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THE CHOCTAWSOF THE MISSISSIPPI STILL DANCE THE COMPLICATED
STEPS OF SUCH TRADITIONALCHOCTAW TURNS AS OK-FOCHUSH-ME-THA,
THE DUCK DANCE, ANDE-E-LE-HO-THA, THE FAST WAR DANCE. THEIR
MOVEMENTS ARE IN SNAKELIKE PATTERNS. DRUMMERS HUDDLEOVER
AN OVERSIZE TOM-TOM TO SET THE RHYTHM WHILE THE DANCERS
SHUFFLE AND STEP IN A WAVERING LINE AROUND A FIRE.

Where learned: HOME

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

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THERE WAS A YOUNG MAN FROM THE CITY,
WHO MET WHAT HE THOUGHT WAS A KITTY.
HE GAVE IT A PAT
AND SAID, "NICE LITTLE CAT!"
THEY BURIED HIS CLOTHES OUT OF PITY.

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): FUNCTION AND GENRE: LIMERICK ; HUMOR ; NUTSHELL NARRATIVE ANTICLIMAX QUINTAIN ; RHYME: AABBA, FEMININE ; SKUNK ; SOUND: DACTYLIC TETRAMETER ; SUBJECT: ACCIDENTS, ANIMALS ; UNDERSTATEMENT IRONY

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

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AS A BEAUTY I AM NO STAR,
THERE ARE OTHERS MUCH MORE HANDSOME BY FAR.
BUT MY FACE, I DON'T MIND IT,
BECAUSE I'M BEHIND IT.
IT'S THE FOLKS UP IN FRONT THAT I JAR.

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): SELF-CRITICISM

Subject headings: 730 Lyrical Verse

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NOW I'LL TELL YOU THE STORY OF JOHNNY MC GUIRE,
HE RAN DOWN THE STREET WITH HIS PANTS ON FIRE,
HE RAN TO THE DOCTOR'S AND FAINTED IN FRIGHT,
WHEN THE DOCTOR TOLD HIM HIS END WAS IN SIGHT.

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): PUN END=BUTTOCKS

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

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CHILDREN'S VERSE

LADYBUG, LADYBUG, FLY AWAY HOME,
YOUR HOUSE IS ON FIRE,
YOUR CHILDREN ARE GONE,
EXCEPT FOR ANNE--
SHE HID UNDER A PUDDING PAN.

Submitter comment: THIS IS A VERSE WHICH THE INFORMANT RECITES WHEN A
LADYBUG BEETLE HAS FLOWN ON HER.

Where learned: HOME

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse Lyrical Verse
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Speech Speech
BELIEF -- Insect

Date learned: 01-22-1968

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DON'T WALK ON A CRACK
OR YOU'LL BREAK YOUR MOTHER'S BACK.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM HER MOTHER.

Where learned: HOME

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief Belief
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

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AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY, IN ALEXANDRIA, GEORGIA, MOST
OF THE PEOPLE COULD NEITHER READ NOR WRITE. AT
GATHERINGS, AT CHURCH AFFAIRS, ETC., HE, A BOY AT
THAT TIEM, WOULD RECITE PIECES AND SING SONGS. (HE=
MR. WRIGHT, THE INFORMANT.)
RECITATION:
GOODBYE LITTLE BIRDIE FLYING TO THE SKY,
SINGING AND SINGING A MERRY GOOD BYE.
TELL ALL THE BIRDIES FLYING ABOVE,
NELL IN THE GARDEN, SENDS THEM HER LOVE.
TELL HOW I FOUND YOU HURT IN A TREE
ALTHOUGH YOU'LL WANDER, YOU COME BACK TO ME.
IT'S WRONG TO BE SORRY I OUGHT TO BE GLAD
YOU ARE THE BEST LITTLE BIRDIE I EVER HAD.

(THE GOODBYE IS TO A SWALLOW FROM NELL. THE BIRD
ANSERS):
(NELL) GOODBYE LITTLE BIRDIE,
WHERE DID YOU GO?
(BIRD) I WENT SOUTH FOR THE WINTER
AND ALWAYS DO YOU KNOW
THE SOUTH HOW DO YOU LIKE IT?
I LIKE THE SUNNY SKIES,
AROUND THE ORANGE BLOSSOMS
I CAUGHT THE NICEST FLIES.
(THIS IS ALL MR. WRIGHT COULD REMEMBER).) MR. WRIGHT
ALSO SAID HE ALSO RECITED SOME ORIGINAL THINGS OF HIS
OWN:
DON'T GIVE UP
MEN ARE EVER RUNNING AND NEVER FIRE A GUN
THEY NEVER THINK OF WINNING BUT ALWAYS THINK TO RUN
THERE'S NO NEED OF GIVING UP, THAT'S A WEAKLIN'S WAY
IF YOU'VE LOST THE DAY BEFORE, YOU MAY GAIN TODAY.
ALL DAYS AREN'T JUST ALIKE; THERE'S NO DOUBT ABOUT IT.
SOME ARE JUST AS CLEAR AND BRIGHT,
OTHERS DARK AND CLOUDY.
THERE'S NO NEED OF GRUMBLING, THERE'S NO NEED TO WHINE,
HAVE FAITH, GO FORWARD UNTIL YOU WILL HAVE PLUCKED
THE MELONS FROM THE VINE.
(THERE IS AN ALTERNATE ENDING)
NEVER THINK OF GIVING UP, ALWAYS BE A TRYING
TILL AT LAST YOU WILL HAVE PLUCKED
THE MELONS FROM THE VINE.
LITTLE WILLIE AND I HAD A FIGHT LAST NIGHT.
I'LL TELL YOU THAT BOY IS A SIGHT.
HE WAS COURTING MISS JANIE THEN
WHEN HE WALKED OUT, I WALKED IN.
I KNOW THIS WAS A GREAT BIG SIN.
SO WHEN I CAME HOME THAT NIGHT
HE ASKED ME WOULD I FIGHT.
HE SAID TO ME, "I'LL WHIP YOU SURE."
I SHOOK MY HEAD, "NO, NO."
I'M A GREAT BIG MAN, YOU SEE
AND HE ONLY TOUCHED ME 'BOUT THE KNEE.
BUT HE KNOCKED ME SO BLAZING HARD,
I FELL A WINDING IN THE YARD.
UP AGAINST THOSE RAILROAD CARS,
I THINK I SAW THE SEVEN STARS.
TWAS ONE MORNING JUST A LIGHT,
IT WAS WILLY'S, NOT MY FIGHT.
AND HE DID ME JUST 'BOUT RIGHT.

Submitter comment: ENCOURAGEMENT
WHEN MR. WRIGHT VISITS THE SOUTH, EVEN TODAY, HE RECITES
ESSAYS, SPEECHES, ETC. AT CHURCH GATHERINGS.
ANOTHER ORIGINAL RECITATION:

Where learned: HOME

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Narrative Verse
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse C730.320
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse C730.322
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse C730.325
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse C730.326

Date learned: 11-00-1967

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RAINBOW TO WINDWARD,
FOUL FALLS THE DAY;
RAINBOW TO LEEWARD,
DAMP RUNS AWAY.

Where learned: HOME

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

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COUNTING OUT RHYME

ONE, TWO, A COW SAYS MOO.
THREE FOUR, LIONS ROAR.
FIVE, SIX, A MONKEY DOES TRICKS.
SEVEN, EIGHT, SITTING ON A GATE.
NINE, TEN, A BIG FAT HEN.
START COUNTING ALL OVER AGIN.

Where learned: HOME

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

Date learned: 11-19-1968

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COUNTING OUT

ONE POTATO, TWO POTATO, THREE POTATO, FOUR,
FIVE POTATO, SIX POTATO, SEVEN POTATO, MORE.

Submitter comment: THIS IS A COUNTING SONG PERFORMED BY A GROUP OF PERSONS
WHO HAVE EXTENDED THEIR HANDS SHAPED INTO FISTS TO A PERSON
WHO COUNTS AS HE SAYS THE RHYME. THE PERSON WHOSE FIST IS
TOUCHED ON THE WORD EIGHT MUST PUT THAT FIST BEHIND HIS
BACK AS THE PROCESS OF COUNTING CONTINUES. THIS IS A
GAME USED AS A PROCESS OF ELIMINATION TO SEE WHO IS
"IT" FOR A GAME OF TAG.

Where learned: HOME

James Callow Keyword(s): ON THE COUNT OF EIGHT,--ON THE WORD "MORE"--PUT YOUR FIST BEHIND YOUR BACK.

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

Date learned: 01-22-1968

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EENSY BENSEY SPIDER WENT UP THE WATER DRAIN,
DOWN CAME THE RAIN AND WASHED THE SPIDER OUT,
OUT CAME THE SUN AND DRIED UP ALL THE RAIN,
EENSY, BEENSY SPIDER WENT UP THE DRAIN AGAIN.

Submitter comment: AS THE POEM IS RECITED, THE CHILD MOVES HER HANDS
FIRST UPWARD LIKE A WALKING SPIDER. SHE THEN LOWERS HER
HANDS, PALMS OPEN, VERY FAST TO DENOTE THE RAIN FALLING.
SHE THEN FORMS A ROUND CIRCLE WITH HER HANDS TO DENOTE
THE SUN AND THEN AGAIN MOVES HER HANDS LIKE A WALKING
SPIDER FOR THE FINAL LINES.

Where learned: HOME

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

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Medicine

This homemade medicine was used for external use only. When
people had a fever someone would boil vinegar and add corn-shucks
and brown paper bags. Then wrap the bags and corn-shucks around
the person's entire body.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 02-07-1992

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WISHBONE

WHEN TWO MAKE A WISH ON A WISHBONE,
THE ONE WHO GETS THE BIGGER END WILL GET MARRIED FIRST.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT IS A FRIEND'S MOTHER, AND SHE
REMEMBERS THIS FROM HER CHILDHOOD IN ALABAMA.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; FERNDALE ; TOLD AT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: 00-00-1971

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BY HOOK OR BY CROOK
I'LL BE THE LAST IN THIS BOOK

Submitter comment: USED BY MANY IN SIGNING THE LAST PAGE IN AN AUTOGRAPH BOOK

Where learned: HOME

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Announcing a signature

Date learned: 10-22-1968

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WHEN I WAS A KID I WENT DOWN THE ROAD
OVER A FRIEND'S HOUSE, WHEN I STARTED
BACK HOME I LOOKED IN BACK OF ME
AND THERE WAS A LITTLE RED BOUNCING BALL
FOLLOWING ME. I STARTED RUNNING HOME AND
THE BALL MOVED FASTER AND I RAN INTO MY
ROOM AT HOME AND LOOKED OUT THE WINDOW AND
THE RED BALL WAS STILL THERE. IT FINALLY
WENT AWAY AND I NEVER SAW IT AGAIN.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 00001970S

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BELIEF

SEVEN PEOPLE EATING TOGETHER
BRING GOOD LUCK - IF THIRTEEN
EATING TOGETHER, ONE WILL
DIE BEFORE THE YEAR IS UP.

Where learned: HOME ; LOCATION NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR ; TOLD AT

Keyword(s): PREDICTION

Subject headings: 686 Specific number by specific number being described
686 Seven / Sevenths / Several
Observation
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 10-23-1968

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YOU ALWAYS REMEMBER THE BIRTH OF YOUR
FIRST CHILD FIRST BECAUSE IT WAS THE
FIRST TIME YOU EVER HAVE EXPERIENCED
A THING LIKE THAT. THERE IS A CLOSER
BOND BETWEEN MOTHER AND FIRST CHILD
THAN BETWEEN THE OTHER CHILDREN.

Submitter comment: YOU CAN IMAGINE HOW I MUST HAVE FELT
BECAUSE I WAS THE 4TH CHILD.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 00001980S

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THE BUG-A-LA-BOO

THE BUG-A-LA-BOO HAD 90 FITS AS HE CAME
FROM UNDER THE BED, HE RIPPED AND SCORNED
AND SHIT ON THE FLOOR AS HE WIPED HIS
TAIL ON THE DOOR KNOB DOOR, HE WENT OUT
SIDE AND CLIMBED A TREE AND IF I HAD'NT
BEEN LOOKING HE WOULD HAVE SHIT ON ME.

Submitter comment: NO ONE KNOWS WHAT A BUG-A-LA BOO IS -
JUST A FICTITIOUS CHARACTER CREATED BY
THE MASTER MIND OF MY UNCLE.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Formula tale

Date learned: 00001970S

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SPRING RITUALS

ONE SHOULD TAKE A BATH EVERY SATURDAY NIGHT
TO START THE WEEK/SPRING OFF FRESH.
ONE SHOULD TAKE CASTOR OIL AT THE END OF
WINTER TO CLEAN OUT THE SYSTEM FOR SPRING.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time Spring
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Remedy

Date learned: 00001980S

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PROVERB: CAT

HAPPY AS A CAT IN A CREAMERY.

Submitter comment: USED TO DENOTE EXTREME HAPPINESS OF A PERSON OR ANIMAL IN A GIVEN
CIRCUMSTANCE.
INFORMANT USED THIS WHEN HE SAW HIS SECRETARY WAS VERY HAPPY. HE
LEARNED WHEN HE WAS A CHILD.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; WESTLAND ; TOLD AT

Keyword(s): EUPHEMISM

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Comparison

Date learned: 11-01-1971

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