Hilarious Old Song: Never Make Love in a Buggy

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.

Potatoes with eyes (sprouts). Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

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.

11 thoughts on “Hilarious Old Song: Never Make Love in a Buggy

  1. My grandfather remembered some of the long poems he learned to recite in school all the way into his old age… My dad still remembers parts of *The Rime of the Ancient Mariner* even though he suffers from dementia and cannot remember if he ate breakfast or not.

    1. It’s really cool that he can remember it. I also have an elderly father. One of the things that I really enjoy about this blog is that doing it encourages me to talk with him about what things were like in the “good old days” which he can remember surprisingly well.

  2. I’ve never heard that song before but it sure is a fun one. Northern Spies were my father’s favorite apples. I don’t know when he discovered them but he ate them till he died in 1987. One hardly ever hears them mentioned these days.

    1. Thanks for the info. It was fun to watch the youtube video. It’s interesting how there are different versions of this song.

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