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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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CHARLIE OVER THE WATER,
CHARLIE OVER THE SEA,
CHARLIE CAUGHT A BLACKBIRD,
BUT HE CANNOT CATCH ME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): TAG GAME.

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Verse C750.524

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IF SOMEONE LEAVES A DIAPER BEHIND AT YOUR HOUSE,
YOU SOON WILL BECOME PREGNANT.

Where learned: OHIO ; NORTH OLMSTED

James Callow Keyword(s): CONTAGIOUS MAGIC

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 03-08-1970

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BURN OLD HAIR

ALWAYS BURN YOUR HAIR THAT IS LEFT IN THE COMB OR BRUSH BECAUSE IF
A BIRD MAKES HIS NEST WITH YOUR HAIR, YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE A HEADACHE

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

James Callow Keyword(s): CONTAGIOUS MAGIC

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hair, on head, mustache, widow's peak
BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: CA11001973

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IF A PERSON GETS A PIECE OF A PERSON'S HAIR & COOKS IT IN THEIR
FOOD; THEY'LL BE UNDER YOUR POWER.

Submitter comment: THIS FRIEND OF MINE SAID, THIS IS WHY HER HUSBAND IS SO IN LOVE WITH
HER.

Where learned: DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): CONTAGIOUS MAGIC

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
Favorites
BELIEF -- Body part Senses

Date learned: 12-00-1972

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WHEN A PERSON HAS TRENCH MOUTH CALL THE PREACHER. HE BLOWS INTO
THE PERSON'S MOUTH AND THE TRENCH MOUTH IS CURED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN

James Callow Keyword(s): CONTAGIOUS MAGIC ; VINCENT'S ANGINA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curer

Date learned: 10-05-1972

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NEW YEAR'S CUSTOM/LUCK

THE FIRST PERSON TO ENTER THE HOUSE ON NEW YEAR'S DAY MUST BE
HAPPY, HEALTHY AND PROSPEROUS, SO THAT THE FAMILY'S GOOD LUCK WILL BE
INSURED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FARMINGTON

James Callow Keyword(s): CONTAGIOUS MAGIC FIRST FOOTING

Subject headings: 686 686.1
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.2

Date learned: 09-24-1972

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BURN YOUR HAIR OR BIRDS WILL BUILD NEST WITH IT CAUSING YOUR HEAD TO
ACHE. THIS IS PRACTICED BY MANY SOUTHERNERS.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT MEANS THIS TO BE HAIRS THAT YOU LOST THROUGH COMBING OR
BRUSHING.

Where learned: DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): CONTAGIOUS MAGIC ; HEADACHE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 09-08-1972

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DURING THE TIME YOU ARE PREGRANT, YOU ARE NOT TO LOOK
AT A DEFORMED PERSON OR IF YOU ARE FRIGHTENED BY AN AMIMAL YOUR
CHILD WILL LOOK LIKE IT.

James Callow comment: COLLECTOR'S SPELLING HAS BEEN CORRECTED

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): CONTAGION ; PREGNANT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Physically handicapped Deformed
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 10-00-1974

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DON'T BURN YOUR HAIR WHEN IT COMES OUT IN THE COMB, YOU ARE
SUPPOSED TO THROW IT OUTSIDE FOR THE BIRDS TO MAKE THEIR NESTS
OUT OF.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROYAL OAK

James Callow Keyword(s): OPPOSITE OF A CONTAGIOUS MAGIC BELIEF ALSO IN ARCHIVE

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Bird

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT WALKS IN THE MORNING ON 4 LEGS, IN THE DAY ON 2, AND IN THE
EVENING ON 3?
A: A MAN.

Submitter comment: TRANSLATED FROM LITHUANIAN

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ACTIONS (Q) ; NUMBERS ; PARTS OF THE BODY (Q)

James Callow Keyword(s): "LEGS" SYMBOLIZING AGE OR STAGES IN LIFE ; CANE OEDIPUS

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 02-17-1971

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LUCK

ON THE WAY TO A TRACK MEET, A RUNNER WOULD NOT GO
ACROSS A YELLOW LINE, SO IN THE MEET IT WOULD
CAUSE THE RUNNER TO LACK THE ABILITY TO PASS UP OPPOSING RUNNERS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): CONTAGEIOUS MAGIC? ; HOMEOPATHIC MAGIC?

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Racing Chasing Fighting
BELIEF -- Entertainment Diversion
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.6

Date learned: 10-00-1971

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BELIEF ABOUT A CROSS-EYED WOMAN

IF YOU MEET A CROSS-EYED WOMAN IN THE MORNING, THINGS WILL
GET CROSSED ALL DAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): CONTAGIOUS MAGIC ; HOMEOPATHIC MAGIC

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Physically handicapped Deformed
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Eyes, evil eye
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 03-05-1971

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SAYINGS

ONE ROTTEN APPLE SPOILS THE BARREL

Submitter comment: FROM RELATIVES

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

James Callow Keyword(s): CONTAGION ; FRUIT ; OBSERVATION

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 10-08-1967

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ONE'S SURROUNDINGS

A PERSON SOON STARTS TO TAKE-ON CHARACTERISTICS OF HIS SURROUNDINGS.

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

James Callow Keyword(s): CONTAGION

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 00-00-1970

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JAMAICAN CURSE

IF YOU WANT TO GET RID OF ANYONE GO TO A RELATIVE'S GRAVE AND
SPRINKLE RICE AROUND IT' THEN, TRAIL THE RICE TO YOUR ENEMY,S
YARD. HE WILL BE DEAD THE NEXT DAY.

Submitter comment: DONALD LEE LEARNED THIS ITEM IN BUFF BAY, JAMAICA.

Where learned: JAMAICA ; BUFF BAY

James Callow Keyword(s): CONTAGIOUS MAGIC

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 10-31-1975

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ST. AGNES EVE, JAN. 20

ON THE EVE OF ST. AGNES' DAY, A GIRL SHOULD GET A HANDKERCHIEF FROM
HER BOYFRIEND. SHE SHOULD PUT IT UNDER HER PILLOW AND SHE WILL DREAM
IF SHE WILL MARRY HIM OR NOT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CONTAGIOUS MAGIC

Subject headings: Spirit / Mind / Body
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 20
BELIEF -- Marriage

Date learned: 02-00-1968

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WHEN SHE WOULD GET A SEVERE BACKACHE, SHE WOULD SEND HER SON OUT TO
THE RAINBARREL TO GET A FROG. THEN HER SON WOULD PUT THE FROG IN
HER GIRDLE (SHE WAS TINY AND WORE A GIRDLE FOR BACK SUPPORT.).
WHEREVER THE PAIN WAS THE FROG WOULD GO AND IT WOULD SET RIGHT
WHERE THE PAIN WAS. WHEN THE FROG DIED THE PAIN WAS GONE.
IT TOOK ABOUT 15 MINUTES FOR THE FROG TO DIE.

Data entry tech comment: ONE PARENTHESIS ADDED BY KEYPUNCHER

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CONTAGIOUS MAGIC ; TRANSFERENCE

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Remedy

Date learned: 02-22-1967

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MY FRIEND AS A CHILD, BIT HER NAILS
UNTIL HER FATHER TOLD HER THAT THE NAILS
WOULD MAKE BUMPS ON HER STOMACH THAT WOULD SHOW
FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; PONTIAC

Keyword(s): CONTAGIOUS MAGIC ; NAILBITING ; STOMACH AILMENTS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 00-00-1963

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FIRST AID FOR DOG-BITES

"WHEN I WAS YOUNG, BACK IN IRELAND,
WE HAD A LOT OF STRANGE REMEDIES FOR AILMENTS.
IF YOU EVER GOT BITTEN BY A DOG
YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO PULL A HAIR OFF ITS BACK
AND PLACE IT OVER THE WOUND IN YOUR SKIN.
THIS WOULD KEEP IT FROM BECOMING INFECTED."

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT SAYS THIS WAS COMMON KNOWLEDGE
TO ANYONE WHO WAS BROUGHT UP IN IRELAND,
AND THAT IS WHERE SHE LEARNED IT.

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

Keyword(s): ANIMALS ; CONTAGIOUS MAGIC

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Animal

Date learned: 00-00-1959

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REMEDY FOR MALARIA

WHOEVER WISHED TO GET RID OF MALARIA WOULD SCRAPE HIS FINGERNAILS
MAKING A BALL OUT OF THE SCRAPINGS
AND WITH THE BALL THEY WOULD HANG IT TO THE DOOR
OF A NEIGHBOR.

Submitter comment: THIS IS STILL PRACTICED BY SOME PEOPLE IN ITALY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CONTAGIOUS MAGIC

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 11-20-1967

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