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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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FISHY, FISHY, IN THE BROOK,
DADDY CAUGHT YOU ON THE HOOK.
MOMMY FRY YOU IN A PAN,
BABY EAT YOU LIKE A MAN.

Submitter comment: SAID TO HIS CHILDREN ON FRIDAYS.

Data entry tech comment: CATHOLIC CUSTOM TO EAT FISH ON FRIDAYS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): METER: IAMBIC ; QUATRAIN SIMILE ; REFRAIN, BABY TALK ; RHYME: AABB ; RHYME: MASCULINE

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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LIFE IS LIKE A MOUNTAIN RAILROAD,
WITH AN ENGINEER THAT'S BRAVE.
WE MUST MAKE THE RUN SUCCESSFUL,
FROM THE CRADLE TO THE GRAVE.

Submitter comment: RECITED

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): FIRST PERSON NARRATIVE ; METER: TROCHAIC-IAMBIC ; RHYME: FEMININE, IMPERFECT, ABCA ; SIMILE ADVICE PREPARATION FOR DEATH

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

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THE MAIDEN

THERE ONCE WAS A MAIDEN SO FAIR,
HER BRIGHT BLUE EYES AND GOLDEN HAIR;
BUT HER LIFE WAS RUINED BY A TWIST OF FATE,
THE STORY'S AWFUL, I'M SAD TO RELATE.
YES, THE TALE IS TRUE, FOR I WOULD NOT LIE,
I HEARD IT ONE NIGHT WHILE I WAS STILL HIGH;
I HAVE WRITTEN IT JUST AS SHE TOLD IT TO ME,
AND THE PAIN HAS MADE ME SICK AS CAN BE.
"I LEFT HIM FLAT; FOR HE TREATED ME CRUEL;
FOR NOW I SEE THAT I WAS A FOOL,
HE'S UGLY AND DIRTY AND SMELLS LIKE A HORSE,
AND THAT'S WHY I DECIDED TO GET A DIVORCE."
"I WAS JUST TWENTY WHEN THE MESS DID START,
HE SAID HE WOULD LOVE ME TILL DEATH DO US PART;
LITTLE DID I KNOW THAT THE DAY WOULD SOON COME,
WHEN I WOULD GET WISE TO THAT NO-GOOD BUM.
"NOW I AM HAPPY AND FINALLY FREE,
TO THINK, DO, AND SAY WHAT I PLEASE;
SO FOR A LITTLE ADVICE BEFORE YOU MARRY,
BE SURE YOUR HUSBAND IS NOT BIG AND HAIRY."
"SO WHEN THE MAN OF YOUR DREAMS TURNS TO A FINK,
GET A DIVORCE OR MAKE A BIG STINK;
BUT IF YOU SEE HE'S NO GOOD FROM THE START,
DROP HIM FAST OR HE'LL BREAK YOUR HEART."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): LAMENT ADVICE ; METER: IAMBIC TRIMETER ; RHYME: MASCULINE, AABB ; SIMILE INDIRECTION HUMOR MARRIAGE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse C730.325

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TRUE FRIENDS ARE LIKE DIAMONDS,
PRECIOUS AND RARE.
FALSE ONES ARE LIKE AUTUMN LEAVES,
FOUND EVERYWHERE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

James Callow Keyword(s): SIMILES RHYME: ABCB

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

Date learned: 10-25-1972

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AUTOGRAPH BOOK VERSE (COLLECTOR'S TITLE)

YOUR LIFE LIES BEFORE YOU,/ LIKE A BANK OF SNOW,/ BE CAREFUL HOW YOU
TREAD IT,/ FOR EVERY STEP WILL SHOW.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): RHYME: ABCB ; SIMILE FROM NATURE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Exhortatory or homiletic, "to be a good girl"

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FOLK VERSE (COLLECTOR'S TITLE)

MAY YOUR JOYS BE AS DEEP AS THE OCEAN
AND YOUR SORROWS AS LIGHT AS ITS FOAM.

Submitter comment: MINNIE LORENZ WROTE THIS IN INFORMANT'S AUTOGRAPH BOOK.

Where learned: NORTH DAKOTA

Keyword(s): RHYME: AA ; SIMILE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Good wishes (sincere)

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AUTOGRAPH BOOK VERSE

ORANGES GROW IN CALIFORNIA.
THEY GROW IN FLORIDA TOO.
BUT IT TAKES A STATE LIKE MICHIGAN,
TO GROW A PEACH LIKE YOU.

Data entry tech comment: LINE DIVISION CHANGED BY KEYPUNCHER

Where learned: DETROIT ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Keyword(s): FRIENDSHIP ; FRUIT ; PRAISE ; SIMILE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Humorous allusion to love

Date learned: 00-00-1960

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TRUE FRIENDS ARE LIKE DIAMONDS,
PRECIOUS AND RARE.
FALSE ONES ARE LIKE AUTUMN LEAVES,
FOUND EVERYWHERE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

James Callow Keyword(s): RHYME: ABCB ; SIMILES

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

Date learned: 10-25-1972

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POLISH PROVERB

PLECIE JAK NA MEKACH.
HE BLABBERS AS IN TORTURE.

Submitter comment: THIS IS USED IN REFERENCE TO WHO IS FIBBING OR MAKING UP STORIES TO
SATISFY THE SITUATION, AS ONE WOULD WHILE IN TORTURE. THE COLLECTOR
LEARNED THIS FROM HER GRANDMOTHER IN POLAND.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Keyword(s): SIMILE TALKING LYING

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Comparison

Date learned: 11-21-1967

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POLISH PROVERB

PTACZE JAK BOBR.
HE CRIES LIKE A BEAVER.

Submitter comment: MY GRANDFATHER KNOWS THIS FROM POLAND.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Keyword(s): SIMILE ANIMAL EMOTION

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase
PROVERB -- Proverbial Comparison

Date learned: 11-17-1967

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CONTEST

HE HAS AS MUCH CHANCE AS A ONE LEGGED MAN IN AN ASS-KICKIN.

Submitter comment: USUALLY SAID WHEN YOU KNOW OF SOMEONE ENTERING SOME TYPE OF
COMPETITIVE EVENT, AND HE DOESN'T HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): FUTILITY ; SIMILE COMPARISON

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Comparison

Date learned: 00-00-1969

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SPEED

HE'S NOT AS FAST AS THE BOTTOM STONE IN THE MILL.

Submitter comment: NOT TOO FAST
TRANSLATED FROM LITHUANIAN.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; HONORS HOUSE ; TOLD AT

Keyword(s): COMPARISON SIMILE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Comparison

Date learned: 02-17-1971

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EXPRESSIONS OF UGLINESS

HE IS AS UGLY AS: "AN OLD FENCE POST." "A MUD POST." "A HOMEMADE
FENCE." "HOMEMADE SIN."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): SIMILE COMPARISON CONTRAST UGLINESS

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Comparison

Date learned: 09-00-1969

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COLLECTING MONEY

CIAGNIE SIE, JAK BERNARDYN PO KIVESCIE.
HE'S DRAGGING HIMSELF LIKE A BERNADINE MONK AT COLLECTION TIME.

Submitter comment: THIS REFERS TO THE CUSTOM OF MONKS COLLECTING MONEY AT MASS.

Where learned: DEARBORN

Keyword(s): RELIGIOUS SIMILE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Blason Populaire
PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase
PROVERB -- Proverbial Comparison

Date learned: 11-28-1967

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LITHUANIAN MORAL PROVERB

HE'S LOOKING LIKE A BIRD THROUGH A FENCE.

Submitter comment: TRANSLATED FROM LITHUANIAN.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; HONORS HOUSE ; TOLD AT

Keyword(s): ANIMAL SIMILE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Comparison

Date learned: 02-17-1971

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POLISH PROVERB

HE RUNS AROUND LIKE A CAT WITH A BLADDER.
LATA JAK KAT PECHERZEM.

Submitter comment: THIS EXPRESSION REFERS TO THE PRANK BY WHICH A CAT WAS HARRASED

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Keyword(s): AMINAL SIMILE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase
PROVERB -- Proverbial Comparison

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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BUSY 2-LEGGED CAT

HE WAS AS BUSY AS A TWO-LEGGED CAT IN A THREE-LEGGED RACE.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT IS FROM THE SOUTH SOMEWHER.

Where learned: TOLD AT BOTH INFORMANTS AND INFOFMEES PLACE OF WORK -SEARS

Keyword(s): ANIMAL SIMILE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Comparison

Date learned: 03-14-1970

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AUTOGRAPH BOOK VERSE (COLLECTOR'S TITLE) ; EXHORTATORY OR HOMILETIC (CLASSIFIER'S TITLE)

YOUR LIFE LIES BEFORE YOU,/ LIKE A BANK OF SNOW,/ BE CAREFUL HOW YOU
TREAD IT,/ FOR EVERY STEP WILL SHOW.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): RHYME: ABCB ; SIMILE FROM NATURE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Exhortatory or homiletic, "to be a good girl"

Date learned: 00-00-1940 ; 12-05-1967

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FOLK VERSE (COLLECTOR'S TITLE) ; GOOD WISHES (CLASSIFIER'S TITLE)

MAY YOUR JOYS BE AS DEEP AS THE OCEAN
AND YOUR SORROWS AS LIGHT AS ITS FOAM.

Submitter comment: MINNIE LORENZ WROTE THIS IN INFORMANT'S AUTOGRAPH BOOK.

Where learned: NORTH DAKOTA

Keyword(s): RHYME: AA ; SIMILE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Good wishes (sincere)

Date learned: 00-00-1929

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BIRDS IN THE WILDERNESS

HERE WE STAND LIKE BIRDS IN THE
WILDERNESS, BIRDS IN THE WILDERNESS,
BIRDS IN THE WILDERNESS, HERE WE STAND
LIKE BIRDS IN THE WILDERNESS, WAITING
TO BE FED, WAITING TO BE FED, WAITING
TO BE FED, HERE WE STAND LIKE BIRDS
IN THE WILDERNESS, WAITING TO BE FED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): ITERATION ; SIMILE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Daily Life
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Bodily Activity

Date learned: 01-00-1979

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