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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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STEP ON A CRACK YOU'LL BREAK YOUR MOTHER'S BACK

Where learned: SCHOOL

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

Date learned: 03-05-1968

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BELIEF

SEE A PIN AND PICK IT UP,
AND ALL THE DAY YOU'LL HAVE GOOD LUCK.
SEE A PIN AND LET IT LAY,
AND BAD LUCK WILL FOLLOW YOU THROUGHOUT THE DAY.

Where learned: SCHOOL

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

Date learned: 03-05-1968

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PROVERB

IDLENESS IS THE MOTHER OF ALL VICES. TRANSLATION OF
L'OISIVETE EST LA MERE DE TOUS LES VICES.
EST LA MERE DE TOUS LES VICES.

Where learned: SCHOOL ; DETROIT, ASSUMED ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT, ASSUMED ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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IT IS PART OF THE IRISH BURIAL CUSTOMS THAT THEY HAVE BIG
PARTIES AND CELEBRATIONS AT THEIR WAKES.

Where learned: SCHOOL ; IRELAND

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 03-05-1968

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AT A GREEK ORTHODOX WEDDING, THE BRIDE AND GROOM WALK
AROUND THE ALTAR THREE TIMES, EACH TIME MAKING A
DIFFERENT WISH, ALL OF WHICH HAVE SOMETHING TO DO
WITH WARDING OFF EVIL SPIRITS.
THEN TWO WREATHS OF FLOWERS, WHICH ARE TIED TOGETHER,
IN ONE SPOT, ARE PLACED ON THE HEADS OF THE BRIDE AND
GROOM BY THE BEST MAN. AND THEN THE WREATHS ARE
CHANGED BY THE BEST MAN SO THAT THE BRIDE'S WREATH
IS ON THE GROOM'S HEAD AND LIKEWISE FOR THE GROOM'S
WREATH. THIS IS REPEATED THREE TIMES TO SYMBOLIZE
THE UNION BETWEEN THE TWO.

Where learned: SCHOOL

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Walking around altar

Date learned: 10-24-1969

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ON NEW YEAR'S EVE, IF A TALL AND DARK STRANGER COMES TO
THE HOUSE AT MIDNIGHT AND OFFERS SOMEONE A DRINK, THE
HOUSE WILL HAVE GOOD LUCK.

Where learned: SCHOOL

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 31 New Year's Eve
Food Drink -- Drink
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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JAPANESE AMERICAN CUSTOM

THE JAPANESE AMERICANS WHO LIVE IN CALIFORNIA DECORATE
THEIR HOMES WITH BRANCHES OF PINE AND BAMBOO FOR NEW
YEAR'S DAY. SPECIAL DISHES OF RICE AND FISH ARE
PREPARED.

Where learned: SCHOOL

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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IT IS CUSTOMARY TO WEAR HATS AND HAVE NOISEMAKERS
ON NEW YEAR'S EVE. AT THE STROKE OF MIDNIGHT, KISSES
ARE GIVEN TO THOSE OF THE OPPOSITE SEX WHILE AS MUCH
NOISE AS POSSIBLE IS BEING MADE.

Where learned: SCHOOL

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 31 New Year's Eve

Date learned: 11-19-1968

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WHEN PLANTING A FIELD OF CROPS, DO NOT PLANT ON ANY
DAY OTHER THAN GOOD FRIDAY. THIS WILL GUARANTEE A
GOOD CROP.

Where learned: SCHOOL

Subject headings: 663 Good Friday

Date learned: 09-18-1969

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GIN IS THE SEDUCTIVE DRINK. IT MAKES YOU AFFECTIONATE
AND GULLIBLE.

Submitter comment: APHRODISIAC

Where learned: SCHOOL

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Alcoholic beverage Distilled

Date learned: 03-05-1968

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IT IS SAID THAT OLIVES ARE "PASSION FRUIT." IF YOU EAT
OLIVES, IT INCREASES YOUR SEXUAL DESIRES.

Where learned: SCHOOL

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food Fruit

Date learned: 03-05-1968

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OYSTERS ARE SUPPOSED TO INCREASE THE SEXUAL PROWESS
OF MEN, WHEN THEY ARE EATEN.

Where learned: SCHOOL

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Meat Fish and other animal life related to water

Date learned: 03-05-1968

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ROCK ON THE DOCK

EACH PLAYER HAS ONE TIN CAN AND THERE IS A PERSON THAT
IS IT. HE TAKES HIS CAN PUTS IT ON ANOTHER CAN
AND SAYS "ROCK ON THE DOCK." EACH PLAYER PUTS HIS
CAN DOWN IN FRONT OF HIM AND WHILE "IT" WALKS AROUND
THE PLAYERS TRY TO PICK UP THEIR CAN AND KNOCK THE
ROCK OFF THE DOCK. IF THEY MISS THEY ARE AUTOMATICALLY
"IT." IF THEY ALL SUCCEED THEN AFTER THE LAST PERSON
THROWS AND HITS IT, EVERYONE MAKES A DASH FOR THEIR
CAN; PICKS IT UP AND GOES BACK TO START, WHILE "IT"
TRIES TO CATCH SOMEONE. IF HE DOES, THAT PERSON IS
"IT."

Where learned: SCHOOL

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Special Object or Implement

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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WHEN YOU ARE OLD AND ABOUT TO DIE,
CALL ME UP SO I CAN CRY.
(TELEPHONE NUMBER).

Where learned: SCHOOL ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ANTICLIMAX IRONY COUPLET ; AUTOGRAPH VERSE? ; METER: ANAPESTIC ; PREPARATION FOR DEATH OLD AGE FRIENDSHIP ; RHYME: MASCULINE

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT IS ROUND, CONSTANTLY MOVING AND 75% BLUE?
A: THE EARTH.

Submitter comment: LEARNED IN GEOGRAPHY CLASS.

Where learned: HOME ; SCHOOL

Keyword(s): NUMBERS AND MEASUREMENTS (Q) COLOR ; STATES OF BEING (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 10-10-1967

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RACING DRIVERS WON'T HAVE A GREEN CAR. GREEN IS AN
UNLUCKY COLOR. A GREEN RACING CAR IS CALLED THE
"DEATH CAR."

Where learned: SCHOOL

James Callow Keyword(s): AUTOMOBILE

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Means of transportation Vehicle propelled by mechanical or other force on land
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Color
BELIEF -- Bad luck Objects

Date learned: 03-05-1968

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IF YOU BREAK A MIRROR, IT IS SEVEN YEARS BAD LUCK.
THIS STEMS FROM THE FACT THAT MIRRORS WERE EX-
PENSIVE IN THE MIDDLE AGES.

Where learned: SCHOOL

Subject headings: 686 Seven / Sevenths / Several
Favorites
BELIEF -- Bad luck Mirror

Date learned: 03-05-1968

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO WALK UNDER LADDERS.. THE REASON
STEMS FROM THE FACT THAT PAINTERS DROP STUFF FROM
ABOVE.

Where learned: SCHOOL

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Angular forms
BELIEF -- Bad luck Ladder (angles, pyramid, etc.)

Date learned: 03-05-1968

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IT IS OFTEN SAID THAT "BLONDES HAVE MORE FUN."

Where learned: SCHOOL

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sign Color

Date learned: 03-05-1968

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TO RID YOURSELF OF AN UNWANTED WART, TAKE A BLACK CAT AND SLEEP
THE ENTIRE NIGHT WITH IT IN A GRAVEYARD. IN THE MORNING THE
WART WILL HAVE DISAPPEARED.

Where learned: SCHOOL

James Callow Keyword(s): TRANSFER

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal

Date learned: 09-10-1969

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