George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Wed Feb 2 16:26:21 UTC 2005

There are discussions of the Burma-Shave ads in several other handbooks
of popular culture.  One gives the first and the last jingle, another
gives only parts of the jingles.  The fact that no jingle is quoted by
more than one source suggests that there isn't a "most famous" one.
The St. James Encycl, that I cited yesterday, quotes "Pity all / the
Mighty Caesars / They pulled / each whisker out / with tweezers / Burma-
Shave"; "Does your husband / misbehave / grunt and grumble / rant and
rave / shoot the brute some / Burma-Shave"; "The answer to / a maiden's
prayer / is not a chin / of stubby hair / Burma-Shave"; "Train
approaching / Whistle squealing / pause / avoid that / run-down
feeling. / [Burma-Shave]"
The other books are Ray B. Browne, The Guide to United States Popular
Culture, Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 2001; William H.
Young, The 1930s.  (American Popular Culture through History) Greenwood
Press, 2002; Tad Tuleja, The New York Public Library Book of Popular
Americana, Macmillan, 1994.

Jerry Kane, Wilson Gray and Alan Baragona have already posted Burma-
Shave quatrains that stuck in their memories.

I have lured my wife into lurking over our discussions, in the hope
that she will occasionally channel for the spirit of her mother, one of
the last of the old-time prescriptivist high-school English teachers.
My wife has a favorite Burma-Shave jingle which I will refrain from
posting myself until later this week, to give her a chance to step


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much lately.

----- Original Message -----
From: Fred Shapiro <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
Date: Wednesday, February 2, 2005 8:04 am
Subject: Re: Burma-Shave

> On Tue, 1 Feb 2005, George Thompson wrote:
> > GAT, the guy who still looks things up in books, notes that
> there is an
> > article on the Burma-Shave roadside advertisements in the St. James
> > Encyclopedia of Popular Culture (Detroit : St. James Press, c2000
> Is anyone able to suggest to me the one or two most famous Burma-Shave
> jingles?
> Fred Shapiro
> -------------------------------------------------------------------
> -------
> Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
> Associate Librarian for Collections and     YALE DICTIONARY OF
> QUOTATIONS  Access and Lecturer in Legal Research     Yale
> University Press,
> Yale Law School                             forthcoming
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