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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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IF YOU BITE YOUR FINGERNAILS, YOU WILL GROW HORNS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALPENA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hands, palms, fingernails

Date learned: 09-26-1970

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IF IT IS A RAINY DAY THE DAY YOU ARE MARRIED, THE
MARRIAGE WON'T BE A HAPPY ONE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALPENA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Marriage P545.056

Date learned: 10-11-1970

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IF A DEAD RELATIVE IS NOT BURIED BEFORE SUNDAY, THEN
WITHIN ONE YEAR ANOTHER RELATIVE WILL DIE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALPENA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour

Date learned: 10-04-1970

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IF YOU TOUCH THE BODY OF THE DEAD IN THE CASKET AND IF IT
IS SOFT, THREE RELATIVES OF THE DEAD PERSON WILL DIE
WITHIN A YEAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALPENA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 09-26-1970

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IF YOU BITE YOUR FINGERNAILS, YOU WILL GROW HORNS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALPENA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal P477.8

Date learned: 09-26-1970

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PROVERBIAL METAPHOR

IT'S NOT ENOUGH TO BE GOOD --
ONE MUST DO IT THE RIGHT WAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; ALPENA ; COLLECTED AT UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Keyword(s): SKILL PERFECTION

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 10-00-1968

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IF YOUR RIGHT EAR RINGS, SOMEONE IS THINKING ABOUT YOU,
HOWEVER, IF YOUR CHEEK BURNS, SOMEONE IS TALKING ABOUT
YOU.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALPENA

Subject headings: 842 Ringing ears / buzzing / hot, burning
Observation
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Head, physiognomy, face

Date learned: 10-11-1970

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LITTLE SALLY SAUCER

GROUP FORMS A CIRCLE AROUND "SALLY" AND CHANTS:
LITTLE SALLY SAUCER,
SITTING IN HER SAUCER.
RISE, SALLY, RISE,
WIPE OUT YOUR EYES.
POINT TO THE EAST,
POINT TO THE WEST,
POINT TO THE VERY ONE
THAT YOU LOVE BEST.
PERSON POINTED AT REPLACES "SALLY" IN THE CIRCLE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALPENA ; SAINT BERNARD SCHOOL

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Singing Dancing Marching

Date learned: 11-06-1970

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BLUE BIRD

GROUP FORMS A CIRCLE WITH ONE PERSON WEAVING IN AND
OUT OF GROUP, WHILE ALL SING THE CHANT:
BLUE BIRD, BLUE BIRD, IN AND OUT MY WINDOW.
BLUE BIRD, BLUE, BIRD, IN AND OUT MY WINDOW.
BLUE BIRD, BLUE BIRD, IN AND OUT MY WINDOW,
OH, JOHNNY AREN'T YOU TIRED?
TAKE A LITTLE GIRL AND TAP HER ON THE SHOULDER.
TAKE A LITTLE GIRL AND TAP HER ON THE SHOULDER.
TAKE A LITTLE GIRL AND TAP HER ON THE SHOULDER.
OH, JOHNNY AREN'T YOU TIRED.
EACH TAPPED PERSON CONTINUES IN A LINE UNTIL ALL
ARE IN THE LINE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALPENA

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Singing Dancing Marching

Date learned: 10-04-1970

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MR. BEAVER

PARTICIPANTS GO TO A PLACE DESIGNATED BEAVER DAM.
THEY ASK MR. BEAVER ("IT"):
MR. BEAVER, MR. BEAVER, MAY WE CROSS YOUR RIVER DAM?
NOT UNLESS YOU HAVE THE COLOR (RED) ON.
IF THEY DON'T HAVE THE COLOR, THEY CAN TRY TO RUN
ACROSS. IF THEY GET CAUGHT, THEY SWITCH PLACES WITH
THE BEAVER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALPENA

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Bodily Activity Song: Game, Pastime, Sport

Date learned: 10-04-1970

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A GROUP OF KIDS DECIDE ON A MOTHER AND A WITCH.
THE MOTHER THEN SAYS,
"I'M GOING DOWNTOWN TO SMOKE MY PIPE,
I WON'T BE BACK 'TIL SATURDAY NIGHT.
IF YOU LET THAT OLD LADY WITCH IN,
I'LL SPANK YOU BLACK AND BLUE
WITH MY OLD MOTHER'S SHOES."
AFTER SHE LEAVES, THE WITCH COMES TO THE DOOR AND
ASKS FOR SOMETHING. WHEN THEY OPEN THE DOOR, SHE
STEALS A CHILD. THE MOTHER RETURNS AND SPANKS THE
REST, THEN LEAVES AGAIN, SAYING THE VERSE. THIS
HAPPENS UNTIL ALL CHILDREN ARE GONE. IF THE MOTHER
CAN FIND THE CHILDREN, SHE WINS; IF NOT THE WITCH
WINS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALPENA

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Bodily Activity Song: Game, Pastime, Sport

Date learned: 10-04-1970

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IF AN OLD PERSON, WHO HAS DIED, LOOKS YOUNG IN THE
CASKET, THEN A YOUNG PERSON WILL DIE NEXT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALPENA

James Callow Keyword(s): CONTRAST

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 10-04-1970

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A RING AROUND THE MOON SIGNALS SOMETHING TRAGIC WILL HAPPEN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALPENA

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Observation of galactic or celestial bodies

Date learned: 10-11-1970

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ENGINE, ENGINE NUMBER NINE,
GOING DOWN CHICAGO LINE,
IF THE TRAIN GOES OFF THE TRACK,
DO YOU WANT YOUR MONEY BACK?
(YES, OR NO, SPELL IT OUT)
Y-E-S SPELLS YES AND OUT YOU GO.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALPENA

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

Date learned: 10-04-1970

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BUBBLE GUM, BUBBLE GUM,
IN A DISH
HOW MANY PIECES DO YOU WISH
(SAY NUMBER, THEN SPELL IT) AND YOU ARE IT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALPENA

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

Date learned: 10-04-1970

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RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT

"IT" IS PLACED A DISTANCE FROM (A) GROUP OF KIDS AND
CALLS "GREEN LIGHT." THEY RUN TO HIM UNTIL HE CALLS
"RED LIGHT." IF THEY DON'T STOP, THEY RETURN TO
START. THIS IS REPEATED UNTIL ONE REACHES "IT" AND
WINS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALPENA

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Bodily Activity Song: Game, Pastime, Sport

Date learned: 10-04-1970

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SPEECH BELIEF OR FORMULA SPEECH

A SLIP OF THE LIP CAN SINK A SHIP

Submitter comment: THIS SAYING IS USED, FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN A PERSON IS KEEPING A SECRET
FROM SOMEONE ABOUT A SURPRISE OR GIFT. A ONE WORD SLIP-UP ABOUT IT
MIGHT CAUSE THE PERSON TO LEARN THE SURPRISE WHICH WOULD RESULT IN
NO SURPRISE AT ALL. AT THIS DATE 12-12-77 I AM TRYING VERY HARD TO
KEEP TWO SPECIAL CHRISTMAS GIFTS A SECRET. I TALK TO MY MOM ABOUT
MY BOYFRIEND'S GIFT AND MY MOM'S GIFT TO MY BOYFRIEND. I CERTAINLY
WOULD NOT WANT TO MIX THEM UP RESULTING IN BOTH PEOPLE KNOWING WHAT
THEY ARE RECEIVING.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALPENA

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

Date learned: 11-00-1969

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