Feb 21

How to Make Love

Some years ago I found my mother’s teenage scrapbook from (approximately 1930). In it was a handwritten copy of a poem called How to Make Love. It was sent to her by an admirer, Arthur Larson, from Big Falls, Minnesota around 1929-30. I don’t know if Arthur was the author of the poem, but I think more likely this was a poem or song. Copying song lyrics or poems, and mailing them to friends seemed to be a popular pastime among teenagers, (who didn’t have computers or TV’s, remember. Some had no phones).  Mother’s scrapbook contained several different clever ‘sayings’ and poems or song lyrics.

If anyone has any information about its origins, please let me know.

                           How to Make Love (author unknown)

Do you want your girl to love you? Do you want to be her beau?

Then I’ll tell you how to do it, boys. I’ll tell you all I know.

Put on your bib and tucker and scrub your face real hard.

Part your hair right in the middle, boys, and slick it down with lard.

Put your dirty hat on sideways. Pull your Sunday pants up short

Get a red bow tie and a rubber band, and show her you’re a sport.

Get yourself some drug store perfume, and sprinkle it on your clothes.

And a dime’s worth will be plenty, boys. To tickle her little nose.

Use your buggy and your harness, and curry your trotting mare.

And buy her a pretty lasso, boys, and get your lady fair.

Tie a ribbon on your buggy whip, get a pair of yellow gloves

And take her to the county fair, and buy her what she loves.

Tell her she is prettier than a movie actress

Talk about her pretty curls, and about her handsome dress.

Get yourself a gold front tooth, and a Sears and Roebuck ring

A double note harmonica, and learn to play and sing.

Talk about her family, her granddad and her pap.

And before you know it, she’s sitting on your lap.

Tell her she is so pretty, she takes away your breath.

And before you know it, she’s a hugging you to death.

But, if she does not love you, boys. Just make her jealous then.

Tell her you love somebody else and she is just a friend.

Take her out to the dances and flirt with other girls.

Hug um’ close and whisper soft, and get them all awhirl.

Laugh out loud with the others, but to your girl don’t speak

And when she comes around you, boys, just turn from her your cheek.

Just follow these directions and she will be your wife

Or else she’ll marry somebody else… and hate you all her life!


5 Responses for "How to Make Love"

  1. Ruth Powers says:

    haha never heard that before. Too cute!!!!

  2. June says:

    Delightful!!! Thanks for sharing:)

  3. hahaha...what images this poem conjures up. This was a time when people depended on people for enjoyment instead of machines. I wasn't alive then but miss the times 30 years later.


  4. Always fun to share unusual things, stories, images from the past. Glad you all enjoyed my mom's scrapbook poem.

  5. Levana Taylor says:

    Hi! Just stumbled across this post while trying to figure out who wrote this song (which is very clever, indeed!) It turns out it was written by the prolific hillbilly songwriter Carson Robison and first recorded by Frank Tucker (a.k.a. Bud Billings) in 1928. There's a nice 1930 recording by the Southern Moonlight Entertainers at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dXWby9zt_0 Thanks for the interesting note about scrapbooks! What a fun thing to have inherited.

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