Step On a Crack
Place item was collected
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
Sophia is an eight year old female, who has grown up in both Riverton and West Jordan, Utah. She attends a charter elementary school, and is in the third grade. She is the youngest of seven siblings, and I am her older sister. However, I have more of an aunt relationship with her because I am twelve years older than her. She grew up in an LDS family. She is extremely spunky, full of sass, and loves to talk.
This rhyme was told after visiting my grandmother’s house. I had told Sophia that I would take her on a walk, and she had been begging me to go for the last two hours. When we finally went, it was dark outside, but still nice to walk around and look at the Christmas lights that had just been hung up. We had been walking for about five minutes when she excitedly looked at her feet and rehearsed this rhyme. Context of use could also include saying it to friends if they stepped on a crack, and it would almost undoubtedly be said while walking on a sidewalk.
“Hey! I just realized somethin! We’re not stepping on the cracks- that’s good cuz ‘step on a crack and you’ll break your mom’s back’ (laughter). Sometimes me, oh and the people in my class- did you know I’m in Mrs. Anderson’s class? Sometimes we say oh funny, we say other funny things like step on a crack and you’ll break your grandma’s back (laughter) or even break your sister’s back!”
Sophia was enthusiastic to tell me about her rhyme, and thought it was a miracle that we just happened not to be stepping on cracks. She said it in a sing-song voice that was pretty loud, but not quite yelling. She had quite a bit of energy when telling it, and spoke quickly. She raised her eyebrows and waved her hands as she explained to me some of the other rhymes her classmates innovated based off of this one.
Introduction to Folklore/English 2210
Dr. Lynne S. McNeill
Semester and year
G3: Children's Rhymes and Sayings
Ivie, Jess, "Step On a Crack" (2017). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 17.