The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #103817   Message #2120236
Posted By: GUEST,Henryp
06-Aug-07 - 08:35 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Bright Shiny Morning
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bright Shiny Morning
The girl is looking for treatment for syphilis.   In the early 1900s, Paul Ehrlich recognized that certain dyes stained micro-organisms but not the animal cells. By using this concept of "selective toxicity," Ehrlich discovered that an arsenic-containing drug would inhibit Treponema (causative microbe of syphilis). He named the drug Salvarsan because it was a salvation against syphilis and contained arsenic.

There's another thread on the origin of the song Pills of White Mercury, which were also used as a treatment.

Tricks may be the missing word, although it doesn't seem to fit the context completely. There again, it may have been a slang word familiar at the time. Perhaps it is something closer to pills, drugs or treatment?