OT: guess what song I just unearthed at the nursing home...

This morning I was skimming through a dated collection of even more dated songs... we're talking reminiscing material for the century-old folks. I came across a "comic song with chorus" that does indeed strike me as mildly comical, but not in the way it was probably intended. (Or was it?) And now I share it with you, unaltered from the state in which I found it.

"Gay Young Clerk In A Dry-Goods Store"
To all gay young clerks.
As sung by Emerson Allen and Munning's Minstrels
Written and Composed by Will. S. Hays.

O listen now and I'll sing a song,
How are you ladies, Howdy;
I'll sing it all, for it won't take long,
Ah, ladies, ha-ha!
It's about a chap, perhaps you know, I'm told he is "Nobody's beau,"
But maybe you all knew that before,
He's a lively clerk in a Dry Goods Store.
O! Augustus Dolphus is his name,
From Skiddymadink they say he came,
He's a handsome man and he's proud and poor,
This gay young clerk in the Dry Goods Store.

His eyes they are of a dark sky blue,
How are you ladies, Howdy;
His hair light brown and mustache too,
Ah, ladies, ha-ha!
And he wears eye glasses on his nose,
And he never looks down at his toes,
For fear he'll fall on a cellar door,
This dashing clerk in a Dry Goods Store.
O! Augustus Dolphus is his name,
From Skiddymadink they say he came,
He's a handsome man and he's proud and poor,
This gay young clerk in the Dry Goods Store.

He wears side whiskers on his jaws,
How are you ladies, Howdy;
Won't none of you hear him for his cause,
Ah, ladies, ha-ha!
Why almost ev'ry lady knows
He's a nice young man, For he wears good clothes,
He's a handsome chap as I said before,
He's a gay young clerk in a Dry-Goods Store.
O! Augustus Dolphus is his name,
From Skiddymadink they say he came,
He's a handsome man and he's proud and poor,
This gay young clerk in the Dry Goods Store.

He smiles at all the girls he meets,
How are you ladies, Howdy;
And you smile at him on the crowded streets,
Ah, ladies, ha-ha!
Why don't you make him "come to taw,"
I know he wants a mother-in-law,
Do as your parents did before,
You... and the clerk in the Dry Goods Store.
O! Augustus Dolphus is his name,
From Skiddymadink they say he came,
He's a handsome man and he's proud and poor,
This gay young clerk in the Dry Goods Store.

Bill, we need a photo to go with this...

Comments

QueerJoe's picture

Is the song-writer really sure he wants a mother-in-law? Even if he was just "happy" I would doubt he'd really want a mother-in-law.

Aaronknits's picture

Hey now! I love my mother-in-law. Or as you might say..mother-out-of-law. She's a lovely Italian woman and I love her even more since Thanksgiving when she admitted to me that my turkey soup is better than hers. Not an easy thing for an Italian mother-in-law to admit, I'm sure.

MMario's picture

That's a bit hard to believe..... She really said that?

Either your soup is phenomanal or she really likes you. *grin* or both.

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MMarioKKnits/

Aaronknits's picture

A little of both I think. I used to absolutely positively suck at making soup too. Her lasagna is still the absolute best though. There's no way I could even try to compete with that.

jessemkahn's picture

I have a collection of songs called "Sissy Man Blues" that's all about early gay/queer writing in the teens to thirties. Even then, we knew how to talk in code. Heck, maybe especially then.

P.S. I've got a mother-in-law. Going cheap!

michaelpthompson's picture

Dream on guys. The song dates to 1868, long, long before the word "gay" had any sort of sexual connotation. And "looking for a mother-in-law" would be code for wanting a wife, so you're two counts down on the fantasy of a willing clerk in the Dry Goods store. :-)

--
"All knitting is just one stitch at a time."
Tallguy

--
"All knitting is just one stitch at a time."
Tallguy

WillyG's picture

Nonsense. It's all a ruse to throw the others off the scent...

Aaronknits's picture

Hmm, lively, dashing, handsome, snappy dresser, polite...yup, he's gay.