Category: 1930s


For years we had an aspidistra in a flower pot
On the whatnot, near the ‘atstand in the ‘all
It didn’t seem to grow ’til one day our brother Joe
Had a notion that he’d make it strong and tall

So he’s crossed it with an acorn from an oak tree
And he’s planted it against the garden wall
It shot up like a rocket, ’til it’s nearly reached the sky
It’s the biggest aspidistra in the world
We couldn’t see the top of it, it got so bloomin’ high
It’s the biggest aspidistra in the world

When father’s had a snoot full at his pub, ‘The Bunch of Grapes’
He doesn’t go all fighting mad and getting into scrapes
No, you’ll find him in his bear-skin playing Tarzan of the apes
Off the biggest aspidistra in the world

We have to get it watered by the local fire brigade
So they put the water rates up half a crown
The roots stuff up the drains, grow along the country lanes
And they came up half a mile outside the town

Once we hired an auditorium for a hot house
But a jealous rival went and burnt it down
The tom cats and their mogies love to spend their evenings out
Up the biggest aspidistra in the world
They all begin meowing when the buds begin to sprout
From the biggest aspidistra in the world

The dogs all come around for miles, a lovely sight to see
They sniff around for hours and hours and wag their tails with glee
So I’ve had to put a notice up to say it’s not a tree
It’s the biggest aspidistra in the world

Artist: Gracie Fields
Album: There’ll Always Be an England [Recording Arts]
Release Date: 1992 [1938]

Artist: Ramona
Release Date: 1933

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Address Unknown – not even a trace of you.
Oh what Id give to see the face of you.
I was a fool to stay away from you so long.
I should have known there’d come a day when you’d be gone.

Address Unknown – oh how could I be so blind?
Who’d think that you would never be hard to find?
From the place of your birth to the ends of the earth
I’ve searched only to find – only to find – Address Unknown.

Address Unknown – honey chile, I aint even got a trace of ya.
You know one thing?
Id give anything in the world just to see the face of ya.
I was a fool to stay away from you and everything else so long.
I should have been diplomatic and figured that some day
You’d be solid gone.

Address Unknown – oh how could I be so blind?
Who’d think that you would never be hard to find?
From the place of your birth to the ends of the earth
I’ve searched only to find – only to find – Address Unknown.

Artist: The Ink Spots
Album: How High The Moon
Release Date: 1939

I’ll try to explain to friends, dear
The reason we two are apart
I know what to tell our friends, dear
But what can I tell my heart?

It’s easy to say to strangers
That we played the game from the start
It’s easy to lie to stranger
But why tell a lie to your heart?

When I smile to hide all the tears inside
What an ache it will bring
Then I’ll wander home to a telephone
That forgot how to ring

I could say you’ll soon be back, dear
To fool the whole town may be smart
I’ll tell them you’ll soon be back, dear
But what can I tell my heart?

When I smile to hide all the tears inside
What an ache it will bring
Then I’ll wander home to a telephone
That forgot how to ring

I could say you’ll soon be back, dear
To fool the whole town may be smart
I’ll tell them you’ll soon be back, dear
But what can I tell my heart?

Oh, what will I tell my heart?

Artist: Arthur Prysock
Album: The Legendary Big Band Singers
Release Date: 1931

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Dedicated to my friend, Albert.

If I were King of the Forest,
Not Queen, not Duke, not Prince.
My regal robes of the forest
Would be satin, not cotton, not chintz.
I’d command each thing, be it fish or fowl,
With a woof and a woof, and a royal growl – woof!
As I’d click my heel,
All the trees would kneel
And the mountains bow,
And the bulls kowtow,
And the sparrow would take wing
‘F – I … ‘f … I … were King.

Each rabbit would show respect to me.
The chipmunks genuflect to me.
Though my tail would lash,
I would show compash
For every underling,
‘F – I … ‘f … I … were King –
Just King!

Artist: The Wizard Of Oz
Release Date: 1939

Why do you whisper, green grass
Why tell the tress what ain’t so
Whispering grass
The trees don’t have to know, no-no

Why tell them all your secrets
Who kissed there long ago
Whispering grass
The trees don’t need to know

Don’t you tell it to the breeze
For she will tell the birds and bees
And everyone will know
Because you told the blabbering trees
Yes, you told them once before
It’s no secret anymore-ore

Why tell them all the old things
They’re buried under the snow
Whispering grass, don’t tell the trees
‘Cause the trees don’t need to know-ow

Now, don’t you tell it to the breeze
‘Cause she’ll run ‘n’ tell it to the birds and bees
And everyone will know
Because you done told the blabberin’ trees
Yes you did, ya told ’em once before
So that’s why it ain’t no secret anymore, mm-mm-mm

Why tell them all the old things
They’re buried under the snow
Whispering grass, don’t tell the trees
‘Cause the trees – don’t need – to… know-ow…

Artist: The Ink Spots
Album: How High The Moon
Release Date: 1939

A cigarette that bears a lipstick’s traces
An airline ticket to romantic places
And still my heart has wings
These foolish things remind me of you

A tinkling piano in the next apartment
Those stumblin’ words that told you what my heart meant
A fairground’s faded swings
These foolish things remind me of you

You came, you saw, you conquered me
When you did that to me
I knew somehow that this had to be

The winds of March that make my heart a dancer
A telephone that rings but who’s to answer?
Oh, how the ghost of you clings
These foolish things remind me of you

How strange, how sweet, to find you still
These things are dear to me
They seem to bring you near to me

The sigh of midnight trains in empty stations
Silk stockings thrown aside, dance invitations
Oh, how the ghost of you clings
These foolish things remind me of you

Artist: Carroll Gibbons And His Orchestra
Album: Broadway Rhythm
Release Date: 1936

No more company to feed;
No more papers left to read;
What’s to do about it?

Let’s put out the light and go to sleep.

No more anything to drink;
Leave those dishes in the sink;
What’s to do about it?
Simply nighty-night and go to sleep.

You’re waiting now for me to say;
“I love you more and more, and more, dear’
You’re looking younger every day.
You never were so sweet before, dear”

No more money in the bank;
No cute baby we can spank;
What’s to do about it?

Let’s put out the light and go to sleep.

Artist: Rudy Vallee
Album: Hits Of ’32
Release Date: 1996

Lay that pistol down, Babe.
Lay that pistol down.
Pistol packin’ mama
Lay that pistol down.

Oh, drinkin beer in a cabaret
Was I havin fun!
Until one night she caught me right
And now I’m on the run.

Oh, lay that pistol down, Babe.
Lay that pistol down.
Pistol packin’ mama
Lay that pistol down.

Oh, I’ll sing you every night Bing
And I’ll woo you every day.
I’ll be your regular mama
And I’ll put that gun away.

Oh, lay that pistol down, Babe.
Lay that pistol down.
Pistol packin’ mama
Lay that thing down before it goes off and hurts somebody!

Oh, she kicked out my windshield
And she hit me over the head.
She cussed and cried and said I lied
And she wished that I was dead.

Oh, lay that pistol down, Babe.
Lay that pistol down.
Pistol packin’ mama
Lay that pistol down.

We’re 3 tough gals
From deep down Texas way.
We got no pals
They don’t like the way we play.
We’re a rough rootin’ tootin’ shootin’ trio
But you ought to see my sister Cleo
She’s a terror make no error
But there ain’t no nicer terror
Here’s what we tell her:

Lay that pistol down, Babe.
Lay that pistol down.
Pistol packin’ mama
Lay that pistol down

Pappy made a batch of corn
The revenuers came.
The draught was slow
So now they know
You can’t do that to Mame.

Lay that pistol down, Babe.
Lay that pistol down.
Pistol packin’ mama
Lay that pistol down

Oh, singing songs in a cabaret
Was I havin fun!
Until one night it didn’t seem right
And now I’m on the run.

Oh, lay that pistol down, Babe.
Lay that pistol down.
Pistol packin’ mama
Lay that pistol down.

Oh, pistol packin’ mama
Lay that pistol down.

Artist: Bing Crosby
Album: Bing Crosby And the Andrews Sisters: Their Complete Recordings Together
Release Date: 1939

graphic showing woman smoking

What is love?
You call it heaven above
A star that shines
In the night
A bird that sings
In its flight
A flower that blooms in the spring
It’s no such thing

Love
Is like a cigarette
You know you had my heart aglow
Between your fingertips

And
Just like a cigarette
I never knew the thrill of life
Until you touched my lips

Then
Just like a cigarette
Love seemed to fade away
And leave behind
Ashes of regret
And with a flick of your fingertip
It was easy for you to forget
Love is like a cigarette

Then
Just like a cigarette
Love seemed to fade away
And leave behind
Ashes of regret
And with a flick
Of your fingertip
It was easy for you to forget
‘Cause love is like a cigarette

Artist: Ivie Anderson, Duke Ellington
Album: Duke Ellington Presents Ivie Anderson
Release Date: 1932