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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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PROVERBIAL METAPHOR

IF "IF" WAS A HORSE, WE'D ALL TAKE A RIDE !

Submitter comment: THIS IS A RETORT TO A PERSON WHO CONSTANTLY USES
"IF" IN HIS SPEECH. "IF THIS ONLY HAPPENED . . ."
"IF I HAD . . ." ETC.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; TOLD IN ; SCRANTON

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 04-00-1972

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AFTER CHRISTMAS THE PRIEST COMES TO THE HOUSE TO BLESS IT. THIS IS
THE FEAST OF THREE KINGS.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; TOLD IN ; SCRANTON

Keyword(s): EPIPHANY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 6 Twelfth Day Epiphany

Date learned: 03-05-1972

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SISTER EILEEN TOLD ME WHAT SHE KNEW TO BE
THE ORIGIN OF THE SAYING "GOD BLESS YOU" AFTER A SNEEZE.
SNEEZING SUPPOSEDLY SYMBOLIZES THE RIDDING
OF THE DEVIL FROM THE BODY AND SAYING GOD BLESS YOU
SYMBOLIZES THAT THE SPACE VACATED BY THE
DEVIL IS NOW ABLE TO BE TAKEN OVER BY GOD.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT SAID SHE KNEW THIS HER WHOLE LIFE BUT COULD NOT
VERIFY IT.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; TOLD IN ; SCRANTON

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Prayer
SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 03-17-1972

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"SHE SELLS SEA SHELLS DOWN BY THE SEASHORE."

Submitter comment: SAY THIS AS FAST AS YOU CAN TEN TIMES.

Data entry tech comment: THIS IS A TONGUE TWISTER.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; TOLD IN ; SCRANTON

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 03-22-1972

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GIZZARD

SOAP IS GOOD FOR THE GIZZARD.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; SCRANTON

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

Date learned: 04-00-1972

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CHILDREN'S RHYME

KINDERGARTEN BABY,
STICK YOUR HEAD IN GRAVY.
WASH IT OUT WITH BUBBLE GUM,
AND SEND IT TO THE NAVY.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; SCRANTON

Keyword(s): RHYME

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

Date learned: 03-00-1972

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CHILDREN'S RHYME

MISSISSIPPI SAID TO MISSOURI,
" WHAT DID DELAWARE? "
VIRGINIA SAID, " ALASKA. "

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; SCRANTON

Keyword(s): PUNS ; RHYME

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

Date learned: 04-01-1972

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AT THE BAR, AT THE BAR,
WHERE I SMASHED MY FIRST CIGAR
AND THE DIMES AND THE NICKELS ROLLED AROUND
IT WAS THERE BY CHANCE
THAT I TORE MY SUNDAY PANTS
AND NOW I HAVE TO WEAR THEM EVERYDAY.

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT'S FATHER USED TO SING THIS SONG ALL THE TIME.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; SCRANTON

Keyword(s): JOKE ; MUSIC ; PARODY ; SONG ; Tune ; VERSE

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

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CONJURATION

IF A BABY HAS BEEN FRIGHTENED BY SOMEONE OR
SOMETHING AND IT CRIES OUT DURING IT'S SLEEP,
YOU TAKE TWO STRAWS FROM A BROOM AND FORM THEM INTO
A CROSS. THEN YOU TAKE AND MELT WAX FROM A BLESSED CANDLE,
NEXT YOU MAKE SURE THE BABY IS COVERED, HOLD A PAN
OR CONTAINER OVER THE BABY'S HEAD WITH THE
CROSS OVER IT AND THEN POUR THE HOT WAX OVER THE CROSS.
A FIGURE OF WHATEVER FRIGHTENED THE BABY WILL FORM
ON THE CROSS FROM THE WAX. AFTER THIS IS DONE THE BABY
WILL NO LONGER BE FRIGHTENED. THE ABOVE IS REFERRED
TO AS OKADZICH.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; SCRANTON

Keyword(s): HOMEOPATHIC MAGIC

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 04-00-1972

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Language: Rhyme

DAN, DAN A DIRTY OLD MAN
WASHED HIS FACE IN THE FRYING PAN
HE COMBED HIS HAIR WITH THE LEG OF A CHAIR
DAN, DAN THE DIRTY OLD MAN.

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT SAYS IT HAS A TUNE BUT SHE CAN'T REMEMBER IT.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD 02-22-2011

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; SCRANTON

Keyword(s): Dan ; Dirty ; Man ; NAME ; Old ; Pan ; RHYME ; RIDICULE ; Tucker

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Ill humor Ridicule Mockery

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AFTER GRADUATION AT WEST POINT, THE NEW LIEUTENANTS RETURN TO
THEIR ROOMS AND THROW THEIR CADET UNIFORMS OUT THE WINDOWS TO THE
CHILDREN WHO HAVE GATHERED FOR THE CEREMONY. THE GRADUATES HAVE
NO FURTHER USE FOR THE CLOTHES THEY WORE WHILE THEY WERE CADETS.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT SAW THIS HAPPEN AFTER THE GRADUATION OF JUNE 1961.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; SCRANTON

Keyword(s): GRADUATION MILITARY CADETS ; MILITARY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F535

Date learned: 03-01-1972

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Belief: Animal

Snake won't die until after sundown.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; SCRANTON

Keyword(s): ANIMAL ; BELIEF ; Night ; Serpent ; Snake ; Sundown ; SUNSET ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal

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HOLY WEEK CUSTOM

ON HOLY THURSDAY NIGHT YOU SHOULD VISIT SEVEN CHURCHES TO GAIN
SPECIAL BLESSINGS AND INDULGENCES.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; SCRANTON

Keyword(s): RELIGIOUS CUSTOM

Subject headings: 663 Holy Thursday
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting F663.32

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DEVIL BELIEF

WHISTLING IN THE HOUSE BRINGS OUT THE DEVIL.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; SCRANTON

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

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PREDICTION DIVINATION

WHEN THE APPLE BLOSSOMS ARE ON THE TREES,
THE BULLHEADS WILL BE BITING.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; SCRANTON

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 04-00-1972

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WEAVE A CROSS

ON PALM SUNDAY, SOME PEOPLE WEAVE A CROSS OUT OF THE PALM RECEIVED
AT CHURCH AND PLACE IT ON A TOMBSTONE OF A LOVED ONE IN THE CEMETERY.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT DID NOT PRACTICE THIS BUT SAW MANY PEOPLE DO IT IN THE
CEMETERY SHE VISITS.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; SCRANTON

Keyword(s): RELIGIOUS CUSTOM

Subject headings: 663 Palm Sunday
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Tuesday

Date learned: 03-17-1972

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BELIEF ABOUT FOOD

EATING THE CRUST OF THE BREAD WILL GIVE YOU CURLY HAIR.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; SCRANTON

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses

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YOUR MOTHER, MY MOTHER LIVE ACROSS THE WAY
EVERY NIGHT THEY HAVE A FIGHT
AND THIS IS WHAT THEY SAY,
YOUR OLD MAN IS A DIRTY OLD MAN
CAUSE HE WASHES HIS FACE WITH THE FRYING PAN
HE COMBS HIS HAIR WITH THE LEG OF THE CHAIR.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; SCRANTON

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

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PREDICTION DIVINATION

AN ITCHY NOSE MEANS YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE A QUARREL OR FIGHT.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; SCRANTON

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

Date learned: 01-00-1970

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IF YOU BRUSH YOUR HAIR ONE HUNDRED TIMES EVERY DAY, YOU WILL ALWAYS
HAVE SHINY HAIR.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT FIRMLY BELIEVES THIS.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; SCRANTON

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.100
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 03-05-1972

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