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!