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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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NEW YEAR'S CUSTOM

FOR THE LAST FIVE MINUTES OF THE OLD YEAR, AND THE FIRST FIVE MINUTES
OF THE NEW YEAR, IT IS NECESSARY TO SWEEP ONE'S HOUSE FROM BACK
TO FRONT. YOU SWEEP THE HOUSE TO "SWEEP OUT" TROUBLE AND SICKNESS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD ; collector's home

Keyword(s): BROOM ; SYMBOLIC ACTION

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F123
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Fixed DateFor specific dates, use the following system: F640.0101
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Fixed DateFor specific dates, use the following system: F640.1231
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20

Date learned: 10-25-1970

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VITAMIN BELIEF

IF YOU EAT GREEN VEGETABLES, THEY'LL MAKE YOUR HAIR THICK AND FASTER-GROWING

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share the same surname.

 

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT COLLECTOR'S HOME ; 26257 Elba

Keyword(s): VEGETABLES

James Callow Keyword(s): ADVICE ; FUNCTION ; Positive

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food Vegetable
Food Drink -- Special Form and PurposeObject of Bodily Consumption
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hair, on head, mustache, widow's peak
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 03-31-1971

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CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

OPLATEK IS A CUSTOM PRACTICED BY POLISH-AMERICANS.
A THIN WAFER OF UNLEAVENED BREAD (LIKE A EUCHARISTIC
HOST) IS DIVIDED AMONG THE FAMILY PRESENT ON CHRISTMAS
EVE AND THE INDIVIDUALS SHARE THEIR PIECE WITH EACH OTHER
WISHING ONE ANOTHER GOOD LUCK FOR THE COMING YEAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD ; TOLD AT COLLECTOR'S HOME

Keyword(s): FOOD CUSTOM

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve F122.82

Date learned: 10-25-1970

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CHRISTMAS

ON CHRISTMAS EVE, HAY WAS PUT ON THE DINNER
TABLE AND THE CLOTH PUT OVER THE HAY. IN THE
HAY WAS PUT SOME COIN MONEY FOR EACH PERSON
SO THEY WOULD NOT BE BROKE IN THE COMING YEAR.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share same surname.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT COLLECTOR'S HOME

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve F122.4
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Christmas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Straw

Date learned: 03-10-1970

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WELL BELIEF

IN NORTH CAROLINA THERE IS A CERTAIN WELL WHERE AFTER THROWING
A ROCK DOWN INTO IT, IT WILL FLOAT BACK UP.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD
Informant and collector share the same surname.

 

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT COLLECTOR'S HOME

Keyword(s): Float ; GRAVITY ; Legend ; North Carolina ; Well

James Callow Keyword(s): ANTI-GRAVITY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Still water Man made container.

Date learned: 04-00-1970

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JUMP ROPE RHYME

LUCY HAD AN ENGINE
THE ENGINE HAD A BELL
LUCY WENT TO HEAVEN
THE ENGINE WENT TO
HELLO OPERATOR, GIVE ME NUMBER NINE
IF YOU DON'T CONNECT ME I'LL HIT YOU RIGHT
BEHIND THE FRIGERATOR
THERE WAS A PIECE OF GLASS
LUCY FELL DOWN ON IT AND BROKE HER LITTLE
ASK ME NO MORE QUESTIONS
I'LL TELL YOU NO MORE LIES
LUCY TOLD ME ALL OF THIS
BEFORE SHE UPED AND DIED.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share the same surname.

 

Where learned: collector's home

Keyword(s): PLAIN-JUMP

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

Date learned: 10-18-1971

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Jump Rope Rhyme

CINDERELLA DRESSED IN YELLA
WENT DOWNTOWN TO MEET HER FELLA
SHE WALKED SO SLOW SHE MET A BEAU
WHO TOOK HER TO A 5 CENT SHOW.
HOW MANY KISSES DID SHE GET? 1,2,3, . . .

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share the same surname.

 

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT COLLECTOR'S HOME

Keyword(s): CHARACTER ; ENDURANCE JUMP

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

Date learned: 04-00-1970

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Jump-Rope Rhyme

DONALD DUCK IS A ONE-LEGGED, ONE-LEGGED, ONE-LEGGED DUCK.
DONALD DUCK IS A TWO-LEGGED . . .
(THIS CONTINUES THROUGH FIVE-LEGGED)
FOR ONE-LEGGED: JUMP ON ONE LEG
FOR TWO-LEGGED: TWO LEGS
FOR THREE-LEGGED: TWO LEGS AND TOUCH THE GROUND WITH ONE HAND
FOR FOUR-LEGGED: TWO LEGS AND TWO HANDS
FOR FIVE-LEGGED: TWO LEGS, TWO HANDS AND HEAD.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share the same surname.

 

Where learned: collector's home

Keyword(s): ACTION RHYME ; CHARACTER

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

Date learned: 11-13-1970

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CHRISTMAS

EACH PERSON, BEFORE DINNER ON CHRISTMAS EVE, RECEIVES A
PIECE OF WHITE WAFER (ANGEL BREAD). EACH PERSON GOES TO
EVERY OTHER PERSON AND MAKES WISHES FOR HIM FOR
THE NEXT YEAR. WITH EACH WISH THE WISHER MAKES FOR
HIS PARTNER, HE BREAKS A TINY PIECE OF WAFER OFF. WHEN
HE IS FINISHED WISHING, THE WISHER EATS THE BITS
OF WAFER HE HAS BROKEN OFF. THE RECEIVER OF THE WISHES
THEN WISHES THE 1ST PERSON IN A SIMILAR WAY.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share same surname.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT COLLECTOR'S HOME

Keyword(s): FOOD CUSTOM

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve F122.82

Date learned: 03-10-1970

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JUMP ROPE RHYME

IN WENT THE DOCTOR
IN WENT THE NURSE
IN WENT THE LADY
WITH THE ALLIGATOR PURSE.

I HAD A LITTLE BROTHER
HIS NAME WAS TINY TIM
I PUT HIM IN THE BATHTUB
TO TEACH HIM HOW TO SWIM.

HE DRANK UP ALL THE WATER
AND ATE UP ALL THE SOAP
AND DIE (SIC) LAST NIGHT
WITH A BUBBLE IN HIS THROAT.

OUT WENT THE DOCTOR
OUT WENT THE NURSE
OUT WENT THE LADY
WITH THE ALLIGATOR PURSE.

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT SAID SHE ACTUALLY PLAYED TO THIS RHYME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT COLLECTOR'S HOME ; 11355 Lakepointe

Keyword(s): CHARACTER ; PLAIN-JUMP

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

Date learned: 10-04-1970

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Jump Rope Rhyme

DOWN IN THE VALLEY WHERE THE GREEN GRASS GROWS THERE SAT (GIRL'S NAME) AS SWEET AS A ROSE.
SHE SANG, AND SHE SANG, AND SHE SANG SO SWEET.
ALONG CAME (BOY'S NAME) AND KISSED HER ON THE CHEEK. AND HOW MANY KISSES DID SHE RECEIVE?
1 ,2, 3, ETC. (KEEP COUNTING UNTIL YOU MISS)

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT ACTUALLY USED THIS RHYME

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT COLLECTOR'S HOME ; 11355 Lakepointe

Keyword(s): ENDURANCE JUMP

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

Date learned: 10-04-1970

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English Ballad

The cottage was a thatched one,
The outside old and green;
Yet everything within that place
Was wonderous neat and clean.

A little worn out creature
Whose once bright eyes grew dim;
He was a collier's only child,
They called him "Little Jim."

 

Submitter comment:

There is more to the ballad but informant couldn't recall it.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HARPER WOODS ; collector's home

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

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BELIEF (LEGEND)

TO KILL A WITCH- CLOSE THE BOOK, RING THE BELL, AND BLOW
OUT THE CANDLE.

Where learned: DETROIT ; collector's home

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 10-23-1968

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CROATION PREGNANCY BELIEF

A PREGNANT WOMAN SHOULDN'T EAT APPLES BECAUSE IT WILL CAUSE HARM
TO THE CHILD.

Submitter comment:

HER MOTHER-IN-LAW TOLD HER THIS AS IT WAS AN OLD CROATION BELIEF.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share same surname.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; collector's home

James Callow Keyword(s): APPLE AS ORIGINAL SIN SYMBOL ; HOMEOPATHIC

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Eating For menu, see N222.
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 10-07-1970

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NEW MOON BELIEF

GRANDMOTHER AND HER SISTERS HAD THEIR HAIR TRIMMED AT NEW
MOON. IN THIS WAY, IT WOULD GROW WITH THE NEW MOON AND WOULD GROW
FASTER, TOO.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT COLLECTOR'S HOME

Keyword(s): HAIR CUTTING ; HAIR GROWTH ; IMITATIVE MAGIC

James Callow Keyword(s): HOMEOPATHIC MAGIC

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hair, on head, mustache, widow's peak
BELIEF -- Moon

Date learned: 03-31-1971

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BARN STORM PROTECTION BELIEF

IT IS AN OLD BELIEF AMONG FARMERS THAT IT IS BENEFICIAL
TO LET BARN SWALLOWS BUILD NESTS IN YOUR BARN,
BECAUSE LIGHTNING WILL NEVER STRIKE A BARN WHERE BARN SWALLOWS
LIVE.

Where learned: OHIO ; AMHERST ; collector's home

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Lightning Thunder
BELIEF -- Weather sign or control P890.7

Date learned: 07-00-1962

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WEATHER BELIEF

INFORMANT'S MOTHER WOULD LEAVE THE FRONT DOOR OPEN
WHEN IT WAS LIGHTNING BECAUSE IF THE LIGHTNING STRUCK THE HOUSE,
IT WOULD GO OUT THE FRONT DOOR. IF THE DOOR WAS CLOSED,
THE LIGHTNING WOULD CAUSE A VACUUM AND DRAW ALL THE AIR OUT
OF THE HOUSE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; collector's home

Subject headings: )686 )686.1.0
BELIEF -- Lightning Thunder
BELIEF -- Weather sign or control P890.7

Date learned: 02-10-1970

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NEW YEAR'S

AFTER MIDNIGHT ON NEW YEAR'S EVE EAT HERRINGS FOR GOOD LUCK IN THE
NEW YEAR.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share the same surname.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; collector's home

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Fixed DateFor specific dates, use the following system: F640.1231
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
Food Drink -- Meat Fish and other animal life related to water
BELIEF -- Fish
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.42

Date learned: 03-10-1970

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NEW YEAR'S

AFTER MIDNIGHT DRINK A MIXTURE OF HONEY AND WHISKEY SO YOU WILL BE
HAPPY THROUGHOUT THE NEW YEAR.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share the same surname.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; collector's home

Keyword(s): PREDICTION

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Fixed DateFor specific dates, use the following system: F640.1231
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20

Date learned: 03-10-1970

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Lullaby

Bye Lo Baby Bunting
Daddy's gone a-hunting
To get a little rabbit's skin
To wrap up baby bunting in.

 

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share the same surname.

 

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; collector's home

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Cradle song Lullaby

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