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banjocircus Tune Req: Song of the Poison Squad (3) Tune Req: Song of the Poison Squad 02 Mar 11

I am looking for the tune for a song called "Song of the Poison Squad." (The Poison Squad was a group of testers in early USDA campaigns to determine the safety of food additives such as boric acid and formaldehyde. See .)

An internet search found lyrics to two songs, below. Does anybody have melodies for these gems?


Jonathan Leiss

As Sung by Lew Dockstader-- in His Minstrel Company
Washington, D. C., week of October 4, 1903

    If ever you should visit the Smithsonian Institute,
    Look out that Professor Wiley doesn't make you a recruit.
    He's got a lot of fellows there that tell him how they feel,
    They take a batch of poison every time they eat a meal.
    For breakfast they get cyanide of liver, coffin shaped,
    For dinner, undertaker's pie, all trimmed with crepe;
    For supper, arsenic fritters, fried in appetizing shade,
    And late at night they get a prussic acid lemonade.


    They may get over it, but they'll never look the same.
    That kind of a bill of fare would drive most men insane.
    Next week he'll give them moth balls,
       a LA Newburgh, or else plain.
    They may get over it, but they'll never look the same.


(Respectfully Dedicated to the Department of Agriculture)

    0 we're the merriest herd of hulks
       that ever the world has seen;

    We don't shy off from your rough
       on rats or even from Paris green:

    We're on the hunt for a toxic dope
       That's certain to kill, sans fail.

    But 'tis a tricky, elusive thing and
       knows we are on its trail;

    For all the things that could kill
       we've downed in many a gruesome wad,

    And still we're gaining a pound a day,
       for we are the Pizen Squad.

    On Prussic acid we break our fast;
       we lunch on a morphine stew;

    We dine with a matchhead consomme,
       drink carbolic acid brew;

    Corrosive sublimate tones us up
       like laudanum. ketchup rare,

    While tyro-toxicon condiments
       are wholesome as mountain air.

    Thus all the "deadlies" we double-dare
       to put us beneath the sod;

    We're death-immunes and we're proud as proud--
       Hooray for the Pizen Squad!

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