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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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WHEN A DOG HOWLS AT NIGHT, LOOK IN THE DIRECTION IT
IS HOWLING AND THERE WILL BE A DEATH IN THAT HOUSE.

Submitter comment: THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED THE NIGHT BEFORE HER
GRANDFATHER DIED. COINCIDENCE?
FROM GRANDMOTHER.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED ; TAYLOR

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 11-02-1967

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KISSING

K-I-S-S-I-N-G FIRST COMES LOVE,
THEN COMES MARRIAGE,
NEXT COMES (A NAME) WITH A BABY CARRIAGE.

 

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TAYLOR ; informant's home

Keyword(s): PLAIN-JUMP

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

Date learned: 04-01-1970

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WHEN I WAS YOUNGER, MY FAMILY VISITED MY
COUSINS IN ILLINOIS ON A YEARLY BASIS.
EVERY TIME I STAYED WITH MY GRANDFATHER I ALWAYS
NOTICED THAT HE HAD A COPPER BRACLET ON.
AFTER YEARS OF QUESTIONING HIM AND GETTING NO
RESPONSE HE FINALLY TOLD ME IT WAS TO
KEEP THE ARTHRITIS DEVIL AWAY.

Submitter comment:

MY GRANDFATHER WORKED ON A FARM ALL OF HIS LIFE
AND TO THIS DAY HE DOES NOT HAVE ARTHRITIS.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; TAYLOR

Keyword(s): AILMENT ; Arthritis ; Bracelet ; Copper ; CURE ; Homeopathy ; PREVENTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 00001970CA

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BELIEF

IF THE PALM OF YOUR LEFT HAND ITCHES, YOU WILL RECEIVE MONEY THAT
DAY OR IN THE NEAR FUTURE. IF THE PALM OF YOUR RIGHT HAND ITCHES,
YOU WILL MEET SOMEONE ON THAT DAY OR IN THE NEAR FUTURE.

Submitter comment: THIS HAPPENS TO MY INFORMANT AND MYSELF ONCE IN AWHILE AND MOST
OF THE TIME IT COMES TRUE. MY MOTHER HEARD THIS FROM HER MOTHER
ABOUT 50 YEARS AGO.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TAYLOR

Subject headings: Spirit / Mind / Body
Observation
BELIEF -- Body part Senses

Date learned: 00-00-1967

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MARRIAGE: RECEPTION ACTIVITIES

AT THE RECEPTION OF A POLISH WEDDING, THE BRIDE AND GROOM ARE MET
AT THE ENTRANCE BY THE HEAD COOK, WHO HAS PREPARED THE MEAL FOR THE
RECEPTION, WITH BREAD AND WATER. THE COUPLE, BEFORE ENTERING, WILL
EAT THE BREAD AND DRINK THE WATER AS A SYMBOL SO THAT IN THEIR
LIFETIME THEY MAY NEVER BY HUNGRY OR THIRSTY.

Submitter comment: THIS CUSTOM IS SOMETIMES PRACTICED TODAY, DEPENDING ON THE PEOPLE
INVOLVED WITH THE RECEPTION DINNER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TAYLOR

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Bread and salt

Date learned: 11-00-1977 ; 00-00-1964

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BIRTH

IT IS CUSTOMARY TO PUT A PINK OR BLUE BOW ON THE OUTSIDE DOOR OF
THE HOME TO ANNOUNCE THE BIRTH OF A BABY IN THAT FAMILY.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT GAVE ME THIS ITEM WHILE VISITING AT MY HOME IN TAYLOR,
MICHIGAN. THE INFORMANT LEARNED IT FROM A NEIGHBOR WHERE SHE LIVES
IN MARBLEHEAD, MASS. AND RECENTLY PUT THE CUSTOM INTO PRACTICE.
MARBLEHEAD, MASS. IS A VERY SMALL NEW ENGLAND TOWN ON THE COAST
APPROXIMATELY 40 MINUTES FROM BOSTON. THIS CUSTOM HAS BEEN PRACTICED
SINCE APPROXIMATELY THE TURN OF THE CENTURY AND IS STILL DONE TODAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TAYLOR

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
SPEECH -- To Be Seen

Date learned: 11-00-1977

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FORMULA SPEECH: DRINKING TOAST

MAY YOU BE IN HEAVEN ONE HALF HOUR BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU ARE
THERE.

Submitter comment: I HEARD THIS WHILE WATCHING A MOVIE ON TELEVISION.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TAYLOR

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Food Drink C855.400
SPEECH -- Formula

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PROVERBIAL PHRASE

IT IS BETTER TO KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT AND BE THOUGHT A FOOL, THAN
TO OPEN YOUR MOUTH AND REMOVE ALL DOUBT.

Submitter comment: I REMEMBER THIS SAYING ESPECIALLY WHEN I AM WITH PEOPLE, SOME
LIBERAL AND SOME CONSERVATIVE, AND THEY ARE DISCUSSING SOME ISSUE
LIKE RELIGION OR POLITICS. AT THIS TIME, IT IS BETTER TO BE QUIET
AND JUST LISTEN THAN TRY AND VOICE AN OPINION.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TAYLOR

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 07-00-1970

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GHOSTS

THE MALTESE ANCESTORS BELIEVED IN GHOSTS, AND THE OLD PEOPLE OF
THE COUNTRY STILL BELIEVE THAT THESE GHOSTS HIDE UNDER STATUES
IN THE FORM OF A BLACK SNAKE. HE WATCHES THAT HOUSE AND PREDICTS
THAT THE FAMILY WILL KEEP ON GROWING FROM GENERATION TO GENERA-
TION. THIS SNAKE MUST NOT BE KILLED FOR IF THEY KILL HIM, A BIG
DISASTER WILL FALL UPON THAT FAMILY.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT HEARD THIS FROM HER MOTHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TAYLOR

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal

Date learned: 11-11-1967

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THERE WAS A LITTLE BIRD WITH A LITTLE BILL,
WHO ONE DAY LANDED ON MY WINDOWSILL,
I COAXED HIM CLOSER AND CLOSER WITH A PIECE OF BREAD,
THEN I SLAMMED THE WINDOW ON HIS HEAD.
(SIGNED) BILL, "68

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TAYLOR

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Wisecracks, gags, silly stories, insults

Date learned: 00-00-1968

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THERE IS A METER IN MUSIC,
THERE IS A METER IN TONE,
BUT THE BEST KIND OF METER,
IS TO MEET 'ER ALONE.
(SIGNED) JOAN

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TAYLOR

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Translations, plays on words, symbol writing

Date learned: 04-09-1970

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TULIPS IN THE GARDEN,
TULIPS IN THE PARK,
THE ONLY TULIPS I LIKE,
IS TWO LIPS IN THE DARK.
(SIGNED) SUE

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TAYLOR

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Translations, plays on words, symbol writing

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IN THE TOWN MY FATHER GREW UP IN, EVERYONE WOULD GO TO
TOWN ON SATURDAY NIGHTS. THERE WAS A SUPERSTITION THAT IF YOU
WOULD PASS BY THE CEMETERY ON YOUR WAY TO TOWN, THE SPIRIT
OF AN OLD MAN (NEVER DID GET HIS NAME OR HOW HE DIED) WOULD
CHASE YOU ALL THE WAY TO TOWN AND ON YOUR WAY HOME HE WOULD
CHASE YOU BACK TO YOUR HOUSE. IT TURNS OUT THAT ON SATURDAYS MY FATHER AND HIS FRIENDS WOULD WEAR CORDUROY PANTS. BY WALKING
PAST THE CEMETERY AT AN ACCELERATED PACE, THEIR PANTS WOULD
BEGIN TO MAKE THE CERTAIN NOISE (SWOOSH, SWOOSH).
THIS NOISE WOULD SCARE THEM SO THEY BEGAN TO RUN TO TOWN
BECAUSE THEY THOUGHT THE MAN WAS AFTER THEM. CONSEQUENTLY,
BECAUSE OF THEIR RUNNING THE NOISE WOULD BECOME LOUDER.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; TAYLOR

Keyword(s): GHOSTS ; SPIRITS

James Callow Keyword(s): HUMOR

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 06-00-1975

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THE WORLD'S SHORTEST POEM, "PEAS, ADAM HAD'M."

Submitter comment: AN OLD FARME.R POEM THAT MY UNCLE TOLD ME
I STILL DON'T KNOW THE MEANING OF IT.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; TAYLOR

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

Date learned: 06-00-1974

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PROVERB

ONE WHO TRIES TO HIDE HIS SICKNESS DIES FROM IT

Where learned: MICHIGAN, ASSUMED ; TAYLOR

Keyword(s): FUNCTION ; MEDICINE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 11-11-1967

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ROSES ARE RED, BIOLETS ARE BLUE,
SUGAR IS SWEET, BUT NOT AS SWEET AS YOU.
"BILL"

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TAYLOR

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Roses are red and other such associations

Date learned: 00-00-1964

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ROSES ARE RED, VIOLETS ARE BLUE,
SUGAR IS SWEET AND SO ARE YOU.
"JAN"

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TAYLOR

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Roses are red and other such associations

Date learned: 00-00-1968

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ROSES ARE RED, VIOLETS ARE BLUE,
A FACE LIKE YOURS, BELONGS IN A ZOO.
(SIGNED) FRAN

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TAYLOR

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Roses are red and other such associations

Date learned: 00-00-1969

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CUSTOM

ON THE DAY AFTER EASTER, THE POLISH CHILDREN WOULD GO FROM HOUSE TO
HOUSE KNOCKING ON THE DOORS. THE PEOPLE INVITED THEM INSIDE
WHERE ONE OF THE CHILDREN WOULD BRUSH THE PERSON ACROSS THE ANKLES
WITH A SWITCH WHILE THE OTHERS RECITED A SPECIAL GROUP OF WORDS.
WHEN THEY WERE FINISHED, THE OWNER OF THE HOUSE WOULD GIVE THEM
A BLESSED EGG, A PIECE OF CANDY, OR IN MOST CASES, MONEY.
THIS WAS CALLED DINGUS DAY, THE NAME DERIVED FROM THE WORDS RECITED;
DINGUS, DINGUS, PODINGUS...

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share the same surname.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; TAYLOR

Keyword(s): EASTER GIFTS ; RITUAL SPEECH ; RITUAL WHIPPING

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Custom Festival C840.663
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Monday Dyngus

Date learned: 11-27-1967

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CUSTOM

ON THE DAY AFTER EASTER, THE FIRST GIRL A BOY SAW, HE WOULD SPRINKLE
HER WITH WATER. HOWEVER BOYS ARE BOYS WHEREVER YOU GO AND THEY
USUALLY USED A WHOLE BUCKET OF WATER ON EVERY GIRL THEY MET. THEIR
GIRL FRIENDS THEY SPRINKLED WITH PERFUME OR COLOGNE.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated and Motifs Added / 02-28-2011 / TRD
Informant and collector share same surname.

Where learned: TAYLOR ; Michigan Consolidated Gas Company ; informant's home

Keyword(s): Boy ; Cologne ; COURTSHIP ; CUSTOM ; DYNGUS DAY ; Female ; Flirt ; Flirtation ; Girl ; holiday ; Male ; Perfume ; RITUAL ; Scent ; WATER

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Monday Dyngus

Date learned: 11-27-1967

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