17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Friday, March 22, 1912:We had some of those recitations repeated this afternoon, but fortunately I wasn’t called upon to say mine. After this was over, we wound up by singing a laughable song.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
What was the hilarious song? An old-time silly song we used to sing when I was a child was Never Make Love in a Buggy. It seems like the sort of song that teens might have enjoyed.
Never Make Love in a Buggy
Never make love in a buggy,
While riding along in the moonlight.
You better be wise,
Potatoes have eyes,
You’re watched from the orchard
By great Northern Spies.
The corn having ears
It might hear you.
While riding o’er hills and dales,
So never make love in a buggy,
For horses carry tails.
Northern Spies refers to an old apple variety.
I’ve previously written about the role of recitations in schools (see Pros and Cons of Recitation as a Teaching Method). But, this entry provided another bit of information. Apparently all students were required to memorize a recitation, but only some actually had to recite.