And Other Neighborly Names—the title is from a study by Americo Paredes of the names, complimentary and otherwise, exchanged across cultural boundaries by Anglos and Mexicans—is a collection of essays devoted to various aspects of folk tradition in Texas. The approach builds on the work of the folklorists who have helped give the study of folklore in Texas such high standing in the field-Mody Boatright, J. Frank Dobie, John Mason Brewer, the Lomaxes, and of course Paredes himself, to whom this book is dedicated. Focusing on the ways in which traditions arise and are maintained where diverse peoples come together, the editors and other essayists—John Holmes McDowell, Joe Graham, Alicia María González, Beverly J. Stoeltje, Archie Green, José E. Limón, Thomas A. Green, Rosan A. Jordan, Patrick B. Mullen, and Manuel H. Peña—examine conjunto music, the corrido, Gulf fishermen's stories, rodeo traditions, dog trading and dog-trading tales, Mexican bakers' lore, Austin's "cosmic cowboy" scene, and other fascinating aspects of folklore in Texas. Their emphasis is on the creative reaction to socially and culturally pluralistic situations, and in this they represent a distinctively Texan way of studying folklore, especially as illustrated in the performance-centered approach of Paredes, Boatright, and others at the University of Texas at Austin. As an overview of this approach—its past, present, and future—"And Other Neighborly Names" makes a valuable contribution both to Texas folklore and to the discipline as a whole.
Eeny, meeny, figgledy, fig.Delia, dolia, dominig,Ozy, pozy doma-nozy,Tee, tau, tut,Uggeldy, buggedy, boo!Out goes you. (no. 129)You can stand,And you can sit,But, if you play,You must be it. (no. 577)Counting-out rhymes are used by children between the ages of six and eleven as a special way of choosing it and beginning play. They may be short and simple ("O-U-T spells out/And out goes you") or relatively long and complicated; they may be composed of ordinary words, arrant nonsense, or a mixture of the two. Roger D. Abrahams and Lois Rankin have gathered together a definitive compendium of counting-out rhymes in English reported to 1980. These they discovered in over two hundred sources from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including rhymes from England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. Representative texts are given for 582 separate rhymes, with a comprehensive listing of sources and variants for each one, as well as information on each rhyme's provenience, date, and use. Cross-references are provided for variants whose first lines differ from those of the representative texts. Abrahams's introduction discusses the significance of counting-out rhymes in children's play. Children's folklore and speech play have attracted increasing attention in recent years. Counting-Out Rhymes will be a valuable resource for researchers in this field.
For centuries, social life in rural Tuscany has centered around the veglia, an evening gathering of family and friends at the hearth. Folklore by the Fireside is a thorough and insightful study of this custom—from the tales, riddles, lullabies, and folk prayers performed as the small children are put to bed to the courtship songs and dances later in the evening to the anti-veglia male gossip, card games, and protest songs originating in the tavern. Alessandro Falassi skillfully correlates the veglia to the rites of passage and family values of an agrarian society. Although the impact of mass media and other factors has tended to weaken the tradition, even today Tuscan children are taught to behave and adolescents are guided along the conventional path to adulthood, courtship, and marriage through veglia folklore. This is the first work to deal systematically with Tuscan folklore from a semiotic and structural viewpoint and to examine the veglia as a means of handing down traditional values. It is important not only for its careful, detailed description but also for its rigorous methodology and theoretical richness.
I had a little brother.His name was Tiny Tim.I put him in the bathtubTo teach him how to swim.He drank all the water.He ate all the soap.He died last nightWith a bubble in his throat.Jump-rope rhymes, chanted to maintain the rhythm of the game, have other, equally entertaining uses:You can dispatch bothersome younger siblings instantly—and temporarily.You can learn the name of your boyfriend through the magic words "Ice cream soda, Delaware Punch, Tell me the initials of my honey-bunch."You can perform the series of tasks set forth in "Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, turn around" and find out who, really, is the most nimble.You can even, with impunity, "conk your teacher on the bean with a rotten tangerine. "This collection of over six hundred jump-rope rhymes, originally published in 1969, is an introduction into the world of children—their attitudes, their concerns, their humor. Like other children's folklore, the rhymes are both richly inventive and innocently derivative, ranging from on-the-spot improvisations to old standards like "Bluebells, cockleshells," with a generous sprinkling of borrowings from other play activities—nursery rhymes, counting-out rhymes, and taunts. Even adult attitudes of the time are appropriated, but expressed with the artless candor of the child:Eeny, meeny, miny, moe.Catch Castro by the toe.If he hollers make him say"I surrender, U.S.A."Though aware that children's play serves social and psychological functions, folklorists had long neglected analytical study of children's lore because primary data was not available in organized form. Roger Abraham's Dictionary has provided such a bibliographical tool for one category of children's lore and a model for future compendia in other areas. The alphabetically arranged rhymes are accompanied by notes on sources, provenience, variants, and connection with other play activities.