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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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HI HO, HI HO,
I KICKED MY TEACHER'S TOE,
SHE KICKED ME BACK,
O, WHAT A CAT,
HI HO, HI HO.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT HEARD IN SCHOOL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FARMINGTON

Keyword(s): PARODY ON SONG FROM "SNOW WHITE." ; TUNE OF "HI HO, HI HO, IT'S OFF TO WORK WE GO"

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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HI HO, HI, HO,
IT'S OFF TO SCHOOL WE GO,
TO STUDY JUNK,
THEN TO FLUNK,
HI HO, HI HO, HI HO.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT HEARD IN SCHOOL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FARMINGTON

Keyword(s): PARODY ON SONG FROM "SNOW WHITE." ; TUNE OF "HI HO, HI HO, IT'S OFF TO WORK WE GO"

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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LULLABY

NOW THE MOON SLEEPS AND THE STARS ARE SLEEPING. THEY TIRED
MY LITTLE DOLL. CLOSE YOUR LITTLE EYES AND LAY DOWN YOUR
LITTLE HEAD AND I WILL TELL YOU A TALE. THERE WAS A KING,
THERE WAS A "PAZ" , AND THERE WAS ALSO A QUEEN.
THEY LIVED IN THE MIDDLE OF A ROSE GARDEN, DID NOT KNOW STORMY
WEATHER, AND EVERYONE KNEW ABOUT IT.
THEN A TERRIBLE LOSS, A SUDDEN DEATH, CAME UPON THEM.
THE KING WAS EATEN BY THE DOG, THE "PAZ" WAS
EATEN BY THE CAT, THE QUEEN, THE MOUSE HAD EATEN. BUT SO THAT
YOU WILL NOT BE SAD MY DEAREST LITTLE DOLL, FROM SUGAR WAS MADE
THE KING, FROM CHOCOLATE THE "PAZ", AND THE QUEEN
"Z MARCEPANA."

Submitter comment: "Z MARCEPANA" IS A TYPE OF CAKE WHICH THE
QUEEN WAS MADE OF.
THE INFORMANT DID NOT KNOW WHAT KIND IT EXACTLY WAS.
THIS IS A TRANSLATION OF THE LULLABY LEARNED IN POLAND.
THIS IS TRANSLATED FROM POLISH

James Callow comment: MARZIPAN IS A CONFECTION MADE FROM ALMOND PASTE AND
CK[ EGG WHITE AND SUGAR. PAC

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; POLAND ; Sterling Heights ; GOWARCZOW

James Callow Keyword(s): EGG WHITE AND SUGAR. PAC

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Ballad Epic
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Cradle song Lullaby

Date learned: 11-00-1973

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STORY

THIS IS A STORY ON THE WHITE FOLKS. YOU KNOW BACK IN THE OLDEN
DAYS WHEN THE COLORED PEOPLE DIDNH HAVE ANYTHING TO DO. THROUGH
THEYRE DOING, THEY DIDNT HAVE NO WHERE TO PRAY BUT UNDER AN OAK
TREE. AND EVERYTIME THEY START TO PRAYING, WHITE FOLKS WOULD
TAKE AN WHIP AN BUGGY WHIP, WHAT THEY CALL A RAW HIDE LEATHER
TIDED ON THE END OF A STICK, COME DOWN AND BEAT EM. SO FINALLY
ONE DAY THE BLACK MAN DECIDED HE'LL PRAY. HE SAY HE'S GONA TALK
TO THE LORD. AND HE GONA TALK TO HIM IN PERSON. SO HE WENT DOWN
HE DID IN THE WOODS. DIDN'T CLEAN HIM OUT NO PLACE , HE DECIDED
HE'L KNEEL DOWN. HE STARTED TO PRAYING.
HE SAID OH LORD, HE SAID,
I'M DOWN HERE IN THESE WOODS TRYING TO SERVE YOU THE BEST I CAN.
CAUSE WHEN I WAS DOWN AT THAT OTHER OAK TREE, SAY THE MAN USE
THAT RAW HIDE WHIP ON ME, HE DAY. BUT IM GONA TELL YOU ONE THING
HE SAYS, AS I PRAY DOWN ON MY KNEES TROUBLE ALWAYS AROUND. AND
HE SAYS ONE DAY I WAS PRAYING AND I SAY TROUBLE ALWAYS AROUND AND
YOU WHIP ME. HE SAY WHY DID I WHIP YOU HE SAY YOU LET THAT
WHITE MAN DRAW THAT WHIP BACK AND GIVE HIM THE POWER TO HIT ME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): NEGRO BLAMES GOD FOR RACIAL PREJUDICE OF WHITES. ; PRAYER TREE

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- B645

Date learned: 10-00-1974

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BIRDIE IN THE SKY

BIRDIE, BIRDIE IN THE SKY
DROPPED SOME WHITE WASH IN MY EYE
I'M NOT A SISSY, I DON'T CRY
I'M JUST GLAD THAT COWS DON'T FLY.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED IT FROM HER MOTHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ANIMALS ; EUPHEMISM: WHITEWASH FOR BIRD DUNG ; RHYME: AAAA

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Good humor Jest

Date learned: 07-00-1964

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BIRDIE, BIRDIE IN THE SKY,
DROP A WHITE WASH IN MY EYE,
ME NO WORRY,
ME NO CRY,
ME JUST HAPPY COWS DON'T FLY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD IN

Keyword(s): ANIMALS ; BABY TALK ; EUPHEMISM: WHITEWASH FOR BIRD DUNG ; RHYME: AABAA ; SUGGESTION COW DUNG

Subject headings: 730 Lyrical Verse
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Narrative Verse

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IF THE 24TH OF AUGUST BE BRIGHT AND CLEAR,
IF THE FIRST WEEK OF AUGUST BE UNUSUALLY WARM,
THE WINTER WILL BE WHITE, COLD, AND LONG
THEN HOPE FOR A PROSPEROUS AUTUMN THAT YEAR.

Where learned: DETROIT, ASSUMED ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

James Callow Keyword(s): COLOR ; METONYMY: WHITE FOR SNOW ; TEMPERATURE

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Proverb Proverb
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- August
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- August
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- August 24
BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew
BELIEF -- Measure of time Winter
BELIEF -- Measure of time AutumnFall
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour

Date learned: 02-15-1968

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SOME "FOSSOYEUR", IN ORDER TO MAKE SOME MONEY, SELL DIRT FROM
CEMETERIES, WATER FROM TOMBS, AND ALSO SKULLS TO "QUIMBOISEURS".
THE "QUIMBOISEURS" USED TO PAY IN A CERTAIN WAY SO THAT THEY DO
NOT GET BAD LUCK OR MISFORTUNE. FOR INSTANCE, THE DIRT AND THE
WATER WERE SOLD IN GLASS CONTAINERS, AND THEY PAY FOR THEM WITH
WHITE ROCKS OR SILVER JEWELRY, AND ON THE OTHER HAND, THE SKULL
WAS PAID FOR WITH GOLD.

Where learned: GUADELOUPE

Keyword(s): "FOSSOYEURS" ARE GRAVEDIGGERS ; "QUIMBOISEURS" ARE PEOPLE THAT ; PRACTICE WITCHCRAFT AND ALSO WHITE MAGIC.

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Curer

Date learned: 00-00-1973

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IN ORDER TO CURE SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN SICK, THE "QUIMBOISEUR" WILL
GIVE THE PERSON A BATH USING THE SAME WATER THAT SEVEN DOGS HAD
BEEN BATHED IN.

Where learned: GUADELOUPE

Keyword(s): "QUIMBOISEUR" IS SOMEONE THAT PRACTICES WITCHCRAFT AND WHITE MAGIC.

Subject headings: 686 Seven / Sevenths / Several
BELIEF -- Animal
BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 00-00-1974

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Entry filtered.

"Death Certificate"

It's the nigga ya love to hate with a new song,
So what really goes on,
Nothin' butta come up,
But ain't that a bitch,
They hate to see a young nigga rich,
But I refuse to switch even tho,
Cause I can't move to the smella,
Cause soon as y'all get some dough,
Ya wanna but a white bitch on ya elbow,
Movin' outcha neighborhood,
But I walk through the ghetto,
And the flava's good,
Little kids jumpin' on me,
But you, ya wanna but white and corny,
Livin' way out; "Nigga Go Home!"
Spray painted on ya house,
Trying to be white or a Jew,
But ask yourself, who are they to be equal to,
Git the hell out!,
Stop being an Uncle Tom,
Ya little sell out!,
House nigga scum!,
Give somethin' back to the place where ya made it from,
Be true to the game!
Before ya end up broke,
Fuck around and get ya ghetto pass revoked!,
I ain't sayin' no names,
Ya know who ya are,
Ya little punk!
Be true to the game,
When ya first start rhymin',
It started off slow,
And then ya started climbin',
But it wasn't fast enough, I guess,
So ya gave ya other style a test,
Ya was hard-core hip-hop,
But looka' cha self boy!,
Ya done flip-flop,
Giving our music away to the main stream,
Don't cha know they ain't down with the team!,
They just sent their boss over,
Put a bug in ya ear,
And now ya crossed over!
On MTV, but they don't care,
They'll hava' new nigga next year!,
Ya out in the cold,
No more white fans and no more soul,
And ya might hava' heart attack,
When ya find out that black folks,
Don't wantcha back!
And ya know what's worse,
You was just like the nigga in the first verse,
Stop sellin' out ya race!
And wipe that stupid ass smile off ya face!
Niggas always gotta show they teeth!
Now I'ma be brief,
Be true to the game,
A message to the Oreo Cookie!
Find a mirror and take a look G,
Do you like whatcha see,
Butcha quick to pointcha finger at me!
Ya wanna be the big fish,
Ya little guppy,
Black man can't be no yuppy,
Ya put on ya suit and tie and ya good clothes,
Ya don't associate with the negroes!
Ya wanna be just like Jack,
But Jack is callin' you a nigga behind ya back,
So back off genius!
I don't need you to correct my broken English!
Ya know that's right!
You ain't white, so stop holdin' ya ass tight!
Cause ya can't pass,
So why ya keep tryin' to pass withcha black ass!
Mr. Big, but in reality you shorter than a mig',
Ya only gotcha self to blame,
Git a grip, Oreo, and be true to the game!

Submitter comment: Rap has been referred to as a trendy style of music, that
could not compete against the more traditional styles of music.
Soul, Pop, Rock, Country, Jazz and many others have to take a
back seat to this rising style of music. The media has placed
a dark veil of controversy around the Rap industry. Nevertheless,
Rap is a multi-million dollar business, giving the
more traditional forms of music stiff competition. It is and has
been a very pertinent part of black expression. Cliches from Rap
are finding their way to commercials, radio, and movies.

Where learned: Life experience

James Callow Keyword(s): African-American defectors to white commercialism rebuked

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Serious condemnation Scorn
Filter - Mature Content

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TWO SISTERS WERE HOME ALONE FOR THE NIGHT AND HAD
RETIRED TO BED. THEY HEARD A STRANGE NOISE DOWNSTAIRS
AND THE BRAVE ONE DECIDED TO INVESTIGATE. SHE
RETURNED SHORTLY, AND GOT INTO BED. WHEN HER SISTER
QUESTIONED HER, SHE MADE NO SOUNDS THE OTHER SISTER
GOT OUT OF BED TO SEE WHAT WAS THE MATTER WITH HER
AND FOUND HER SISTER LYING IN BED, HAIR TURNED WHITE
AND BODY COLD AS ICE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): HAIR TURNED WHITE FROM FRIGHT.

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 12-06-1967

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TWO SISTERS WERE HOME ALONE FOR THE NIGHT AND HAD
RETIRED TO BED. THEY HEARD A STRANGE NOISE DOWNSTAIRS
AND THE BRAVE ONE DECIDED TO INVESTIGATE. SHE
RETURNED SHORTLY, AND GOT INTO BED. WHEN HER SISTER
QUESTIONED HER, SHE MADE NO SOUNDS THE OTHER SISTER
GOT OUT OF BED TO SEE WHAT WAS THE MATTER WITH HER
AND FOUND HER SISTER LYING IN BED, HAIR TURNED WHITE
AND BODY COLD AS ICE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): HAIR TURNED WHITE FROM FRIGHT.

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 12-06-1967

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Belief: Animal

White Horse:

make a wish, and it will come true if you see a white horse.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P800] crossed out. Replaced with current classification.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; ERIE

Keyword(s): ANIMAL ; BELIEF ; COLOR ; Equine ; HORSE ; LUCK ; SUPERSTITION ; White ; WISH

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal

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Entertainment: Song

Hush-A-Bye:

Hush a bye, don't you cry, go to sleep little baby.

When you wake, you will find, all the pretty little horses.

Black ones and bays, white ones and grays, all the pretty little horses.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Keyword(s): BABY ; Bay ; Black ; COLOR ; Dapple ; Entertainment ; Gray ; HORSE ; LULLABY ; SONG ; White

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

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riddle

Question: What's black and white and red all over?

Answer: A newspaper.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Keyword(s): Black ; COLOR ; Homophone ; Language ; NEWSPAPER ; PLAY ON WORDS ; PUN ; Read ; Red ; RIDDLE ; White ; WORDPLAY

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

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Riddle

What's black and white and red all over?

Variations of answers:

1) Newspaper
2) Skunk with a diaper rash
3) Penguin with a sunburn
4) Blushing zebra

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs Added by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): Black ; Blush ; Brain Teaser ; COLOR ; Diaper Rash ; JOKE ; NEWSPAPER ; PLAY ON WORDS ; PUN ; Red ; RIDDLE ; SKUNK ; Sunburn ; White ; WORDPLAY ; Zebra

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

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Entry filtered.

Language: Rhyme

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

If you're white you're right.
If you're brown stick around.
If you're black get back.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs Added By TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Black ; Brown ; COLOR ; Ethnicity ; Language ; RACE ; RACISM ; Racist ; RHYME ; Saying ; SKIN ; White

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Speech Speech
Filter - Mature Content

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Riddle

WHAT IS BLACK AND WHITE AND RED ALL OVER?
VARIATIONS:

-A NEWSPAPER
-A SUNBURNED ZEBRA
-A COMMUNIST NUN
-AN EMBARRASSED NUN
-A SKUNK WITH DIAPER RASH

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: OHIO ; TROTWOOD

Keyword(s): Black ; COLOR ; GAME ; Language ; Red ; RIDDLE ; White

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 04-00-1972

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Riddle

WHAT'S WHITE ON THE OUTSIDE AND GREEN ON THE INSIDE AND
IT HOPS?
A FROG SANDWICH

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): COLOR ; FROG ; Green ; Hop ; JOKE ; Jump ; RIDDLE ; Sandwich ; White

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 04-00-1972

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