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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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LUCK-BAD

IT IS CONSIDERED BAD LUCK TO PUT SHOES ON A TABLE.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT HEARD THIS FROM HER POLISH MOTHER-IN-LAW.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 01-15-1984

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LUCK-BAD

IT IS CONSIDERED BAD LUCK TO PLACE A HAT ON A BED.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT HEARD THIS FROM HER POLISH MOTHER-IN-LAW.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 01-15-1984

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Entry filtered.

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

DID YOU HEAR ABOUT RUSSIA'S NEW AMUSEMENT PARK? THEY
ARE BUILDING A WALL AROUND POLAND.

Submitter comment:

HEARD AT A TIME WHEN RUSSIA-POLAND RELATIONS WERE ALWAYS IN THE
NEWS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Poli
RUSS

Date learned: 10-00-1983

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Entry filtered.

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

HOW DOES A POLLOCK GET KILLED DRINKING WATER? THE TOILET
SEAT FALLS ON HIM!

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Poli

Date learned: 10-00-1983

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SEE A PENNY, PICK IT UP,
EVERY DAY YOU'LL HAVE GOOD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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SPRING

THE AIR IS WARM AND THE SKY IS BLUE
THE LEAVES ARE GREEN_YELLOW
BECAUSE THEY ARE NEW.
THE FEET GO SKIPPING
THE BIRDS ALL SING,
THE WHOLE WORLD IS HAPPY
BECAUSE IT IS SPRING.

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT SINGS THIS WITH HER FRIENDS IN SCHOOL.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Keyword(s): CHILDREN ; Lyrics ; MUSIC ; RHYME ; SEASONAL SONG ; SONG ; Tune ; VERSE

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

Date learned: 08-11-1964

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ANGORA BELIEF

PUT ANGORA YARN IN THE ICEBOX A FEW HOURS BEFORE YOU
PLAN TO USE IT FOR KNITTING;
IT KEEPS THE YARN FROM SHEDDING.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMAL PRODUCT

Subject headings: Custom
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 01-20-1971

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HIDE AND SEEK CAL

APPLE, PEACHES, PUMPKIN PIE,
WHO'S NOT READY HOLLER "I."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Verse C750.538

Date learned: 00001958 CA.

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SUPERSTITON

AN ENGLISH IVY PLANT IN THE HOUSE WILL BRING BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT STRONGLY BELIEVES THIS. SHE CLAIMS THAT WHENEVER SHE
HAD SUCH A PLANT IN THE HOUSE, THE RESULT WAS NOTHING BUT BAD LUCK
UNTIL SHE DISPOSED OF THE PLANT.

Where learned: SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 02-27-1971

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BELIEF

YOU CAN NOT GIVE ANY SHARP OBJECT TO A FRIEND
WITHOUT A MINIMAL PAYMENT BECAUSE IT WILL BREAK UP
THE FRIENDSHIP.

Submitter comment: ALISON HEARD THIS FROM HER NEIGHBOR, THE NEIGHBOR MADE
INFORMANT'S MOTHER PAY 2 CENTS FOR A PAIR OF SCISSORS. SHE
FIRMLY BELIEVED THIS

Where learned: SAINT CLAIR SHORES

James Callow Keyword(s): HOMEOPATHIC

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 11-19-1971

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STUB YOUR TOE, SEE YOUR BEAU.
KISS YOUR THUMB, BE SURE TO COME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

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

Date learned: 02-17-1970

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PREDICTION CONCERNING FISH

WHEN THE WIND IS FROM THE WEST
THAT IS WHEN THE FISH BITE THE BEST.

WHEN THE WIND IS FROM THE NORTH
FISHERMEN SHALL GO FORTH.

WHEN THE WIND IS FROM THE SOUTH
BLOWS THE BAIT RIGHT INTO THEIR (FISH) MOUTH.

WHEN THE WIND IS FROM THE EAST
THAT IS WHEN THE FISH BITE THE LEAST.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief C860.448

Date learned: 01-20-1971

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IF WISHES WERE HORSES, BEGGARS WOULD RIDE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief C860.200

Date learned: 01-20-1971

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AFTER A POLISH FUNERAL, THE HEARSE STOPS BEFORE THE
DEAD PERSON'S HOME, AS A LAST VISIT FOR THE DEAD
PERSON.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT ACTUALLY EXPERIENCED THIS CUSTOM AT HIS
UNCLE'S FUNERAL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 02-27-1971

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WHENEVER A DEATH OCCURS IN A FAMILY, A BLACK BOW
IS PUT OUTSIDE THE FRONT DOOR.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT SAID THIS WAS A CUSTOM USED IN BELGIUM
TO SIGNIFY A DEATH IN THE FAMILY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 02-20-1972

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COMMON SENSE

WOULD YOU RATHER TAKE DOLLAR OR CENTS?
(IF PERSON REPLIES DOLLARS, THEN:)
THEN YOU DON'T HAVE ANY CENTS (SENSE).

Submitter comment: INFORMANT HEARD THIS FROM HER SISTER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 08-11-1964

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THE STORY OF BLOOD ROAD

OUT IN THE HILLS NEAR ORTONVILLE, MICHIGAN THERE IS A ROAD THAT
PEOPLE NOW CALL BLOOD ROAD. THE ROAD IS VERY SECLUDED WAY OUT IN
THE COUNTRY AND LINED WITH HUGE TREES. ONE NIGHT A YOUNG COUPLE
WHO HAD BEEN OUT TO A PARTY WERE GOING DOWN THE ROAD WHEN THEIR
CAR BROKE DOWN. THE YOUNG MAN TRIED TO START IT AGIAN BUT NOTHING
HAPPENED SO HE DECIDED TO WALK 15 OR SO MILES BACK TO THE NEAREST
HOUSE AND CALL FOR HELP. THE GIRL DIDN'T WANT TO BE LEFT ALONE
BECAUSE EARLIER THEY HAD HEARD A NEWS BULLETIN ON THE RADIO ABOUT
AN ESCAPED LUNATIC BELIEVED TO BE HEADED IN THAT DIRECTION. HER
BOYFRIEND FINALLY CONVINCED HER THAT SHE WOULD BE ALRIGHT IF SHE
LOCKED HERSELF IN. HE SET OFF WALKING AND SHE LOCKED THE CAR AND
GOT A BLANKET OUT OF THE BACK TO KEEP WARM WITH. AN HOUR OR SO
PASSED AND THE GIRL FELL ASLEEP. SHE AWOKE TO HEAR A TAPPING AT
THE WINDOW. SHE COULDN'T SEE WHAT WAS CAUSING IT BECAUSE IT WAS
SO DARK SO SHE LAID THERE UNDER THE BLANKET WAITING. EVENTUALLY
SHE SAW THE LIGHTS OF A CAR. TIRED OF WAITING AND VERY FRIGHTENED
SHE DECIDED TO FLAG IT DOWN THINKING IT WAS EITHER HER BOYFRIEND
OR SOMEONE WHO COULD HELP. SHE GETS OUT OF THE CAR AND AS SHE
TURNS TOWARDS THE APPROACHING CAR SHE SEES WHAT WAS CAUSING THE
TAPPING NOISE. HER BOYFRIEND WAS HANGING FROM A TREE BY HIS FEET.
HIS THROAT HAD BEEN CUT AND HIS ARM WAS HANGING DOWN NEAR THE CAR,
THE NOISE HAD BEEN HIS CLASS RING TAPPING AGAINST THE CAR WINDOW
AS HIS BODY SWONG IN THE WIND. THAT IS WHY THE ROAD IS CALLED
BLOOD ROAD.

Submitter comment: BRUNVANDS THE BOYFRIEND'S DEATH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 02-20-1984

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NANCY HAD A LITTLE CAR,
THE CAR WAS PAINTED RED,
EVERYWHERE NANCY WENT,
POLICE PICKED UP THE DEAD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN, ASSUMED ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

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

Date learned: 00-00-1963

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( HOLY WEEK CUSTOMS )

SOME OF THE OLD WORLD CUSTOMS THAT ARE CELEBRATED BY
POLISH-AMERICANS, AND ARE A BIG PART OF OUR HERITAGE STEM FROM
OUR CATHOLIC FAITH. THE BIGGEST AND MOST IMPORTANT IS EASTER.
AT THE CONCLUSION OF HOLY THURSDAY SERVICES OUR ALTAR IS
STRIPPED OF ITS VESTMENTS AND IS LEFT BARE. THE TABERNACLE
IS LEFT OPEN AND THE SACREMENT REMOVED. AT THE SIDE ALTAR THE
SEPULCHRE IS PREPARED. AT 3:00 ON GOOD FRIDAY THE FIGURE OF
CHRIST WILL BE LYING IN THE TOMB. ON GOOD FRIDAY ( , )
BEGINNING AT 12:00 NOON ( , ) THE CHURCH IS FILLED TO CAPACITY
WITH WORSHIPPERS COMMENORATING ( COMMEMORATING ) CHRIST'S
CRUCIFIXION. THE CROSS IS CARRIED THROUGH THE AISLES COVERING
CHRIST'S FOOTSTEPS ON THE WAY TO CALVARY. AT 3:00, THE PRIEST
LEADS THE PROCESSION TO THE SEPULCHRE AND THE FIGURE OF CHRIST IS
UNCOVERED.
THE MORNING OF HOLY SATURDAY FINDS THE PEOPLE COMING TO THE CHURCH
TO RECEIVE HOLY WATER AND THORNS. IN POLISH HOMES YOU WILL FIND
A RECEPTACLE FOR HOLY WATER AT THE ENTRANCE OF THE BEDROOMS FROM
WHICH THE MOTHER BLESSES HER FAMILY WHILE THEY ARE ASLEEP AT
NIGHT. A VISIT IS PAID TO THE SEPULCHRE WHICH IS GUARDED BY
SOLDIERS. THE PARISHIONERS BRING EASTER LILIES TO ADORN CHRIST'S
TOMB. AT 1:00 WE BRING FOOD BASKETS TO THE CHURCH TO BE BLESSED,
WHICH WILL BE EATEN FOR BREAKFAST ON EASTER. THE FOOD CONSISTS OF
POLISH SAUSAGE (KIELBASA) ( , ) BUTTER SHAPED IN THE FORM OF A
LAMB WITH A RED RIBBON AROUND ITS NECK, SIGNIFYING CHRIST,
THE SLAIN LAMB. A SWEET BREAD MADE OF EGG AND SWEET RAISINS IS
BRAIDED INTO A LOAF, HORSERADISH AND COLORED EASTER ( EGGS ) ARE
ALSO IN THE BASKET.
EASTER MORNING AT 5:00 A.M. THE SUNRISE SERVICES BEGIN.
CHILDREN DRESSED IN WHITE ( , ) WEARING BLUE CAPES ( , ) COME IN
PROCESSION CARRYING FLOWERS. THEY ARE MET AT THE ALTAR BY THE
PRIEST AND WITH A TRUMPET FANFARE PROCEED TO THE TOMB. THERE
THEY FIND THE FIGURE OF CHRIST HAS BEEN REMOVED AND WHERE HE LAID
FLOWERS EN-MASSE. ARTIFICIAL SUNRAYS PROFUSE FROM THE TOMB, AND
THE SOLDIERS ARE GONE. CHRIST IS RISEN.
IN THE OLD COUNTRY EASTER MONDAY FINDS THE BOYS CHASING THEIR
GIRLS WITH LONG SWITCHES TO SWITCH THEIR LEGS. THEY IN TURN,
ARE CHASING THE BOYS WITH BUCKETS OF WATER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Keyword(s): DYNGUS DAY ; FOOD CUSTOM ; MUSIC ; RITUAL WHIPPING ; SWIECZONKA ; SYMBOL ; WATER

Subject headings: 663 Holy Thursday
663 Good Friday
663 Holy Saturday
Favorites
DRAMA -- Religious
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter eggs
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Sunday
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Monday Dyngus
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting F663.30

Date learned: 11-10-1971

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BEFORE PRAYING FIVE TIMES A DAY, MOSLEMS WASH
THEIR HANDS, FEET AND FACE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church

Date learned: 03-06-1970

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