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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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CHOOSING IT

EACH PLAYER PUTS HIS FOOT INTO A CIRCLE. THE CALLER
POINTS TO ONE FOOT PER WORD:
UM BUM BEENA,
SHUCK-A-LUCK-A-TEENA,
TICK-A-TACK-A-ILLY BILLY BUM

Submitter comment: WHOEVERS' FOOT HE IS POINTING AT ON THE LAST WORD,
THAT PERSON IS OUT AND CANNOT BE "IT." THE CALLER
CONTINUES UNTIL THERE IS ONLY ONE PERSON LEFT. THAT
PERSON IS "IT."

Where learned: CHILDHOOD PLAYMATES

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

Date learned: 00-00-1955

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IF I SPILT SALT, I SHOULD TOSS A PINCH OVER MY LEFT
SHOULDER TO WARD OFF MISFORTUNE.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; BLACK BOY: A RECORD OF CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH ; SIGNET BOOK ; NEW AMERICAN LIBRARY ; PAGE 82

James Callow Keyword(s): SPILLED

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 00-00-1945

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IF YOU GO BY AN EMPTY ROCKING CHAIR AND PUSH ON ONE ARM
AND MAKE IT ROCK, IT MEANS THAT SOMEONE IN YOUR FAMILY
IS GOING TO DIE.

Where learned: CHILDHOOD

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Number Emptiness, nothingness, zero

Date learned: 00001950S

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IF YOUR EAR BUZZES OR RINGS, SOMEONE IS TALKING ABOUT
YOU AT THAT MOMENT.

Where learned: CHILDHOOD

Subject headings: 842 Ringing ears / buzzing / hot, burning
Observation

Date learned: 00-00-1955

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SLEEP SAYING

DEAD TO THE WORLD.

Where learned: CHILDHOOD

Keyword(s): COSMOS

James Callow Keyword(s): ASLEEP

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

Date learned: 11-00-1968

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DOCTORS' PHILOSOPHY

DOCTORS ALWAYS BURY THEIR MISTAKES.

Where learned: CHILDHOOD

James Callow Keyword(s): INCOMPETENCY ; IRONY

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Blason Populaire

Date learned: 11-00-1968

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DOOR LOCKS ON INSIDE

THE DOOR LOCKS FROM THE INSIDE.

Where learned: CHILDHOOD

James Callow Keyword(s): PRECAUTION?

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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PEAS PORRIDGE HOT, PEAS PORRIDGE COLD,
PEAS PORRIDGE IN THE POT, NINE DAYS OLD.
SOME LIKE IT HOT, SOME LIKE IT COLD.
SOME LIKE IT IN THE POT, NINE DAYS OLD.

SECOND VERSE--SUBSTITUTE "ONE DAY OLD" FOR "NINE DAYS OLD"

Where learned: CHILDHOOD ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse C730.522

Date learned: 00-00-1958

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OMEN (COLLECTOR'S TITLE)

BAD LUCK COMES IN THREES

Where learned: CHILDHOOD COLLECTED

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple

Date learned: 11-00-1968

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GESTURE

A GESTURE OF PUSHING THE FRONT TEETH WITH THE THUMB WHEN YOUR TONGUE
GETS TIED.

Where learned: CHILDHOOD

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 11-00-1968

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CHILDREN'S VERSE

I SCREAM,/ YOU SCREAM,/WE ALL SCREAM,/FOR ICE CREAM.

Where learned: REMEMBERED FROM CHILDHOOD

Keyword(s): FINAL ITERATION ; PUN

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

Date learned: NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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FOR BETTER OR WORSE

FOR BETTER OR WORSE, BUT NOT FOR LUNCH.

Where learned: CHILDHOOD

Keyword(s): CONTRAST ; MARRIED LIFE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 00-00-1968

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RETORT

I'LL POINT YOUR TOES AND POUND YOU RIGHT INTO THE GROUND.

Submitter comment: SOMETHING HE SAYS IN ANGER.

Where learned: CHILDHOOD

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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ANSWERING THE TELEPHONE

PHONE RINGS, YOU PICK UP THE RECEIVER, "JOE'S POOL
HALL, EIGHTBALL SPEAKING."

Where learned: CHILDHOOD

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 00-00-1957

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THE DEADLY SIDEWALK

STEP ON A CRACK YOU BREAK (YOUR MOTHER'S OR ANYONE NAMED)
BACK.
STEP ON A LINE YOU BREAK (NAME) SPINE.

Submitter comment: THIS CHANT WAS SUNG WHILE WALKING DOWN THE PAVEMENT AND
GREAT CARE WAS TAKEN TO MISS ALL LINES AND CRACKS IN THE
SIDEWALK (UNLESS YOU WISHED TO HARM SOMEONE IN THE
FANTASY & THEN THE CRACKS AND LINES WERE AIMED FOR).
I RECALL THE VERSE FROM EARLY CHILDHOOD BUT FROM NO
SPECIFIC INFORMANT.

Where learned: EARLY CHILDHOOD

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

Date learned: EARLY CHILDHOOD

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PROVERB

FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE.

Where learned: HOME ; DURING HER CHILDHOOD

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

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WHEN WALKING THROUGH A CEMETERY, IT IS DISRESPECTFUL TO
THE DEAD TO WALK OVER THEIR GRAVES.

Submitter comment: TAUGHT TO ME AT A YOUNG AGE--DETAILS VAGUE.

Where learned: CHILDHOOD ; BIRMINGHAM ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: CHILDHOOD

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IF I PULLED A HAIR FROM A HORSE'S TAIL AND SEALED IT
IN A JAR OF MY OWN URINE, THE HAIR WOULD TURN
OVERNIGHT INTO A SNAKE.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; BLACK BOY: A RECORD OF CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH ; SIGNET BOOK ; NEW AMERICAN LIBRARY ; PAGE 81

James Callow Keyword(s): TRANSFORMATION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal
BELIEF -- Mammal

Date learned: 00-00-1945

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SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW,
SOMETHING BORROWED AND SOMETHING BLUE.
HAPPY THE BRIDE THE SUN SHINES ON.

Where learned: CHILDHOOD

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Wear something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue

Date learned: 11-00-1968

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AFTER THE CEREMONY IS OVER, THE BRIDE TOSSES HER
BOUQUET AND THE MAIDEN WHO CATCHES IT IS SUPPOSED
TO WED NEXT.

Where learned: CHILDHOOD ; MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Bouquet toss

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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