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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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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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IN GOD WE TRUST, ALL OTHERS PAY CASH.

Submitter comment: BLASON POPULAIRE AGAINST CATHOLICS}

Data entry tech comment: ALTHOUGH THIS IS IDENTIFIED BY THE COLLECTOR AS A BLASON POPULAIRE
AGAINST CATHOLICS, IT SEEMS TO ME THAT THE OBJECT OF THE PROVERB IS
MORE PROBABLY BELIEVERS IN GOD IN GENERAL, AND THEN ONLY IF "IN GOD
WE TRUST" IS SAID MOCKINGLY OR SARCASTICALLY.

Where learned: SARAH FISHER HOME FOR CHILDREN

Keyword(s): ADVICE: POSITIVE ; CREDIT

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Blason Populaire

Date learned: 03-00-1970

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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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Marco Polo

Game. The game called "Marco Polo" may only be played in a
swimming pool or lake. There can be as few as two participants or
as many as you wish. There is one person designated as "it." This
person must turn and spin under water and emerge above water with
eyes closed. The purpose of this act is to disorient the "it"
person and allow the other participants to seek new spots in the
water. "It" begins shouting "Marco" with the participants
answering, "Polo." The "it" person listens for voices close by and
begins waving his/her arms and moving about trying to seek one of
the participants. All the time "it" is shouting "Marco" and
receiving answers of "Polo." This continues until "it" touches one
of the participants, who then becomes "it." Should one of the
participants ever leave the water, all other participants are to
report this by shouting, "Fish out of water." Should there be a
fish out of water, he/she automatically becomes "it."

Submitter comment: I inquired as to why anyone would leave the water to become a
"fish out of water" and was informed that it was generally because
the "it" person was very close to tagging them, or they had to go
to the bathroom.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROSEVILLE ; Neighborhood children

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Water Ice Snow

Date learned: 00001970S

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African-American Children's hand clapping game

This game is played as hands are clapped together in time to
the words in the game.
Popsicle sticks will make you sick
with a wiggle and a wobble
and a giggle and a flip
If you say (any number the caller chooses to call from 0-9)
you're out of the game.

Submitter comment: If the number two (2) is called then the children proceed to
count skipping over the number two i.e.
1,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,13, etc. never calling any number
containing a two (2). If someone does call a number
containing two (2) he/she is out of the game. Rhythm is very
important to the game; it is played keeping time with a
consistent hand clapped rhythm.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; other children in the community

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Athletic sport and exercise Gymnastics
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Verse

Date learned: 00-00-1988

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A ball game played by African-American children

Lins-ee , clap-sies
twirl about
to back-sies
right hand
left hand
touch your knees
and your toes
and your heels
under we go
high-sies
low-sies

Submitter comment: This game is played with a ball. The ball is thrown up
against a wall. We always played on the brick wall
homes in my neighborhood. As the ball is thrown and caught
each call is a command that must be done before the ball is
caught off of the wall. Example; Linsee is to throw the ball,
Clap-sies means to throw the ball on the wall and clap before
it is caught. Twirl about means to throw the ball on the wall
and twirl completely around before the ball is caught.
Back-sies means to turn your back and throw the ball on the wall.
This game continues on with the player performing each line
in the game. A missed catch constitutes giving the ball to
the next player. When your turn comes back around you begin
at the point you missed. Example, If you missed at left
hand, you begin the game at left hand. The first person to
get all the way through the game is the winner.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; children in the community

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

Date learned: 00-00-1961

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African-American Children's Game (jump rope)

Mable, Mable set the table
don't forget the
red
hot
pepper!

Submitter comment: Two children are turning the rope and one is jumping
in the middle of the rope. When "red hot pepper" is
said, the rope is turned as fast as the rope turners
can possibly turn until the jumper misses.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; other children in the community

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

Date learned: 00-00-1989

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African-American Children's Game used to determine

Engine Engine number nine
going down Chicago line
if the train should jump the track
do you want your money back? (answer y/n)
Y E S spells yes and you are out of this game.

Submitter comment: Each child must put one foot in a circle with all
toes touching together. The caller must touch each
shoe as the words to the song are sung. The last foot,
or person left in the circle is "it". Such games are
also known as "counting-out rhymes."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; children in the community

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

Date learned: 00-00-1960

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Hand clapping rhyme played by African-American girls

Zing Zing Zing like a washing machine
I like coffee, I like tea.
I like the colored boy
and he likes me.
So step back white boy
you don't shine,
I'll get the colored boy
to beat your behind.
Last night, night before
I met my boyfriend at the candy store.
He bought me ice cream,
he bought me cake,
he brought me home with a belly ache.
Mama, Mama I feel sick.
Call the doctor quick quick quick.
Doctor Doctor shall I die?
Close your eyes and count to five.
One, Two, Three, Four Five. I'M ALIVE!

Submitter comment: This game is done with accompanying hand claps.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; children at school

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

Date learned: 00-00-1989

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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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IT IS THE CUSTOM OF POLISH PEOPLE TO PIN MONEY ON THE
DRESS OF THE BRIDE AS AN OFFERING FOR THE PRIVILEGE
OF DANCING WITH HER AT THE RECEPTION. THE BRIDE
THEN TAKES ALL THE BILLS (USUALLY MEN PIN ON ONE
DOLLAR BILLS) AND THEY ARE HERS TO KEEP.

Where learned: CHILDHOOD

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Paying for dance

Date learned: 00-00-1957

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