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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

What is the difference between an Irish funeral and an Irish
wedding? One less drunk.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROSEVILLE ; from a friend

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Stupid man or woman
IRIS

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VERSE

FORGET ME NOT, FORGET ME NEVER.
AND I SHALL BE, YOUR LOVE FOREVER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROSEVILLE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Forget me not

Date learned: 12-00-1974

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VERSE

ROSES ARE RED, VIOLETS ARE BLACK,
AND YOU'D LOOK BETTER WITH A KNIFE IN YOUR BACK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROSEVILLE

James Callow Keyword(s): INSULT

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Roses are red and other such associations

Date learned: 12-00-1974

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TO LOOK BEAUTIFUL

CU BEDDA VOLE PARIRE Y GUEI E PENA, DEVE SOFRIRE. (ITALIAN)
HE WHO WANTS TO LOOK BEAUTIFUL, MUST SUFFER MUCH WOE.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; ROSEVILLE ; TOLD AT

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 02-10-1970

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KRAKOWIAK (POLISH DANCE)

LIKE THE AMERICAN SQUARE DANCE.

Where learned: CHILDHOOD ; NOT GIVEN ; HOME ; PENNSYLVANIA ; MICHIGAN ; LETTER ; OHIO ; NEW JERSEY ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; AUTOGRAPH BOOK ; GROSSE POINTE ; HARPER WOODS ; GROSSE POINTE WOODS ; WARREN ; JAPAN ; RUSSIA ; GRAND RAPIDS ; SHIPLE HALL ; GARDEN CITY ; ROYAL OAK ; TOLEDO ; TRENTON ; FARMINGTON ; KALAMAZOO ; CANADA ; ONTARIO ; MARYGROVE COLLEGE ; DETROIT ; MAIL ; INDIANA ; DETROIT, ASSUMED ; TOLD AT HOME ; FERNDALE ; SOUTHFIELD ; TENNESSEE ; MACKENZIE HIGH SCHOOL ; HAMTRAMCK ; DEARBORN ; MINNESOTA ; ILLINOIS ; NEW YORK ; FLORIDA ; KOREA ; WISCONSIN ; NEW HAMPSHIRE ; STUDENT UNION ; READING ; AUSTRALIA ; Sylvania ; Sterling Heights ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED ; GROSSE POINTE PARK ; OAK PARK ; SOUTHGATE ; STURGEON LAKE ; REDFORD ; TOORAK ; VICTORIA ; ROSEVILLE ; LINCOLN PARK ; TRAVERSE CITY ; HUNTINGTON WOODS ; PONTIAC ; TROY ; PORT CHESTER ; SOUTH AMERICA ; BROOKVILLE ; MONTREAL ; SEOUL ; NORTH OLMSTED ; EASTOWN THEATER ; ERIE ; University of Notre Dame ; FRANKLINVILLE ; TORONTO ; TOLD AT ; TOLD BY ; TOLD IN ; SCRANTON ; MONROE ; GLENVIEW ; MOSCOW ; GULLEY ; FINLAND ; HARBOR BEACH ; HOUGHTON LAKE ; Hudson Lake ; INDIANAPOLIS ; JONESBORO ; KANSASVILLE ; LEXINGTON ; MASSILLON ; MAUCH CHUNK ; MELVINDALE ; MILFORD ; NEW ROCHELLE ; NIAGARA FALLS ; PANAMA CITY ; PATAGONIA ; ARGENTINA ; RESIDENCE HALL ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES ; TOLD AT HONORS HOUSE ; AMERICAN HISTORY CLASS

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

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BURNING PALM

WHENEVER A BAD STORM OCCURED, PIECES OF
PALMS RECEIVED ON PALM SUNDAY WERE BURNED
TO INSURE PROTECTION FOR THE FAMILY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TOLD AT INFORMANTS HOME ; ROSEVILLE

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration

Date learned: 03-27-1970

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VERSE

ROSES ARE RED, VIOLETS ARE BLUE,
AND HOO BOY WOULD I LIKE TO MAKE OUT WITH YOU.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROSEVILLE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Roses are red and other such associations

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BELIEF

DO NOT DISTURB A DRAGON FLY OR ELSE HE WILL SEW UP YOUR
MOUTH WITH HIS STINGER

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROSEVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Insect

Date learned: CA06151975

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Belief: Weather

RED SKY AT NIGHT, SAILORS DELIGHT,
RED SKY IN MORNING, SAILORS TAKE WARNING.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROSEVILLE

Keyword(s): COLOR ; NATURE ; Nautical ; Ocean ; PREDICTING WEATHER ; Sailor ; Sky ; WARNING ; WEATHER

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief Belief
BELIEF -- Weather sign or control

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FOR A MAN

DIANE, THE MORE YOU DO FOR A MAN, THE MORE HE'LL KICK YOU RIGHT IN
YOUR ACE. (?)

Submitter comment: THIS WAS TOLD TO MY MOTHER BY A BILOXI MISS. WOMAN CALLED
MRS. GARENFLOW ABOUT 25 YEARS AGO.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROSEVILLE

James Callow Keyword(s): EUPHEMISM ; SEXISM

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 03-05-1970

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GOOD FRIDAYS

MY MOTHER, ON GOOD FRIDAY, USED TO TAKE HER BROOM
AND SWISH IT AROUND THE HOUSE TO RID IT OF EVIL SPIRITS.
SHE EVEN SHOOK THE BROOM IN THE CLOSETS. SHE USED TO MUTTER
SOMETHING IN SICILIAN AS SHE DID IT, A CURSE; THE LAST WORD
OF WHICH WAS A SWEAR WORD.

Submitter comment: INFORMANTS MOTHER IMMIGRATED FROM SICILY AS A YOUNG GIRL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROSEWOOD MANOR ; ROSEVILLE

Subject headings: 663 Good Friday
Favorites
BELIEF -- Devil Demon

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MAGIC

TELLING THE TEMPERTATURE BY COUNTING CRICKET CHIRPS. IF YOU COUNT
THE CHIRPS FOR A MINUTE, MULTIPLY BY THE SQUARE ROOT OF A COW'S HORN,
SUBTRACT YOUR AGE AND TOSS IN THE PRICE OF A HAM SANDWICH,
YOU COME UP WITH THE TEMPERATURE IN DEGREES OF FARENHEIT.

Submitter comment: HUMOR

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROSEVILLE ; NEWSPAPER ; THE DETROIT NEWS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Insect
BELIEF -- Weather sign or control

Date learned: 00-00-1977

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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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Butter

Someone picks a yellow dandelion flower and places it under
someone's chin. If their chin showed yellow, they liked butter; if
it did not, they did not like butter. After this was established,
the head of the dandelion was popped off into the person's face.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROSEVILLE ; Neighborhood children

James Callow Keyword(s): DIVINATION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Color

Date learned: 00001950S

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Entry filtered.

Yellow Thursday

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

It was said that if you wore yellow on any Thursday, you were
a fag. We would watch throughout the day to find, even the smallest
thread of yellow in someone's clothing, and point it out to others
by yelling, "Yellow on Thursday, so and so is a FAG!

Submitter comment:

I remember some kids going home at lunch and changing clothes
to eliminate the yellow and the teasing.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ELEMENTARY SCHOOL ; ROSEVILLE

James Callow Keyword(s): Fag = homosexual

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Week Day Hour
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Color

Date learned: 00001960S

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BELIEF

ALWAYS LEAVE THROUGH THE SAME DOOR WHENCE YOU CAME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROSEVILLE

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

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AT PARTIES, ESPECIALLY THE ONES THAT HAVE ALCOHOLIC
BEVERAGES SERVED, I NOTICED THAT WHEN A PERSON GETS
SLIGHTLY TIPSY, HE WILL PICK UP A CAT (IF THERE IS ONE
AROUND), AND START SWINGING IT BY THE TAIL. MOST OF
THE TIMES, THE PERSON SWINGING THE CAT WILL HOP UP ON
A PIECE OF FURNITURE, SUCH AS A TABLE, CHAIR, OR COUCH,
JUST TO SHOW OFF WHAT HE IS DOING.

Submitter comment: AT A GRADUATION PARTY, MY FRIEND BEGAN SWINGING HIS
CAT BY THE TAIL, AND A FEW SECONDS LATER WAS HOLDING
ONLY THE TAIL. I TOLD THIS EVENT TO SEVERAL PEOPLE
AND FOUND OUT THE ABOVE ITEM. NEEDLESS TO SAY, MY
FRIEND'S CAT STILL DOESN'T LIKE HIM, AND PROBABLY
NEVER WILL.
ONE THING THAT I NOTICED DIFFERENT BETWEEN THIS
INCIDENT AND THE ITEM WAS THAT MOST OF THE TIME WHEN OTHER
PEOPLE WERE SWINGING THEIR CATS BY THE TAILS, THE CATS STAYED
ATTACHED TO THEIR TAILS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE ; DETROIT ; ROSEVILLE

Keyword(s): ANIMAL TORTURE ; EXPRESSING HAPPINESS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

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God is watching

Whenever the sun would stream down to earth through a break in
the clouds, my grandmother would tell me that that was God looking
down on his children, keeping a good watch.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROSEVILLE ; from my Grandmother

James Callow Keyword(s): Sunshine

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Gods
BELIEF -- Sun

Date learned: 00001950S

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TRAMP STORY

TWO BUMS ARRIVE AT THE BACK DOOR OF A HOME AND ASK FOR
A MEAL. THE LADY OF THE HOUSE GIVES THE TWO TRAMPS
A BROOM AND BASEBALL BAT. AFTER THEY BEAT HER RUGS
WHICH ARE HANGING IN THE YARD, SHE WILL FEED THEM.
AFTER A FEW MINUTES THE LADY LOOKS OUTSIDE AND SEES ONE
OF THE BUMS, JUMPING UP AND DOWN., MAKING GREAT LEAPS
THROUGH THE AIR, AND RUNNING AROUND VIGOROUSLY. SHE
CALLS THE OTHER BUM OVER TO THE DOOR AND COMMENTS
THAT IT IS A SHAME THAT A MAN WITH SO MUCH TALENT,
GRACE, AND FORM SHOULD TURN OUT TO BE A BUM. THE
LISTENER ASKED WHAT SHE WAS TALKING ABOUT AND SHE TOLD
HIM WHAT SHE HAD SEEN FROM THE WINDOW. HE LAUGHED,
AND SAID, "LADY YOU WOULD DANCE AROUND LIKE THAT, TOO,
IF SOMEONE HAD JUST HIT YOU IN THE NUTS WITH A BASEBALL
BAT."

Where learned: MICHIGAN, ASSUMED ; ROSEVILLE

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Man

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MY FAMILY HAS ALWAYS SAID THAT (A) PERSON WHOSE BIRTHDAY
IT WAS COULD NOT TALK WHEN EATING HIS PIECE OF CAKE.
CAUSE IF THEY DID, THEIR WISH WOULD NOT COME TRUE. IT
WAS JUST A RULE. IT WAS WHAT WE WERE TOLD. WE NEVER
QUESTIONED IT.

Submitter comment: IT IS STILL A FAMILY TRADITION TODAY. (EVEN THOUGH MY
WISHES DON'T ALWAYS COME TRUE.)

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DINING ROOM ; ROSEVILLE

Keyword(s): MUTE

James Callow Keyword(s): FOOD

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Prayer
BELIEF -- P647

Date learned: 00001940S

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