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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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PROVERB

BRAG IS A GOOD DOG BUT HOLDFAST IS BETTER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FARMINGTON

Keyword(s): ANIMAL ; PERSONIFICATION

James Callow Keyword(s): BRAGGING ; OBSERVATION ; PERSISTENCE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 04-00-1971

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RIDDLE

OVER THE GROUND,
UNDER YOUR NOSE
IT HAS AS MANY HEELS AS TOES. (A PAIR OF SHOES).

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FARMINGTON ; TOLD IN

James Callow Keyword(s): CLOTHING (A) WEARING APPAREL (A)

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

Date learned: 09-26-1972

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WISHING

IF YOU MAKE A WISH AS SOON AS YOU SEE A ROBIN , THEN IT WILL COME
TRUE

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FARMINGTON ; TOLD IN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: 09-26-1972

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LUCK

IF YOU SEE A PIN ON THE GROUND AND DON'T PICK IT UP, YOU WILL LOSE A
FRIEND AND END UP CRYING BEFORE THE DAY IS OUT. BUT IF YOU PICK IT
UP YOU WILL HAVE GOOD LUCK THE REST OF THE DAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FARMINGTON ; TOLD IN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.18

Date learned: 09-26-1972

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OMEN

IF A BIRD FLIES INTO A HOUSE THROUGH AN OPEN WINDOW, IT MEANS A
VERY BAD OMEN HAS BEEN GIVEN AND SOMEONE LIVING IN THE HOUSE WILL
DIE WITHIN THE YEAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FARMINGTON ; TOLD IN

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 09-26-1972

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MARRIAGE CUSTOM

BRIDES SHOULD ALWAYS HIDE A PAIR OF SCISSORS ON THEMSELVES SO
THEY CAN "CUT" AWAY ANY EVIL THAT MAY BE WISHED UPON THEM

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FARMINGTON ; TOLD IN

James Callow Keyword(s): HOMEOPATHIC

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage

Date learned: 09-26-1972

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RIDDLE

WHAT IS IT THAT SITS UPON A SHELF, AND LIVES AS LONG AS IT EATS
ITSELF. A: A CANDLE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FARMINGTON ; TOLD IN

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 09-26-1972

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LUCK/OMEN

IF SEVEN PEOPLE EAT A SEVEN COURSE MEAL TOGETHER, THEN THEY WILL
HAVE GOOD LUCK B/UT IF THIRTEEN PEOPLE EAT TOGER AT ALL, ONE OF TH
THE THIRTEEN WILL DIE WITHIN THE YEAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FARMINGTON ; TOLD IN

Subject headings: 686 Specific number by specific number being described
686 Seven / Sevenths / Several
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.2
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.2

Date learned: 09-26-1972

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NAME

HEAD: } THIS IS THE NAME GIVEN BY THE SEAGOING SERVICES FOR A }
BATHROOM.
ROOM. IT IS IN SUCH COMMON USE, THAT MANY MILITARY MEN USE THIS
TERM EVEN WHEN OFF DUTY IN A CIVILIAN SITUATION.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FARMINGTON ; TOLD IN

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Trade & commerce

Date learned: 09-27-1972

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RIDDLE

THIRTY-TWO WHITE CALVES STANDING IN A STALL, ALONG
COMES A RED
COW AD LICKS THEM ALL. A: N TEETH AND TONGUE

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FARMINGTON ; TOLD IN

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMAL (Q) ; BODY PARTS (A)

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

Date learned: 09-26-1972

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LUCK

IT IS BAD LUCK FOR A WOMAN TO SWEEP OUT ANY PART OF HER HOUSE
WHILE SHE HAS ANY COMPANY VISITING.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FARMINGTON ; TOLD IN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Bad luck
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.21

Date learned: 09-26-1972

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CHILDREN'S SONG

MY BOYFRIEND GAVE ME PEACHES
MY BOYFRIEND GAVE ME PEARS
MY BOYFRIEND GAVE ME FIFTY CENTS
AND KICKED ME DOWN THE STAIRS.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT TOLD ME THAT MANY OF HER FRIENDS AND HER SISTERS USED
TO SING THIS WITH HER WHEN SHE WAS YOUNG. SHE ALSO TOLD ME THAT
THIS CAN ALSO BE USED WITH A CLAPPING BEAT OF WHATEVER THE SINGER
THINKS WILL GO WITH THE SONG.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FARMINGTON ; TOLD IN

James Callow Keyword(s): FRUIT AS GIFTS ; INITIAL ITERATION MEDIAL ITERATION ; RHYME: ABCB

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

Date learned: 09-25-1972

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THERE ONCE WAS TWO DRUNKS AT THE WAKE OF THEIR BEST
FRIEND. AFTER SEVERAL HOURS, THEY COULD NO LONGER
STAND TO BE SOBER, AND DECIDED TO HAVE A DRINK. THE
ONLY PROBLEM WAS THAT THEY DID NOT HAVE ANY LEFT.
SO THEY DECIDED TO GO TO THE CORNER BAR. THEY DID
NOT WANT TO LEAVE THEIR "DEPARTED FRIEND," SO THEY
TOOK HIM WITH THEM. WHEN THEY GOT TO THE BAR, THEY
ORDERED THREE DRINKS INSTEAD OF TWO. ROUND AFTER
ROUND THEY FOLLOWED THE SAME ROUTINE, EACH TAKING
TURNS DRINKING THE CORPSE'S DRINK.
AFTER A WHILE THE TWO DRUNKS BECAME HUNGRY SO THEY
DRAGGED THE CORPSE OVER TO THE TABLE WHILE THEY
WENT TO EAT IN ANOTHER ROOM. MEANWHILE, THE
BARTENDER WENT OVER TO THE TABLE WHERE THE CORPSE
WAS SLUMPED OVER AND DEMANDED PAYMENT FOR THE DRINKS.
AFTER SEVERAL ATTEMPTS TO WAKE HIM, HE THREATENED
TO KILL HIM IF HE DID NOT RESPOND. THE BARTENDER,
SEEING THAT HE WOULD NOT GET A RESPONSE, TOOK THE BODY
AND THREW IT AGAINST THE WALL. AT THAT MOMENT THE TWO
DRUNKS RETURNED, SCREAMING FOR THE POLICE.
"YOU'VE KILLED OUR FRIEND!"
"IT WAS HIS FAULT! HE PULLED A KNIFE!"

Submitter comment: INFORMANT FIRMLY STATED THAT THIS ACTUALLY OCCURRED AND
THAT HE PERSONALLY KNEW ALL THOSE INVOLVED. INFORMANT
SAID THAT IT OCCURRED AROUND 1917 BUT HAS SINCE BECOME A
FAVORITE STORY OF OLDER DETROIT IRISHMEN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FARMINGTON

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Stupid man or woman

Date learned: 11-15-1971

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SHE TOLD ME THAT WHEN YOU WALK THROUGH A FOREST YOU SHOULD CARRY
A PIECE OF BREAD IN YOUR HAND IN ORDER TO SCARE ALL THE GHOSTS.

Where learned: FARMINGTON

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food Cereal
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 09-21-1969

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IF THE CORNS ON YOUR FEET ACHE, IT'S A SURE SIGN OF RAIN.

Where learned: FARMINGTON ; KENTUCKY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Feet, toes, toenails
BELIEF -- Weather sign or control P890.7

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When Mrs. Bergen poured me a cup of hot tea, she said "Look at all the money that I gave you." The "money" refers to all the air bubbles which accumulate in your cup and gather at the center, which look like silver change is one stretches his imagination.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs and BN added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [N446 f578.4] crossed out. Nothing Replaces them.

Submission card located in a pile marked To Be Classified.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; FARMINGTON ; Shiawassee Apartments ; Farmington Place

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; COIN MONEY ; Fortune Telling ; MONEY ; SUPERSTITION ; TEA

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Use of Object
BELIEF -- Use of Object Food
PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

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SUPERSTITION (PREDICTION)

NEVER CUT YOUR FINGERNAILS OR TOENAILS ON SUNDAY. IF YOU DO,
YOU'LL DIE BEFORE SUNDOWN.

Submitter comment: THIS SUPERSTITION OR BELIEF WAS TOLD TO HER BY HER HUSBAND'S
MOTHER.

Where learned: FARMINGTON ; KENTUCKY

Subject headings: Prediction / Divination
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hands, palms, fingernails
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Feet, toes, toenails
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour

Date learned: 06-10-1972

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AN IRISHMAN BY THE NAME OF CORBETT CAME TO AMERICA
BECAUSE HE HEARD IT WAS THE LAND OF GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY.
LIKE MANY IMMIGRANTS HE WENT TO WORK IN A FACTORY.
HIS JOB WAS WORKING A MACHINE THAT MADE ROUND DISKS FOR
MACHINE PARTS. BUT CORBETT HAD HEARD AMERICA'S
"STREETS WERE PAVED WITH GOLD" AND MONEY COULD BE FOUND
EVERYWHERE. SO HE ASSUMED THAT THE DISKS HE WAS MAKING
WERE VALUABLE TREASURES. SOMEHOW THE "TREASURES" THAT
WERE NOT USED WERE NEVER PICKED UP, SO HE TOOK IT
UPON HIMSELF TO BE THE COLLECTOR.
ONE DAY AFTER WORK HE WENT TO CLANCEY'S BAR. AFTER
SEVERAL GLASSES OF BEER CORBETT DECIDED TO PAY FOR
THEM. FROM HIS POCKET HE DREW ONE OF THOSE LARGE
DISKS AND LEFT FOR THE DOOR. CORBETT WAS JUST ABOUT
TO LEAVE WHEN CLANCEY SHOUTED AND TOLD HIM TO COME
BACK AND PAY HIM. CORBETT STAGGERED BACK TO THE BAR
AND CAREFULLY LOOKED AT THE TOKEN.
"LORDY BE! YOU MEAN I LEFT YOU THAT?"
HE QUICKLY TOOK A SMALLER TOKEN OUT OF HIS POCKET
AND STAGGERED TO THE DOOR. CLANCEY WAS STRICKEN
WITH AMAZEMENT.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT SAID THAT THIS INCIDENT ACTUALLY HAPPENED
ALTHOUGH HE HAS HEARD MANY VERSIONS OF THE STORY
HIMSELF. INFORMANT SAID THIS HAPPENED IN THE LATE
1920S.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FARMINGTON

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Stupid man or woman

Date learned: 11-15-1971

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A LADY WENT TO A PRIEST TO COMPLAIN ABOUT HER
HUSBAND'S TERRIBLE DRINKING. SHE PLEADED WITH THE
FATHER TO TALK TO HER HUSBAND TO END HIS "EVIL WAYS."
SO THE FATHER REQUESTED THAT THE HUSBAND COME IN TO
TALK. THE HUSBAND RELUCTANTLY AGREED TO GO.
"SON, I HAVE HEARD THAT YOU ARE PLAYING WITH THE
'DEVIL'S BREW.' BUT I AM NOT GOING TO TELL YOU TO
STOP SIPPING THE 'DEVIL'S NECTAR.' INSTEAD, I AM
GOING TO TELL YOU ABOUT A MAN WHO DRANK SO MUCH THAT
WHEN HE WENT TO BLOW OUT A CANDLE HIS BREATH MADE IT
IGNITE MORE AND HE CAUGHT ON FIRE. NOW SON, I
WANT YOU TO GO HOME AND THINK ABOUT THAT."
THE MAN WENT HOME AND THOUGHT ABOUT IT. HE RETURNED
TO THE PRIEST TWO WEEKS LATER. "WELL, SON, HAVE YOU
THOUGHT ABOUT IT?" "INDEED, I HAVE FATHER! I WON'T
GIVE UP DRINKING BUT I PROMISE YOU I WILL NEVER BLOW OUT
A CANDLE."

Submitter comment: INFORMANT REMEMBERED THIS STORY BEING TOLD AT A WAKE
IN THE EARLY 1920S. INFORMANT ADDED THAT THIS STORY
HAS BECOME A CLASSIC AMONG HIS CIRCLE OF FRIENDS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FARMINGTON

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Stupid man or woman

Date learned: 11-15-1971

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A SIP OF WATER

ALWAYS TAKE A SIP OF WATER WHEN YOU COME HOME FROM CHURCH ON SUNDAY
MORNING TO BE SURE YOU WASH DOWN ALL THE PARTICLES OF THE HOST
BEFORE EATING BREAKFAST

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FARMINGTON

James Callow Keyword(s): EUCHARIST

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church

Date learned: CA02001980

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