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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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WHEN YOU GROW OLDER AND LIVE IN A HUT,
SEND ME A PICTURE OF YOUR FIRST LITTLE NUT.

Where learned: OHIO ; CINCINNATI

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

Date learned: 00-00-1959

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"Nobody Likes Me"

Nobody likes me
Everybody hates me
I'm gonna eat some worms. MM
Big ones little ones
Ooshy gooshy wooshy ones
Ones that wriggle and squirm. MM
Nobody knows how much I like them
All three meals a day.
And in between.

Submitter comment: This was a song that I learned when I was a child.
It was sung in a sarcastic manner to anyone who complained
of being "picked on," or to anyone who was pouting.

Where learned: OHIO ; CINCINNATI

Keyword(s): SARCASM

James Callow Keyword(s): FUNCTION

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

Date learned: 00001950S

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HE THAT PLEADS HIS OWN CAUSE HAS A
FOOL FOR HIS CLIENT.

Submitter comment: SHE DOES NOT BELIEVE IT.

Where learned: OHIO ; CINCINNATI

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 00-00-1974 ; 00-00-1985

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IT'S BETTER TO BE PROFICIENT IN ONE
ART THAN A SMATTERER IN A HUNDRED.

Submitter comment: SHE BELIEVES IT.

Where learned: OHIO ; CINCINNATI

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 00-00-1971 ; 00-00-1985

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SOME WRITE UP
SOME WRITE DOWN
JUST TO BE DIFFERENT
I'LL WRITE AROUND.

James Callow comment: DIAGRAM OF WRITING ON 5 X 8 CARD

Where learned: OHIO, ASSUMED ; CINCINNATI

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Reading or writing backwards, upside down

Date learned: 00-00-1959

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OMEN

IF YOU DO NOT EAT YOUR DINNER I WILL PUT IT IN YOUR POCKET AND YOU
CAN EAT IT LATER.

Submitter comment: MY GRANDFATHER TOLD ME THIS TO GET ME TO EAT EVERYTHING I WAS SERVED

Where learned: OHIO ; CINCINNATI

Subject headings: --

Date learned: CA00001965

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CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

ON CHRISTMAS EVE WE HAVE OUR RELATIVES
OVER TO OPEN PRESENTS. IN PREPARATION FOR THIS
WE PUT ALL THE PRESENTS UNDER THE TREE AND
CLOSE THE DOORS LEADING TO THE LIVING ROOM.
THE RELATIVES ENTER BY THE BACK DOOR AND GATHER
IN THE KITCHEN FOR A DRINK AND SOME TALK. WHEN
EVERYONE IS READY WE LINE UP AT THE DOOR,
YOUNGEST FIRST, AND GO INTO THE LIVING ROOM TO
OPEN THE PRESENTS. THE YOUNGEST GETS TO OPEN
THE FIRST GIFT AND THEN THE NEXT YOUNGEST
AND SO ON UNTIL EVERYONE HAS OPENED ONE
OF THEIR GIFTS. THEN IT STARTS OVER AND
CONTINUES UNTIL ALL THE GIFTS ARE GONE.

Where learned: OHIO ; CINCINNATI

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas

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BELIEF

HEALTHY WOMEN ONLY GIVE BIRTH TO BOYS.

Submitter comment: SHE SAID THAT SHE GREW UP WITH THIS BELIEF.

Where learned: OHIO ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; CINCINNATI

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 11-25-1968

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BELIEF

HEALTHY WOMEN ONLY GIVE BIRTH TO BOYS.

Submitter comment: SHE SAID THAT SHE GREW UP WITH THIS BELIEF.

Where learned: OHIO ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; CINCINNATI

James Callow Keyword(s): SEX DETERMINATION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

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HICCUPS

DRINK A GLASS OF WATER FROM THE WRONG SIDE OF THE GLASS.

Submitter comment: THIS CURE WAS GIVEN TO ME BY MY BOSS THIS SUMMER,
WHEN I HAD THE HICCUPS.
I TRIED EVERYTHING BUT
THE WRONG SIDE IS THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE USUAL SIDE.

Where learned: OHIO ; CINCINNATI

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Method of Curing

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NARRATIVE SONG

OH DEAR MOTHER, PIN A ROSE ON ME.
THREE OLD MEN ARE AFTER ME.
TWO ARE BLIND AND THE OTHER CAN'T SEE.
OH DEAR MOTHER, PIN A ROSE ON ME.
(THIS IS SUNG TO THE TUNE OF PETER, PETER PUMPKINEATER.)

Submitter comment: WHEN MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS AND I WERE YOUNGER MY GREAT AUNTS USED
TO THROW BIG PARTIES. THIS WAS OUR FAVORITE SONG THAT WE ALWAYS
SANG AT EVERY ONE OF THOSE PARTIES. IT DIDN'T SEEM TO MATTER TO US
THAT DISTINCTIONS WERE MADE BETWEEN THE TWO MEN WHO WERE BLIND AND
THE OTHER ONE THAT COULDN'T SEE.

Where learned: OHIO ; CINCINNATI

James Callow Keyword(s): HUMOR

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

Date learned: 00001960S

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NARRATIVE SONG

DOCTOR, DOCTOR, CAN YOU TELL
WHAT WILL MAKE POOR (GAL'S NAME) WELL?
SHE IS SICK AND ABOUT TO DIE
AND THAT WOULD MAKE (HER BEAU'S NAME) CRY.

Submitter comment: MY GREAT-AUNT PLAYED THIS ON THE PIANO AT ALL THE FAMILY PARTIES
THAT THEY HAD AT THEIR HOUSE. ALL THE KIDS WOULD JOIN IN THE
SINGING. IN THIS SONG THE NAME OF A GIRL COUSIN WAS ALWAYS FILLED
IN THE FIRST BLANK AND THEN A BOY COUSIN'S NAME WAS CHOSEN FOR THE
SECOND BLANK. NATURALLY NO ONE WAS REALLY SICK. THE OBJECT OF
THE SONG IS RATHER OBVIOUS--JUST PAIRING OFF THE GIRLS AND THE
BOYS WHO WERE THERE.

Where learned: OHIO ; CINCINNATI

James Callow Keyword(s): FUNCTION

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

Date learned: 00001960S

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NARRATIVE SONG

ALL THE GIRLS WHO HAVEN'T ANY BEAUS,
WORK DOWNTOWN AT SHILLITOS
IN THE NIGHT THEY FIX THEIR HAIR
AND WALK AROUND ON FOUNTAIN SQUARE

Submitter comment: THIS WAS ANOTHER SONG WE SANG AT FAMILY PARTIES. THE ONLY PROBLEM
WITH IT WAS THAT MY GREAT-AUNT WAS THE ONLY ONE WHO COULD REMEMBER
ALL THE WORDS. THIS SONG HAS A LITTLE LOCAL COLOR IN IT. SHILLITOS
IS THE LARGEST DEPARTMENT STORE IN CINCINNATI. FOUNTAIN SQUARE IS
INDEED A GATHERING PLACE.

Where learned: OHIO ; CINCINNATI

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

Date learned: 00001960S

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VERSE WITHOUT MUSIC

DID YOU EVER THINK, WHEN THE HEARSE ROLLS BY,
THAT MAYBE YOU'LL BE THE NEXT TO DIE?
THE WORMS CRAWL IN AND THE WORMS CRAWL OUT
AND THE WORMS GO CRAWLING ALL ABOUT.

Submitter comment: MY GREAT AUNT LOOKS ON THIS AS BEING RATHER GRUESOME NOW BUT ADMITS
THAT SHE ENJOYED SAYING IT WHEN SHE WAS YOUNGER.

Where learned: OHIO ; CINCINNATI

James Callow Keyword(s): GORE ; RHYME: AABB

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse C730.346

Date learned: 00-02-1974

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CONFESSION JOKE

PENITENT: FATHER, I PUT MY ARMS AROUND A GIRL THREE TIMES.
PRIEST: MY GOD, HOW LONG ARE YOUR ARMS?

Submitter comment: MY GRANDMOTHER DIDN'T FEEL COMFORTABLE TELLING THIS JOKE TO THE
BOYS WHO WORK FOR HER, BUT SHE THOUGHT IT WAS SAFE TO TELL IT TO ME.

Where learned: OHIO ; CINCINNATI

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Upper body, arms, neck

Date learned: 00-07-1973

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PEANUTS--CONFESSION JOKE

1ST BOY: FATHER, I THREW PEANUTS IN THE ELEPHANT CAGE.
PRIEST: WELL THAT'S OK SON, NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT.
2ND BOY: FATHER, I THREW PEANUTS IN THE ELEPHANT'S CAGE.
PRIEST: YES. I SEE.
3RD BOY: ...AND I THREW PEANUTS IN THE ELEPHANT'S CAGE.
PRIEST: I SEE, BUT THAT'S NOT A SIN.
4TH BOY COMES IN.
PRIEST: I SUPPOSE YOU'RE GOING TO TELL ME THAT YOU THREW PEANUTS
IN THE ELEPHANT'S CAGE. 5TH BOY: NO I'M NOT. I'M PEANUTS.

Submitter comment: THIS IS MY GRANDMOTHER'S FAVORITE JOKE ABOUT CONFESSIONS. SHE'S
BEEN TELLING IT TO MY FAMILY EVER SINCE MY OLDER BROTHER WAS OLD
ENOUGH TO GO TO CONFESSION. BECAUSE SHE'S TOLD IT SO MANY TIMES
THERE ARE VARIATIONS EVEN WITHIN HER OWN TELLINGS. THE NUMBER OF
BOYS BEFORE PEANUTS MAY VARY AS WELL AS THE PRIEST'S COMMENTS.
SOMETIMES PEANUTS GETS THROWN INTO THE FOUNTAIN INSTEAD OF THE
ELEPHANT'S CAGE, BUT NATURALLY THE PUNCHLINE ALWAYS REMAINS THE
SAME.

Where learned: OHIO ; CINCINNATI

James Callow Keyword(s): NAME MISUNDERSTOOD

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote

Date learned: 00001960S

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THE FOLLOWING CONVERSATION TOOK PLACE BETWEEN A CUSTOMER AND A
WAITRESS IN A JEWISH RESTAURANT.
FUNEM?
SVFM.
FUNEX?
SVFX.
OKMNX.
TRANSLATION:
HAVE YOU ANY HAM?
YES, WE HAVE HAM.
HAVE YOU ANY EGGS?
YES, WE HAVE EGGS.
OK, HAM AND EGGS.

Submitter comment: WHEN MY GREAT UNCLE TRIED THIS ON US NO ONE COULD GUESS IT JUST BY
LOOKING AT IT. HOWEVER, WHEN HE READ IT TO US USING EXPRESSION IT
WAS MUCH EASIER TO CATCH ON. THE ONLY PROBLEM WITH THIS "PUZZLE" IS
THAT IT IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO CATCH ON TO THE FIRST TIME YOU SEE
IT. THEN ONCE YOU ARE TOLD WHAT IT MEANS THE ELEMENT OF CURIOSITY IS
DESTROYED. ALMOST INVARIABLY PEOPLE WILL TRY TO READ EACH LINE
AS A WORD NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU TELL THEM TO PRONOUNCE EACH
LETTER SEPARATELY.

Where learned: OHIO ; CINCINNATI

James Callow Keyword(s): JEWISH PRONUNCIATION OF ENGLISH

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Group of Vowels and Consonants, and of Words
RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 00001960S

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A MOTHER RECEIVED THIS TELEGRAM ABOUT HER SON. SHE HAD A LITTLE
DIFFICULTY UNDERSTANDING IT. CAN YOU?
BRUISES HURT
ERASED AFFORD
ERECTED
ANALYSIS SICK
INFECTIOUS DEAD.

Submitter comment: ALTHOUGH THIS ITEM IS REALLY MUCH THE SAME TYPE OF THING AS THE
PREVIOUS ITEM: IT IS MUCH EASIER TO CATCH ON TO BECAUSE WE ARE MORE
ACCUSTOMED TO READING WORDS. NATURALLY, ONCE ONE HAS BEEN TOLD WHAT
ONE OF THESE ITEMS MEANS IT IS MUCH SIMPLER TO FIGURE OUT WHAT ANY
SIMILAR ITEM WOULD MEAN ALSO.

Where learned: OHIO ; CINCINNATI

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 00001960S

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OH! I WISH I WERE A BUNNY,
WITH A TAIL OF FLUFF,
FOR I'D SIT UPON YOUR DRESSER,
AND BE YOUR POWDER PUFF.

Where learned: OHIO ; CINCINNATI

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

Date learned: 00-00-1959

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ROSES ARE RED, VIOLETS ARE BLUE,
WHEN YOU GET OLDER, YOUR DREAMS WILL COME TRUE.
P. S. MAYBE.

Where learned: OHIO ; CINCINNATI

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

Date learned: 00-00-1959

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