African American Folklore (2002)

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Sun Feb 13 23:30:01 UTC 2005

"What I mean, jelly-bean!"  NYC white kids, 1959.

"Gettin' more ass than a toilet seat."  In movie The Deer Hunter (1979), cited in HDAS.

"So skinny, when she cries the tears run down her back."  Kingston, NY, white kid, ca1970.

Wilson Gray <wilson.gray at RCN.COM> wrote:
---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Wilson Gray
Subject: Re: African American Folklore (2002)

On Feb 12, 2005, at 2:47 AM, Bapopik at AOL.COM wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender: American Dialect Society
> Poster: Bapopik at AOL.COM
> Subject: African American Folklore (2002)
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------
> Even "I must develop my bust" is here!...ProQuest is down right now,
> so I'll search these with Newspaperarchive.

"I must develop my bust"?!!! Well, after a half-century of
desegregation and contamination, what can one expect?

More random stuff below.

-Wilson Gray

> edited by Caryl Cumber Dance
> New York: W. W. Norton
> 2002
> Pg. 470 (Aphorisms and Other Proverbial Sayings):
> God don't like ugly.
> Hard head, soft behind.
> Pg. 471:
> You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.--Medgar Evans.
> Pg. 480:
> _I'll Eat Hen I'm Hungry_
> From Thomas W. Talley, _Negro Folk Rhymes_
> I'll eat when I'se hungry,
> An' I'll rink when I'se dry;
> An' if de whitefolks don't kill me,
> I'll live till I die.
> In my liddle log cabin,
> Ever since I've been born;
> Dere hain't been no nothin'
> 'Cept dat hard salt parch corn.
> Pg. 481:
> But I knows what's a henhouse,
> An' de tucky he charve;
> An' if old Mosser don't kill me,
> I cain't never starve.
> _Aught's a Aughts_
> Traditional
> An aught's a aught and a figger's a figger;
> All for the white folks and none for the nigger.
> Pg. 509:
> _Hambone, Hambone_
> This traditional clapping game may be played with a partner or one
> indiv,; slap his thigh as he recites. Additional lines may be
> improvised.
> Hambone, Hambone, where you been?
> Round the world and back again.
> Hambone, Hambone, what'd you do?
> I got a train and I fairly flew.
> Hambone, Hambone, where'd you stay?
> I met a pretty girl and I couldn't get away.
> Hambone, Hambone, where'd you go?
> I hopped up to Miss Lucy's door.
> Hambone, Hambone, what's you see?
> I asked Miss Lucy to marry me.
> Pg. 511:
> _We Must, We Must, We Must_
> From Daryl Cumber Dance, _Honey, Hush!_
> WHen I recorded this verse on May 21, 1995, the singer told me she
> learned it in gym class in the 1950s, but as she sang a younger woman
> joined her, suggesting that it has passed on to the next generation.
> We must, we must, we must,
> We must develop our bust.
> We must, we must, we must,
> We must develop our bust.
> The bigger the better,
> The tighter the sweater.
> The boys are depending on us.
> Pg. 526 (Autograph Album Rhymes, from J. Mason Brewer, _Worser Days
> and Better Times_):
> Love all, trust few;
> Learn to paddle your own canoe.
> Pg. 527:
> When you marry and get out of shape,
> Get you a girdle for $2.98.
> The Mississippi River is deep and wide;
> Catch an alligator to the other side.
> Girls are made of sugar and spice;
> Boys aren't made, they just shoot dice.
> When you get old and think you're sweet,
> Take off your shoes, and smell your feet.
> I wish you luck, I wish you joy,
> I wish you first a baby boy;
> And when his hair beings to curl,
> I wish you next a baby girl;
> And when her hair begins to knot,
> I guess you know it's time to stop.
> Ice cream city, candy state,
> This sweet letter don't need no date.
> Up on a house top, baking a cake,
> The way I love you is no mistake.
> Pg. 528:
> I don't make love by the garden gate,
> For love is blind, but the neighbors ain't.
> I've got a cute little shape, and a pretty little figure;
> Stand back, big boys, until I get a little bigger!
> I love you once, I love you twice;
> Baby, I love you next to Jesus Christ.

I love you so much that I'd kill a brick for you.

> Milk is milk, cheese is cheese;
> What is a kiss without a squeeze?
> You're my morning milk, my evening cream,
> My all-day study, and my midnight dream.
> Roses on my shoulders, slippers on my feet;
> I'm my mother's baby, don't you think I'm sweet?
> Apples on the shelf, peaches in the bowl,
> Can't get a sweetheart to save my soul.
> Up on the mountain, five feet high,
> I love you, baby, that ain't no lie.
> Pg. 529:
> When you get married and have twenty-four,
> Don't stop there, the Army needs lots more.
> When you get married and your husband gets drunk,
> Put him in the trunk and sell him for junk.
> When you get married and have twenty-five,
> Daon't call it a family, call it a tribe!
> The river is wide, the boat is floating,
> Darling, let's marry and stop this courting!
> Ice is ice, rice is rice;
> One day, baby, you'll be my wife.
> Apples on the table, peaches on the shelf,
> Baby, I'm getting tired of sleeping by myself.
> When you get married and live in China,
> Rememeber me back in old North Carolina.
> Life is sweet, life is swell,
> But when you marry, life is hell.
> When you marry and live across the lake,
> Send me a kiss by a rattlesnake.
> When you get married and live upstairs,
> DOn't fall down putting on airs.
> When you marry don't marry a cook,
> Marry a man with a fat pocketbook.
> When you marry and live across the sea,
> Send me a cocoanut C.O.D.
> Lions in the cage, monkeys in the zoo,
> Who wants to marry a fool like you?
> Pg. 530:
> If you don't like my apples, don't shake my tree;

You're the cutest thing that I did ever see.
I really love your peaches. Gonna shake your tree.

If you don't like my peaches, don't you shake my tree.

> I ain't after your man, he's after me.
> When you get married and live out west,
> I'll send your mail by the Jigger express.
> Pg. 531 (Rhymes and Brags from Muhammad Ali, formerly Cassius Clay)
> I'm so mean, I make medicine sick.--Neil Leifer and Thomas Hauser,
> _Muhammad Ali Memories_
> Pg. 549:
> _More Dozens_
> Because the dozens is such an obscene exchange, no attempt is made to
> reproduce a game here. Rather I present some carefully chosen standard
> lines from the game.
> Yo' mama's like a bag of chips. She free to lay.
> Yo' mama's so dumb she tripped over a cordless phone.
> Yo' mama's so stupid it takes her two hours to watch _60 Minutes_.
> Yo' mama's so dumb she thought she could send a voice mail by
> screaming into a envelope.
> Yo' mama's so bald she gets brainwashed when she takes a shower.
> Pg. 550:
> Yo' mama's in the kitchen; yo' daddy's in jail;
> yo' sister on de corner offering it for sale.
> _Insults_
> Happy birthday to you,
> You belong in a zoo.
> You look like a monkey,
> And smell like one too!
> My name is Ran,
> I work in the sand;
> I'd rather be a nigger
> Than a poor White man.
> White folks think they fine,
> But their raggedy drawers stink just like mine.
> He is so ugly he has to _sneak_ up on a mirror.

He's two shades darker than Bell's telephone. (clearly older than
"black is beautiful" and the break-up of Ma Bell.)

He's of Indian descent: Choctaw. The lightest [sc. shade of skin in
his family] is chocolate; the darkest is tar.

He's so ugly that, when he cries, the tears roll down the back of
his head.

He's so ugly that it looks like he's been in an ax fight and
everybody had an ax but him.

> Pg. 551:
> At least my mama ain't no doorknob,
> Everybody get a turn.
> Least my mama ain't no railroad track,
> Lay out all over the country.
> _Retorts_
> Tell the truth, snaggle tooth.
> What you mean, jelly bean?

See what I mean, jelly bean?
You heard what I said, nappy head.
Step out on the patio, daddy-o.
Make like Ezzard and hit the desert.
> Pg. 552:
> See you later, Alligator.
> After while, Crocodile.
> I dig all jive.
> That's the reason I stay alive.
> Your eyes may shine, your teeth may grit,
> But none of this food will you git.

Baby, I'm 500% more man.
I lay more pipe than a plumber can.

After I take a leak, I don't shake it off.
I take my left foot and kick it off.

She got mo' ass than a toilet seat. (Said in response to the
previous observation) Better mo' ass than no ass.

> Charleroi Mail Friday, December 01, 1950 Charleroi, Pennsylvania
> ...Wilson in v.luch eyes MAY YOUR TEETH MAY GRIT. Hut none of my money
> Will you.....sides arc still alking indicates there MAY be scTine ope
> left. When Girl Portia..
> Daily Register Saturday, December 23, 1950 Harrisburg, Illinois
> ...her: "YOUR eyes MAY shine. YOUR TEETH MAY GRIT. But none of my
> money Will you.....a Merry a New Year Holland's HOLIDAY MAY YOUR
> Holiday Cheer go on and on REES..
> Edwardsville Intelligencer Wednesday, July 08, 1964 Edwardsville,
> Illinois
> DON'T want MY peaches, DON'T SHAKE MY TREE. When you saw a
> red-haired girl.....Neutral IS A Nice GearBut DON'T You Have Any
> Lancaster Eagle Gazette Thursday, July 18, 1974 Lancaster, Ohio
> ...a brick. I'm so mean I MAKE MEDICINE SICK. The occasion for
> Ali' than ever before which could MAKE up for some parts .of
> my game that..
> Mountain Democrat Friday, February 17, 1989 Placerville, California
> ...I wIsh YOU luck, I wIsh YOU JOY, "I wIsh YOU fIrst a BABY BOY. "AND
> when hIs.....haIr begIns to curl, I wIsh YOU then a BABY gIrl. AND
> when her..
> Post Standard Friday, August 23, 1991 Syracuse, New York
> ...comment on that situation and I 'GOD DOESN'T LIKE UGLY. He'll
> handle the.....coming. He is such a strong Peters DOESN'T have to be
> con- vinced of Seals..
> Post Standard Sunday, March 19, 2000 Syracuse, New York
> the public. For more 435-2155. 'GOD DON'T LIKE UGLY' An
> inspirational gospel.....musi- DON'T LIKE comes to the Landmark 362
> S..

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