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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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THERE WAS A MAN UPON THE STAIRS,
GEE I WISH HE WASN'T THERE.
HE WASN'T THERE AGAIN TODAY,
GEE, I WISH HE'D GO AWAY.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED THIS FROM HER MOTHER MANY YEARS AGO.

Data entry tech comment: YESTERDAY UPON THE STAIR, I SAW A MAN THAT WASN'T THERE.
HE WASN'T THERE AGAIN TODAY,
OH, HOW I WISH HE'D GO AWAY (THAT'S THE WAY I HEARD IT)

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CHIASMUS CONTRADICTIONS QUATRAIN ; FIRST PERSON NARRATIVE ; REPETITION METER: IAMB. RHYME: IMPERFECT, DOUBLE ; RHYME AABB ; SLANG CONTRADICTION ; WISH GHOSTS FEAR

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

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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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ALL DRESSED UP AND NOWHERE TO GO.
OH GEE, OH GOSH, I WISH I HAD A BEAU.

Submitter comment: SHE HEARD THIS FROM HER MOTHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): COUPLET ; RHYME: MASCULINE, AA ; WISH SLANG

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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AUTOGRAPH BOOK MATERIAL (COLLECTOR'S TITLE)

I CAN'T THINK, TOO DUMB./ INSPIRATION WON'T COME.
CAN'T WRITE, BUM PEN,/ BUT GOD BLESS YOU. AMEN.

Where learned: NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

Keyword(s): RHYME: AABB ; WISHES ; WRITER'S MODESTY

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

Date learned: 00-00-1963

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AN AUTOGRAPH SAYING

MM[ I WISH YOU LUCK, I WISH YOU JOY
I WISH YOU FIRST A BABY BOY
AND WHEN HIS HAIR BEGINS TO CURL
I WISH YOU THEN A BABY GIRL
AND WHEN HER HAIR IS UP IN PINS
I WISH YOU THEN A SET OF TWINS.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Keyword(s): IAMBIC TETRAMETER ; INITIAL ITERATION ; RHYME: AABBCC ; WISH

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse C730.342
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Matrimony
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Cynical insight

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WHEN THE GOLDEN SUN IS SINKING,
AND YOUR FEET NO LONGER TROD,
MAY YOUR NAME IN GOLD BE WRITTEN
IN THE AUTOGRAPH OF GOD.

Submitter comment: FOLLOWING FROM INFORMANT'T JUNIOR HIGH AUTOGRAPH BOOD
1929 - 1933

Data entry tech comment: ADDED COMMAS

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; GLENSHAW

Keyword(s): WISH

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

Date learned: 10-02-1971

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FRIENDSHIP

I MET YOU AS A STRANGER
I KNOW YOU AS A FRIEND.
I HOPE WE MEET IN HEAVEN
WHERE FRIENDSHIP NEVER ENDS.

Submitter comment: TAKEN FROM MY AUTOGRAPH BOOK OF 1963 AT CAMP METAMORA,
METAMORA, MICHIGAN. I DO NOT KNOW WHERE SHE LIVES OR WHO SHE IS.

Data entry tech comment: ADDED TITLE

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; METAMORA

Keyword(s): WISH

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

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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AUTOGRAPH BOOK VERSE.

WHEN YOU ARE OLD AND CANNOT SEE,

PUT ON YOUR SPECS AND THINK OF ME.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS WRITTEN BY THE LADY NEXT DOOR WHO WAS ABOUT
SIXTY-SEVEN YEARS OLD WHEN SHE WROTE IT.

Where learned: DETROIT

Keyword(s): RHYME: AA ; WISH

James Callow Keyword(s): SPECTACLES GLASSES SLANG

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

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AUTOGRAPH VERSE.

WHEN EVENING PULLS THE CURTAIN DOWN

AND PINS IT WITH A STAR

REMEMBER THAT I AM YOUR FRIEND

NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE.

Submitter comment: THIS WOMAN WHO WISHES TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS, PERMITTED ME
TO COLLECT THESE VERSES FROM HER AUTOGRAPH BOOK. THE VERSES
WERE ENTERED BY HER HIGH SCHOOL CLASSMATES IN 1939.

Where learned: UNKNOWN

Keyword(s): FRIENDSHIP: GOOD WISHES ; RHYME: ABCB

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

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ROSES I BRING.

ROSES I BRING THAT IN MY
GARDEN GREW }
MAY EVERY DAY BLOOM LIKE
A ROSE FOR YOU }

Where learned: DETROIT ; POSTCARD COLLECTION

Keyword(s): FRIENDSHIP. ; RHYME: ABCB

James Callow Keyword(s): WISH.

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

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THANKSGIVING PUDDING, PIE & CAKE

MAY THANKSGIVING BRING YOU PLEASURE

SOME PUDDING, PIE AND CAKE

IN EQUAL HAPPY MEASURE

" LIKE MOTHER USED TO MAKE. "

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; VERSE FROM HIS POSTCARD COLLECTION ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): GOOD WISHES. ; RHYME ABAB

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

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FRIENDSHIP

WHEN THE FUTURE IS PRESENT,

AND THE PRESENT IS PAST,

MAY THE LIGHT OF OUR FRIENDSHIP

SHINE BRIGHT TO THE LAST.

Where learned: OHIO ; VERSE ON DECORATED POSTCARD ; IRONTON

Keyword(s): RHYME: ABCB ; WISH

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

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POLISH PRAYER

ZA TWE MAMO PRACE TROSKI BEDA PROSIE MATKI BOSKI BY CIE
OBDARZYLA ZDROWIEM JAK WOSNE VIECEJ POWIEM. TRANSLATION: FOR ALL
YOUR WORK AND WORRY, I BESEECH THE MOTHER OF GOD TO GIFT YOU
WITH HEALTH AND WHEN I GROW UP I'LL TELL YOU MORE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAMTRAMCK

James Callow Keyword(s): FUNCTIONAL SHIFT: GIFT AS VERB ; PIOUS GOOD WISHES

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Custom Festival C840.643
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief Belief
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- March 21 equinox to June 20

Date learned: 11-07-1974

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THE FOLLOWING CONVERSATION TOOK PLACE BETWEEN A CUSTOMER AND A
WAITRESS IN A JEWISH RESTAURANT.
FUNEM?
SVFM.
FUNEX?
SVFX.
OKMNX.
TRANSLATION:
HAVE YOU ANY HAM?
YES, WE HAVE HAM.
HAVE YOU ANY EGGS?
YES, WE HAVE EGGS.
OK, HAM AND EGGS.

Submitter comment: WHEN MY GREAT UNCLE TRIED THIS ON US NO ONE COULD GUESS IT JUST BY
LOOKING AT IT. HOWEVER, WHEN HE READ IT TO US USING EXPRESSION IT
WAS MUCH EASIER TO CATCH ON. THE ONLY PROBLEM WITH THIS "PUZZLE" IS
THAT IT IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO CATCH ON TO THE FIRST TIME YOU SEE
IT. THEN ONCE YOU ARE TOLD WHAT IT MEANS THE ELEMENT OF CURIOSITY IS
DESTROYED. ALMOST INVARIABLY PEOPLE WILL TRY TO READ EACH LINE
AS A WORD NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU TELL THEM TO PRONOUNCE EACH
LETTER SEPARATELY.

Where learned: OHIO ; CINCINNATI

James Callow Keyword(s): JEWISH PRONUNCIATION OF ENGLISH

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Group of Vowels and Consonants, and of Words
RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 00001960S

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Entry filtered.

PROVERB

EVERY MAN SHOULD HAVE A CHINESE COOK, A SPANISH MAID, A FRENCH
MISTRESS, AND A JAPANESE WIFE.

Submitter comment:

DR. DAMIN DOES NOT REMEMBER WHERE SHE HEARD THIS.

Where learned: DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): IDEALISM--WISHFUL THINKING

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Blason Populaire

Date learned: 01-00-1964

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CHINESE PROVERB

EVERYTHING IN THE PAST DIED YESTERDAY;
EVERYTHING IN THE FUTURE WAS BORN TODAY.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; WEST SENECA

Keyword(s): CONTRAST

James Callow Keyword(s): IDEALISM ; INITIAL ITERATION ; OPTIMISM ; WISHFUL THINKING

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 10-00-1969

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LUCK

ORIENTALS WRAP THEIR GIFTS IN RED TO SYMBOLIZE EVERLASTING GOOD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): COLOR WISHES (GOOD LUCK). ; ORIENTAL RED GIFT

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

Date learned: 11-25-1969

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IF A PERSON HAS AN EYELASH ON THEIR CHEEK, TELL THEM TO MAKE TWO
WISHES, ONE FOR EACH SIDE.
THE SIDE THAT THE EYELASH IS ON IS THE SIDE
THE WISH WILL COME TRUE.

Submitter comment: ROMANIAN BELIEF

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): CHANCE ; WISH ; WISHING

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Eyes, evil eye
BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: 09-15-1969

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LOVE HER

I LOVE HER ON THE HILLSIDE
I LOVE HER ON THE LEVEL
IF I HAD HER IN MY ARMS
I WOULD LOVE HER LIKE THE DEVIL.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA

Keyword(s): FEMININE RHYME ; FRIENDSHIP ; RHYME: ABCB ; THREAT ; WISH

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse C730.322

Date learned: 09-12-1965

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CHILDREN'S RHYME

BIRDIE, BIRDIE IN THE SKY / DROPPED SOME WHITEWASH IN MY EYE.
AREN'T YOU GLAD THAT COWS DON'T FLY?

Data entry tech comment: LINES HAVE BEEN DIVIDED BY THE KEYPUNCHER.

Where learned: NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

Keyword(s): RHETORICAL QUESTION HUMOR WISH METER EUPHEMISM ; RHYME: AAA

Subject headings: 730 Lyrical Verse

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