSON NARRATIVE

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

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A GOWN WITH A PARIS LABEL,
IS A THING TO SHOUT ABOUT,
IN FACT, IF I WERE ABLE,
I'D WEAR IT INSIDE OUT.

Submitter comment: JEFF HEARD THIS FROM HIS MOTHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FERNDALE

Keyword(s): CLOTHES FASHION ; HUMOR OVERSTATEMENT OBSERVATION WISH ; IAMBIC METER ; RHYME: FEMININE, IMPERFECT, ABAB ; SURPRISE ENDING QUATRAIN CONTRADICTION

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

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IF ALL THE SEAS WERE ONE SEA,
WHAT A GREAT SEA THAT WOULD BE!
AND IF ALL THE TREES WERE ONE TREE,
WHAT A GREAT TREE THAT WOULD BE!
AND IF ALL THE AXES WERE ONE AX,
WHAT A GREAT AX THAT WOULD BE!
AND IF ALL THE MEN WERE ONE MAN,
WHAT A GREAT MAN HE WOULD BE!
AND IF THE GREAT MAN TOOK THE GREAT AX,
AND CUT DOWN THE GREAT TREE,
AND LET IT FALL INTO THE GREAT SEA,
WHAT A SPLISH SPLASH THAT WOULD BE!

Submitter comment: I WAS TOLD THIS POEM BY A FIRST GRADER ON THE PLAYGROUND.

Where learned: OHIO ; TOLEDO

Keyword(s): CHAIN GREATNESS ; SURPRISE ENDING

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

Date learned: 00-00-1960

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TAUNT

I SEE LONDON,
I SEE FRANCE,
I SEE (NAME OF PERSON)'S UNDERPANTS.

Where learned: OLD NEIGHBORHOOD

Keyword(s): HUMOR TAUNT REPETITION ; PLACE NAMES IMPROPRIETY ; RHYME: MASCULINE, ABB ; SURPRISE ENDING

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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SEE MY FINGER, SEE MY THUMB,
SEE MY FIST, YOU BETTER RUN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BULLY ; DIALECT ; ELLIPSIS, SURPRISE ENDING ; METER: ANAPESTIC ; MONOLOGUE UNDERSTATEMENT FIGHTING ; RHYME: MASCULINE ; THREAT

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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SCARE

SEE MY FINGER, SEE MY THUMB,
SEE MY FIST, YOU BETTER RUN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE WOODS

Keyword(s): BULLY ; ELLIPSIS, SURPRISE ENDING ; METER: ANAPESTIC ; MONOLOGUE UNDERSTATEMENT DIALECT FIGHTING ; RHYME: MASCULINE ; THREAT

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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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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OLD KING COLE WAS A MERRY OLD SOUL,
A MERRY OLD SOUL WAS HE;
HE CALLED FOR HIS PIPE, AND HIS OPIUM BOWL,
AS WELL AS SOME L.S.D.

Where learned: COLORADO ; FORT LYON

Keyword(s): DRUGS ; PARODY, NURSERY RHYME QUATRAIN ; RHYME: ABAB CHIASMUS ; SURPRISE ENDING

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

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LYRICAL VERSE, CHILDREN'S RHYME

STAR LIGHT, STAR BRIGHT,
FIRST STAR I SEE TONIGHT,
I WISH I MAY, I WISH I MIGHT,
"OH MY GOSH, IT'S A SATELLITE!"

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): PARODY ; SURPRISE ENDING

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

Date learned: 03-23-1968

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AUTOGRAPH INSCRIPTION

BEWARE OF BOYS WITH EYES OF GREY,
THEY KISS YOU ONCE AND TURN AWAY.

BEWARE OF BOYS WITH EYES OF BROWN,
THEY KISS YOU ONCE AND TURN YOU DOWN.

BUT LOVE THE BOYS WITH EYES OF BLUE,
THEY KISS YOU ONCE AND ASK FOR TWO.

Submitter comment:

UNDATED ENTRY IN KATHY CRACCHIOLO'S AUTOGRAPH BOOK KEPT IN
ST. CLAIR SHORES, MICHIGAN IN 1968.

James Callow comment:

; OBSERVATION ;

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Keyword(s): HUMOR ; KISSING ; OBSERVATION ; RHYME AA BB ; SURPRISE ENDING

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

Date learned: 02-27-1971

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AUTOGRAPH VERSE

HIGH UPON A MOUNTAIN
CARVED IN ROCK,
ARE THESE FOUR WORDS --
FOR GET ME NOT)

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE

Keyword(s): EPITAPTH ; FRIENDSHIP ; SURPRISE ENDING

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Forget me not

Date learned: 03-01-1972

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AUTOGRAPH

IF YOUR HUSBAND IS THIRSTY
AND HE WANTS A DRINK,
TAKE HIM TO THE KITCHEN
AND SHOW HIM TO THE SINK)

Where learned: LOCATION NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

Keyword(s): COMMAND ; DRINK ; HUMOR ; MARRAIGE ; RHYME ABCB ; SURPRISE ENDING

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

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AUTOGRAPH

WHEN YOU GET MARRIED AND MOVE DOWN SOUTH
REMEMBER ME AND MY BIG MOUTH.

Where learned: LOCATION NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

Keyword(s): COUPLET ; FRIENDSHIP ; MARRAIGE ; RHYME AA ; SURPRISE ENDING

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

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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AUTOGRAPH

ROSES ARE RED
VIOLETS ARE BLUE
ORCHIDS ARE $6.50
WILL DANDELIONS DO?

Data entry tech comment: QUESTION MARK ADDED BY KEYPUNCHER

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): FRIENDSHIP ; HUMOR ; NONSENSE ; PARODY ; SURPRISE ENDING

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Roses are red and other such associations

Date learned: 00-00-1963

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AUTOGRAPH VERSE

WHEN YOU ARE OLD
AND OUT OF SHAPE
REMEMBER GIRDLES
ARE $2.98

Submitter comment: ENTERED INTO DIANE BRUKWINSKI'S AUTOGRAPH BOOK KEPT IN
DETROIT MICHIGAN IN 1969.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ADVICE ; HUMOR ; NONSENSE ; RHYME ABCB ; SURPRISE ENDING

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Wisecracks, gags, silly stories, insults

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GRANDMA'S DAYS, WAYBACK

SHE USED TO SEND THE SON TO THE BUTCHER SHOP AND TELL HIM TO BE
SURE AND GET A DOG BONE. THIS WAS USUALLY FOR FREE AND BEFORE THE
DAYS WHEN SAUSAGE WAS $2.00 A POUND. SO GRANDMA USED THE DOG BONE
TO FEED THE FAMILY FIRST WITH A GOOD SOUP OR STEW AND THE DOG
STILL HAD ENOUGH TO EAT AFTER TWO MEALS.

Where learned: DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): RISE IN PRICES

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Food

Date learned: 10-07-1972

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VERSE FROM MURDER

LIZZY BORDON TOOK AN AX/
AND GAVE HER MOTHER FORTY WHACKS/
WHEN SHE SAW WHAT SHE HAD DONE/
SHE GAVE HER FATHER FORTY-ONE.

Submitter comment: THE FOLLOWING VERSE CAME ABOUT AFTER A FAMOUS MURDER TOOK PLACE.
I AM NOT SURE OF THE SPELLING OF THE NAME.

Data entry tech comment: SPELLING CORRECTED BY KETPUNCHER

Where learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

Keyword(s): ANTICLIMAX ; NARRATIVE VERSE JUMP ROPE RHYME ; NONSEQUITUR ; RHYME: AABB ; SURPRISE ENDING

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

Date learned: 11-22-1968

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