Burma Shave

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Thu Feb 3 17:34:44 UTC 2005

>  2 books that are to be found in better libraries everywhere:
>  he Verse by the Side of the Road: The Story of the Burma-Shave Signs
>  and Jingles, by Frank Rowsome, Jr., in print from Penguin for $12.95
>  Burma-Shave: The Rhymes, the Signs, the Times, by Bill Vossler, in
>  print from North Star Press of St. Cloud for $14.95

I have the Rowsome book---unfortunately I can't find it at the moment.  It
includes what is claimed to be a list of all Burma Shave jingles.

Two contributions Burma-Shave made to the American language:

"A town so small that it fit between two Burma-Shave signs"  (I heard this
one in the 1959-60 school year, in reference to Versailles, Kentucky (/v at r
'seilz/), the home of the outgoing governor, A. B. "Happy" Chandler (yes, the
one-time baseball commisioner).

A way of expressing your disapproal of a piece of verse that has just been
recited was to add the words "Burma Shave" as soon as the reciter had finished.

         - James A. Landau

Aside to Wilson Gray---have you managed to forget the military meaning of

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