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Lyr Req: Pinkham Compound / Lydia Pinkham

DigiTrad:
BALLAD OF LYDIA PINKHAM
LILY THE PINK
LILY THE PINK (3)


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Lily the pink? - Winke Winke (53)
Lyr Add: Lily the Pink (20)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Lydia Pink (from Hopkins, Songs from the Front & Rear)
Lydia Pinkham (from Randolph/Legman, Roll Me In Your Arms)
Lydia Pinkham (Sandburg) (from Sandburg, American Songbag)
Lydia Pinkham (Shay/Loesser) (from Shay's My Pious Friends and Drunken Companions. Similar to Loesser's Humor in American Song)


vissjoy@superiway.net 24 May 97 - 04:50 PM
Bob Landry 28 May 97 - 12:12 AM
vissjoy@superiwat.net 28 May 97 - 08:31 AM
Bob Landry 28 May 97 - 11:33 AM
vissjpy@superiway.net 28 May 97 - 01:28 PM
28 May 97 - 02:05 PM
Bob Schwarer 28 May 97 - 05:31 PM
Bob Landry 03 Jun 97 - 06:44 PM
Murray 03 Jun 97 - 07:52 PM
Bob Landry 03 Jun 97 - 07:58 PM
dick greenhaus 03 Jun 97 - 08:36 PM
GUEST,ap of morristown 24 Aug 01 - 11:51 PM
GUEST,roz@brooklyn.cuny.edu 07 Jun 02 - 12:04 PM
JohnInKansas 07 Jun 02 - 05:35 PM
Acme 07 Jun 02 - 05:40 PM
GUEST,Duda_64@hotmail,com 07 Jun 02 - 08:12 PM
Hrothgar 08 Jun 02 - 06:46 AM
Nigel Parsons 08 Jun 02 - 09:37 AM
Art Thieme 08 Jun 02 - 08:20 PM
GUEST,Vanonrockyroad@aol.com 16 Oct 02 - 10:08 AM
dick greenhaus 16 Oct 02 - 11:45 AM
GUEST,damon raphael, md 27 Dec 02 - 04:47 PM
Deckman 27 Dec 02 - 04:54 PM
Joe_F 27 Dec 02 - 05:26 PM
Deckman 27 Dec 02 - 06:31 PM
Ebbie 27 Dec 02 - 07:07 PM
Amos 27 Dec 02 - 08:39 PM
Deckman 27 Dec 02 - 08:54 PM
Bill D 27 Dec 02 - 09:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Dec 02 - 09:20 PM
GUEST,Q 27 Dec 02 - 09:35 PM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 28 Dec 02 - 12:23 PM
GUEST,TimT 18 Feb 04 - 10:11 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Feb 04 - 01:21 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Feb 04 - 01:27 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Feb 04 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,Lighter 18 Feb 04 - 02:23 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Feb 04 - 03:29 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Feb 04 - 03:51 PM
Joe Offer 18 Feb 04 - 05:14 PM
Joe Offer 18 Feb 04 - 05:42 PM
The Fooles Troupe 18 Feb 04 - 09:44 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Feb 04 - 12:26 AM
Cuilionn 19 Feb 04 - 09:24 AM
GUEST,Arkie 19 Feb 04 - 10:55 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Feb 04 - 11:44 AM
GUEST,Arkie 19 Feb 04 - 03:48 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Feb 04 - 05:25 PM
LadyJean 20 Feb 04 - 01:14 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Feb 04 - 02:10 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Feb 04 - 03:20 PM
GUEST,jimmydefish 14 Mar 04 - 05:18 PM
GUEST,EdnMcV@aol.com 25 Apr 04 - 06:51 PM
GUEST,L HARRIS 18 May 04 - 04:39 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 May 04 - 05:12 PM
GUEST,reba 27 Oct 04 - 01:27 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Oct 04 - 03:07 PM
GUEST,Damon Raphael 25 Jul 07 - 02:30 PM
GUEST,Simon Jones 27 Jan 08 - 06:20 AM
oldhippie 20 Dec 08 - 11:12 AM
GUEST,princess 31 Aug 10 - 12:54 AM
Jim Dixon 01 Sep 10 - 03:11 PM
GUEST,ladyknight 19 Oct 10 - 08:20 PM
GUEST,BAZZA 081967 17 Apr 11 - 01:24 AM
GUEST,dvandorn 14 Jun 11 - 07:45 PM
GUEST,old bob 02 Jan 14 - 04:53 PM
GUEST 06 Jan 18 - 03:59 AM
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Subject: PINKHAM COMPOUND
From: vissjoy@superiway.net
Date: 24 May 97 - 04:50 PM

When I was young(er), there was a song about taking Lydia E. Pinkham's Pills or Compound for PMS.
The tune used was the one from the gospel hymn "I Will Sing of My Redeemer".
Anyone still remember the words to this one?


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND
From: Bob Landry
Date: 28 May 97 - 12:12 AM

Do you want Lily the Pink, a version that can be aired on commercial radio or Lydia Pinkham the version that makes me blush?

(Dick - How crude are we allowed to be in this forum?)


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND
From: vissjoy@superiwat.net
Date: 28 May 97 - 08:31 AM

Since I heard this on the radio, I guess it's the radio version I want. However, now that I'm mature, maybe I could stand to see a risque version.

Thanks.


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Subject: Lyr Add: LILY THE PINK
From: Bob Landry
Date: 28 May 97 - 11:33 AM

Here's the tame version. I have to key in the other version and it's quite lengthy. Risqué is too mild a word for that one.

LILY THE PINK
CHORUS: Oh, we'll drink a drink, a drink,
To Lily the Pink, the Pink, the Pink,
The saviour of the human race.
She invented medicinal compound.
'Twas deprecatious, in every case.

Now here's a story, a little bit gory,
A little bit happy, a little bit sad.
Of Lily the Pink and, her medicinal compound,
And how it drove her, to the bad.

Well Ebeneezer thought, he was Julius Caesar,
So they put him, in the home.
And they gave him, medicinal compound.
Now he's the Emperor of Rome. CHORUS

Pretty Gregor, the opera singer
Could break a glass with, his voice they said.
Rubbed his tonsils with, medicinal compound.
Now they break the glasses, over his head.

Johnnie Hammer, had a t-t-terrible stammer,
He could hardly, s-s-say a word.
So they g-g-gave him medicinal compound,
And now he's s-s-seen, but never heard. CHORUS

Uncle Paul, he was very small.
He was the shortest man in town.
Rubbed his body, with medicinal compound,
And now weighs only, half a pound.

Lily died and, went up to heaven.
All the church bells, they did ring.
She took with her, medicinal compound,
Hark the Herald Angels sing. CHORUS

Almost identical to the version added to the DT Oct 97 - (click)


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND
From: vissjpy@superiway.net
Date: 28 May 97 - 01:28 PM

Thanks for the non-crude lyrics. If you wish to keep this website "clean", perhaps you can e-mail the other version to me. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND
From:
Date: 28 May 97 - 02:05 PM

I have a version that says "Most efficacious in every case"

Frank Phillips


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND
From: Bob Schwarer
Date: 28 May 97 - 05:31 PM

The Irish Rovers did a version of "Lily the Pink".

Bob S.


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Subject: Lyr Add: LYDIA PINKHAM
From: Bob Landry
Date: 03 Jun 97 - 06:44 PM

OK, Vissjoy, you asked for it. I took the liberty of ***ing out two words. You can use your imagination on those. The sentiments expressed are not mine, though I'll admit to a certain degree of prurient mirth. The lyrics are taken from a book that a friend of mine picked up at a garage sale. It's full of dirty little ditties that would make Oscar Brand proud.

LYDIA PINKHAM
(Anonymous)

Have you ever heard of Lydia Pinkham
And her compound so refined?
It turns pr***s into glowing fountains,
And makes c***s grow on behind.

CHORUS: So we'll sing, we'll sing, we'll sing of Lydia Pinkham,
Saviour of the human race.
How she makes, she bottles, she sells her Vegetable Compound,
And the papers publish her face.

Widow Brown, she has no children,
Though she loved them very dear,
So she took, she swallowed, she gargled some Vegetable Compound,
And now she has them twice a year. CHORUS

Willie Smith had peritonitis
And he couldn't piss at all,
So he took, he swallowed, he gargled some Vegetable Compound,
And now he's a human waterfall. CHORUS

Mrs. Jones had rotten kidneys;
Poor old lady couldn't pee,
So she took, she swallowed, she gargled some Vegetable Compound,
And now they pipe her to the sea. CHORUS

Geraldine, she had no breastworks,
And she couldn't fill her blouse,
So she took, she swallowed, she gargled some Vegetable Compound,
And now they milk her with the cows. CHORUS

Arthur White had been castrated,
And had not a single nut,
So he took, he swallowed, he gargled some Vegetable Compound,
And not they hang all 'round his butt. CHORUS

Walter Black was a bearded lady,
And his pecker wouldn't peck,
So he took, he swallowed, he gargled some Vegetable Compound,
Now it's as long as a giraffe's neck. CHORUS

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 20-Oct-02.


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND
From: Murray
Date: 03 Jun 97 - 07:52 PM

Another 2 verses and a variant:

Now Mr. Brown had a very small penis
He could hardly raise a stand
So they gave him the vegetable compound
Now he comes in either hand.

Now Master Brown had very small knackers
They were just like a couple of peas
So they gave him the vegetable compound
Now they hang below his knees.

Now Mrs. Brown had invisible bosoms
They scarcely showed beneath her blouse
So they gave her the vegetable compound
Now they milk her with the cows.

The text given by Bob Landry is practically identical with that in Cray's book [1968 edition, page 56, with music], but not that first stanza. Where's it from? My text is out of the British collection "More Rugby Songs" [London: Sphere Books, 1968], page 105.

Another song [clean] that is similar was recorded way back on the flip side of a comedy record called "It's in the Book", being a parody of a hellfire sermon, the text examined being "Little Bo-Peep", and the song was presented as a good ol' gospel song. Very funny, I thought at the time. [I seem to remember this mentioned on another thread...] Words included [I THINK this is accurate]:

Little Herman and Cousin Sherman
Had an aversion to washing their ears
Washed them out with Grandma's Lysol,
They haven't heard a word in years.

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 20-Oct-02.


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND
From: Bob Landry
Date: 03 Jun 97 - 07:58 PM

I'll have to ask my buddy about the name of the book. I only copied some of the pages (for personal study only, of course) and forgot the title page. It make take some time as he is out of town for a while.

Bob


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 03 Jun 97 - 08:36 PM

We always appreciate more verses. There IS a version (six verses) in the database.


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Subject: Lyr Add: LYDIA PINKHAM
From: GUEST,ap of morristown
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 11:51 PM

LYDIA PINKHAM

Oh we sing we sing we sing of Lydia Pinkham
She's the benefactress of the human ra-a-ace
She invented a Vegetable Compound
And now the papers print her fa-a-ace

Mrs. Smithe had bladder trouble
That is to say she could not pe-e-e
She took ten pounds of the Compound
And now they pipe it to the sea-e-e

Mrs. Brown had baby trouble
She couldn't have any children dear
She took ten pounds of the Compound
And now they come three times a year-ear-ear

Lydia Pinkham was indeed an over the counter potion sold in pharmacies in the 1940's. It was probably invented by a snake oil salesman, was indeed high in alcohol content, and was used by menopausal women to relieve hot flashes etc. My mother was a user of the stuff!

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 25-Jun-02.


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND
From: GUEST,roz@brooklyn.cuny.edu
Date: 07 Jun 02 - 12:04 PM

Please email me the original version, so I can sing it to my grandchildren. Thanks Roz


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Subject: Lyr Add: LYDIA PINKHAM
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 07 Jun 02 - 05:35 PM

A Treasury of American Ballads: Gay, Naughty, and Classic edited with an Introduction and Notes by Charles O'Brien Kennedy, The McBride Co., New York, ©1954, First Edition, page 366.

LYDIA PINKHAM
Anonymous
The fame of this obscure but enterprising woman of New England became nationwide. Her product still marches on.

1. Let us sing of Lydia Pinkham
And her love for the human race:
How she sells her veg'table compound,
And the papers publish her face.

2. Mrs. Brown had female weakness;
Couldn't have a child at all,
Till she took some veg'table compound;
Now she has triplets every fall

3. Oh, it sells for a dollar a bottle,
Which is very cheap you see,
And if it doesn't cure you
She will sell you six for three.

4. Now she's dead and gone to Heaven,
Mourned by all the human race;
Still they sell her veg'table compound,
And the papers publish her face.

The American Songbag Carl Sandburg, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich: Harvest Books Series, ©1927, ISBN 0-15-605650-X, notes:

"Only two of the many verses of this song are presented here. As a satire the piece has its points and touches more than the surface of current life, manners and morals."

The two verses given are the first and third from Kennedy above.

Sandburg includes a "piano/lyric score" in 9/8 time, but it does not "scan well" with the lyric given.

Click to play Sandburg Tune



Volume II, Folk Song Encyclopedia, Jerry Silverman, ©1975, Chappel & Co, dist Hal Leonard, has the same first verse, uses the Kennedy third verse as the second, and a modified third verse,

3. Mrs. Jones, she had no children,
Though she loved them very dear.
So she bought some vegetable compound,
Now she has them twice a year.

Silverman gives a tune, in 3/4 time, with guitar chords.

The "vulgar" version posted - From: Bob Landry 03-Jun-97 - 06:44 PM is from:

A Book of Vulgar Verse, "by A Man About Town," ©1981 Checkerbooks, Inc, Toronto, dist by Book Sales, Inc, Secaucus N.J., ISBN 0-89009-411-X (in my copy).

John


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND
From: Acme
Date: 07 Jun 02 - 05:40 PM

None of these versions rings a bell, and I know I grew up listening to a song about Lydia Pinkham's pills. I'll have to think about this, see if I can find Dad's version.

SRS


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND
From: GUEST,Duda_64@hotmail,com
Date: 07 Jun 02 - 08:12 PM

Susan, most of the replies don't know what the words really are. I have a recording of "Bawdy Songs and Bar- Room Ballads" by Oscar Brand. Was foryunate to see/hear him 'live' in '57. His concert was at S.U.N.Y @ Farmingdale L.I. so his songs were not as 'risque' as his album. The churus to "Lydia Pinkham" is; " So let us drink, drink, drink to Lydia Pinkum, Pinkum, Pink, and her love for the human race. She invented a VEGETABLE Compound and the papers published her face. Want more.... I'll try to figure out how.
duda_64 (252) 946-2123


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND
From: Hrothgar
Date: 08 Jun 02 - 06:46 AM

And there's one about "Grandma's Lysol" that is related. The chorus goes:

Let's hear it loud and strong for Grandma's Lysol
Good for everything around the place
For your clothes, and dirty dishes,
For your hands, and for your face.

The verses are fairly similar to those in "Lydia Pinkham."


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 08 Jun 02 - 09:37 AM

The arrangement used by 'The Scaffold' which topped the UK charts in 1968, can be found Lily The Pink here.


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND
From: Art Thieme
Date: 08 Jun 02 - 08:20 PM

One o' my mentors, Win Stracke did this song around Chicago for many years. It was on his album SINGS OF OLD TOWN

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND
From: GUEST,Vanonrockyroad@aol.com
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 10:08 AM

Hey Everybody, Can anyone tell me where I can buy some Lydia E. Pinkham Compound. I have awful PMS, and my Mom told me she used to take this compound when she was a young girl and it worked wonders!! Any information will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you, Van Grooms


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 11:45 AM

Hrothgar-
That was "Lye Soap"


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND
From: GUEST,damon raphael, md
Date: 27 Dec 02 - 04:47 PM

I first heard the bawdy Lydia Pinkham ballad sung by my then (wonderful) girl friend Rosmarie Woschnak, a student nurse at St Luke's Hospital in NYC. I was a freshman at Columbia College which was across the street from the hospital.
An interesting aside to the story is that my uncle Ben Schneider, recently deceased became the President of the Purdue Frederick drug Company in the 1950s. That company made "Gray's Medicine" a competing product to Pinkham's Compound, which consisted mainly of Sherry wine. He turned the company into an ethical pharmaceutical drug company with the introduction of Senokot, a widely used laxative.
Gray's Medicine disappeared and our family benefitted with the gift of a large quantity of the surplus wine.
Purdue Frederick went on to market Betadine, the widely used antiseptic.


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND
From: Deckman
Date: 27 Dec 02 - 04:54 PM

Just for passing interest: I have TWO of Lydia's bottles ... empty darnit! CHEERS, Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND
From: Joe_F
Date: 27 Dec 02 - 05:26 PM

"Eat Bertha's Mussels" by John Roberts is presumably another offshoot. It's in the database.


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND
From: Deckman
Date: 27 Dec 02 - 06:31 PM

And ... don't forget "Dr. Parson's Pink Pills For Pulpitating Pulses!".


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND
From: Ebbie
Date: 27 Dec 02 - 07:07 PM

In this old house museum where I live, we have a bottle of Lydia Pinkham's, 3/4 full, in our collection. Obviously, someone along the line has taken a dose or two.

It seems like every generation or so, 'they' come up with a miracle panacea- remember Hadacol? What is the current one? Viagra?


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND
From: Amos
Date: 27 Dec 02 - 08:39 PM

Well, Viagra actually works, I am told, for chemical and biological reasons, but as I understand it Pinkham and other purveyors of fine tonics to address all ills were peddling alcohol with vegetable flavors in it!

A


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND
From: Deckman
Date: 27 Dec 02 - 08:54 PM

Does anyone else remember "Mother Molgers Medicated Meatballs?"


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Dec 02 - 09:09 PM

No...but I have a bottle of Scott's Emulsion..(from the song about "Poor Lil, a famous beauty, who lived in a house of Ill Reputy"


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Dec 02 - 09:20 PM

Here's a leaflet extolling its virtues.


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 27 Dec 02 - 09:35 PM

Why not make your own? Here is the original recipe:

    Lydia Pinkham Compound

    Aletris farinosa L. 8 oz. (Unicorn root)
    Senecio aureus L. 6 oz. (Life root)
    Cimicifuga racemosa (L.)Nutt. 6 oz. (Black Cohosh)
    Asclepias tuberosa L. 6 oz. (Pleurisy root)
    Trigonella foenum-graecum L. 12 oz. (fenugreek seed)
    Alcohol (18%) to make 100 pints.

    Note: some of these herbs are strong in their action. NOT recommended.
A modern version with a different selection of herbs is out there.


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 28 Dec 02 - 12:23 PM

Hi,

The version I remember is:

Give a cheer, a cheer, a cheer
For Lydia Pinkham, Pinkham, Pinkham
And her love for the human race.
She published her vegetable compound
And the papers, papers, papers
Published her face.

Mary McCarty, hale and hearty
Suffered for years from hair on the brain.
Now she's bald and free of all dandruff.
Lydia Pinkham, Pinkham, Pinkham triumps again!
(She triumphs again!)

Frank


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND
From: GUEST,TimT
Date: 18 Feb 04 - 10:11 AM

My memory of the lyrics from a record several years ago is that the last line was "most efficacious in every case".

I am sure there was no mention of "papers publish her face".

Alistair Cooke who presents the BBC "Letter from America" each week told the story of Lydia Pinkham and her tonic last week (February 15th 2004).


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Feb 04 - 01:21 PM

Guest TimT, there are many verses to "Lydia Pinkham;" no one version is sacrosanct. Carl Sandburg in "The American Songbag" (1927) printed only two, one with the line 'And the papers publish'd her face.'

Has anyone read "Lydia E. Pinkham's Private Text Book upon Ailments Peculiar to Women"? Interesting to a child who discovered his mother's copy hidden in her undies drawer (speaking of my parent's time before 1920).
In addition to her vegetable compound, the company also sold Lydia E. Pinkhams Blood Medicine. Good for humors and eruptions.

Probably safer than the stuff in the bottles sold at the 'health food stores'.

Interesting reading in Pinkham's old recipe books, with a testimonial on every page (more than one at American Memory)

"....I was married four years and had a great love for children and was really discouraged because I didn't have any. At the time I had a very troublesome complaint and someone told me to take Lydia E. Pinkhams Vegetable Compound and it sure would help me. In a year I had the sweetest little baby girl..... So now I believe in the old saying, 'there's a baby in every bottle.'"

The "War Time Cook and Health" of 1912 has war meals suggested by the U. S. Food Administration. Who could resist their recipe for baked hominy and fish? In all of these booklets, over 50% of each page was devoted to testimonials, with a name and address appended to each.


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Feb 04 - 01:27 PM

See thread 6928 for many more verses: Lydia Pinkham


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Subject: ADD Version: Lydia Pinkham
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Feb 04 - 02:08 PM

Memorable verses are buried in the Tattooed Lady's thread, so here they are, with some more from Randolph- Legman. Some have been posted in various threads, but it is good to have them together.

Lydia Pinkham

Little Johnny had peritonitis
He could hardly pee at all
Then he took some of this wonderful compound
Now he's a human waterfall.

Oh, Mrs. Jones had a pregnant daughter
And oh, the pain was hard to bear
So she gave her a bottle of Compound
And she dropped her cargo right under the stair.

So we'll drink- drink a drink
To Lydia Pink a Pink a Pink
The savior of the human race
She invented a legitimate compound
And now all the papers publish her face.


Oh, little Johnny, what a bastard,
Through masturbation had lost his vim,
So we gave him two bottles of Compound
Now all the rabbits envy him.

Willy Dinker, poor little fuck-up,
Could pass no water- none at all,
So we gave him three bottles of Compound
And now he clears a ten-foot wall.

Jasper Dumps had no erection
His wife bemoaned his lack of power,
So we gave him four bottles of Compound,
And now he jumps her every hour.

Oh, Mrs. Smith was low in passion,
She didn't care to fiddle-de-dee,
So we gave her five bottles of Compound,
Now they tie her to a tree.

Poor Mrs. Brown she had no figure,
She had neither tits nor ass,
So we gave her six bottles of Compound,
Now they're dragging on the grass.
-----

Rufus Jones he was a eunuch
And he couldn't women please,
So he drank three bottles
Of Lydia's Vegetable Compound,
And now they hang down to his knees.

Johnny Jumpup, he lost his manhood,
And he couldn't get a stand,
So he drank three bottles
Of Lydia's Vegetable Compound,
And now he comes to either hand.
-----

Oh ---- girlfriend, she was a virgin,
That is to say, she could not screw,
So she drank ten bottles of Compound,
Now there's nothing she won't do.

Oh, ---- girlfriend could not wear Tampax,
That is to say, she was petite,
So she drank ten bottles of Compound,
Now they stuff her with a sheet.
------

Click to play Randolph/Legman tune


And another song-

You're the top! You're a Pinkham Tonic,
You're the top! You're a high colonic,
You're the bride's complexion,
You're the groom's erection---
You're the torrid heat, of a bridal suite
--In use!!
But baby, if I'm the bottom--
You're the top!

Randolph, Legman, "Roll Me in Your Arms," no. 154, Lydia Pinkham, pp. 485-489, with music.


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 18 Feb 04 - 02:23 PM

When the compound was analyzed in 1914 it was found to be 20% alcohol.
The song may date from roughly that period: when someone wrote Robert W. Gordon for the words in the early '20s, he couldn't come up with any - very rare fotr Gordon.

The earliest known printing seems to have been in 1927.


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Feb 04 - 03:29 PM

Lydia Pinkham's Compound survived the Prohibition Amendment of 1919-1933; one of the few legal sources of drinking alcohol. This Amendment 'may' have increased consumption of the Compound manyfold, and encouraged the composition of verses.

Randolph-Legman indirectly explain the verse about her face. "The photograph of Lydia Pinkham with her hair curled and an old-fashioned ruching tucked around her throat, was the first photograph ever to appear in an American newspaper advertisement, as celebrated as the song's chorus." (The Compound was first marketed in 1869; the first images were engravings or woodblocks since the use of photos was much later).


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Feb 04 - 03:51 PM

The Compound is now marketed as a 'nutritional supplement' by Numark Laboratories. In addition to the herbs, it contains "iron, calcium, vitamins C and E. Available as liquid or in tablets. The liquid has 10% alcohol.
The label warns, "If you are pregnant or nursing a baby, seek the advice of a health professional before using this product."

The Numark website lists the herbs in the Compound and their uses: Lydia Pinkham Herbal Compound


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Subject: ADD Version: The Ballad of Lydia Pinkham
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Feb 04 - 05:14 PM

Shay's My Pious Friends and Drunken Companions has fragments of two versions. The version in the Digital Tradition is based on Shay, but I don't know where the tune comes from. The version below is my attempt to combine the lyrics from Shay with those in Arthur Loesser's Humor in American Song. The lyrics are almost the same in these two versions, and they use almost the same tune (which is not the tune in the DT).
-Joe Offer-


The Ballad of Lydia Pinkham

CHORUS
Sing, oh sing of Lydia Pinkham
And her love of the human race
How she sells her vegetable compound
And the papers publish her face.


O, Mrs. Brown could do no housework,
O, Mrs. Brown could do no housework,
She took three bottles of Lydia's compound,
And now there's nothing she will shirk.

O, Mrs. Jones she had no children,
And she loved them very dear.
So she took six bottles of Pinkham's
Now she has twins every year.

Lottie Smyth ne'er had a lover,
Blotchy pimples caused her plight;
But she took nine bottles of Pinkham's--
Sweethearts swarm about her each night.


Click to play Shay/Loesser tune


Here's the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index:

Lydia Pinkham

DESCRIPTION: A bawdy and scatological testimonial in multiple stanzas for the restorative powers of Mrs. Pinkham's patent medicine for women.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1927 (Sandburg)
KEYWORDS: bawdy scatological sex drugs
FOUND IN: US(So)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Randolph-Legman I, p. 485-489, "Lydia Pinkham" (5 texts, 1 tune)
Sandburg, p. 210, "Lydia Pinkham" (1 text, 1 tune, expurgated)
DT, LYDIAPNK

Roud #8368
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "I Will Sing of My Redeemer" (tune)
Notes: This is sung to the Protestant hymn tune "I Will Sing of My Redeemer," Legman notes in his extensive annotations in Randolph-Legman I. - EC
File: RL485

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2003 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: ADD Version: Lydia Pinkham
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Feb 04 - 05:42 PM

Here is the first of five texts in Randolph/Legman Roll Me In Your Arms. These verses and those from the other texts have been posted above, but I figured I should post this here so you can see how the tune scans.
-Joe Offer-


Lydia Pinkham

Missus Brown had female troubles,
An' she had no children dear,
Until she discovered Lydia Pinkham,
Now she has one every year.

Sing, oh sing, oh sing,
Oh sing of Lydia Pinkham,
An' her great love for the human race;
She sells her dope, her dope,
Her dope for a dollar a bottle,
An' the papers all publish her face.


Missus Jones had kidney trouble,
The poor lady could not pee,
She took seven bottles of Lydia's Compound,
Now they've piped her to the sea.


This tune is very close to I Will Sing of My Redeemer. The DT tune and the Shay tune wouldn't make it in church, but this one would.

Click to play Randolph/Legman tune


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND / Lydia Pinkham
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 18 Feb 04 - 09:44 PM

Not to be forgotten - and mentionesd in other threads here is the version by Johhny Standley - on the reverse side of his 78 "It's In The Book!"

Robin


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Subject: Lyr Add: LYDIA PINK (Canadian version)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Feb 04 - 12:26 AM

Oh, well, might as well post a Canadian Forces version, mostly sung in the Air Force. Some duplication with Randolph-Legman.

Lydia Pink

Chorus:
We'll drink a drink a drink
To Lydia Pink a Pink a pink,
The saviour of the human race.
For she's invented a vegetable compound,
And all the papers, they publish her face.

Now Mrs. Brown had an invisible bosom,
It barely showed beneath her blouse.
She rubbed her chest with the vegetable compound,
And now they milk her with the cows.

Now Brother Bill had-a been castrated,
He never had a single nut.
He rubbed his crotch with the vegetable compound,
And now they dangle round his butt.

Mrs Jones had a very bad stricture,
She could hardly bear to pee.
So they gave her some vegetable compound,
And now they pump her direct to the sea.

Mr. Brown had a very small penis,
And he could hardly raise a stand.
So they gave him some vegetable compound,
And now he comes to either hand.

Mrs. green was having a baby,
And the pain was hard to bear.
So they gave her some vegetable compound,
Now she's having it over a chair.

Mrs. Black had a very tight grommet,
And she could hardly pee at all,
So they gave her some vegetable compound,
And now she's like Niagara Falls.

Now Mrs. Murphy had baby trouble,
To have a baby made her fear.
So they gave her some vegetable compound,
And now she has them twice a year.

Now Mrs. Johnson had husband trouble,
She did not know how to fiddle-dd-de.
But when they gave her some vegetable compound,
They had to tie her to a tree.

Anthony Hopkins, "Songs From The Front And Rear, 1979, Hurtig Publishers, Edmonton, Canada, pp. 176-177.

Click to play Front & Rear tune


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND / Lydia Pinkham
From: Cuilionn
Date: 19 Feb 04 - 09:24 AM

Minds me o the traditional lines o the "Quack Doctor" character in maist o the Sassun (English) Mummers' Plays. The doctor's introductory speech gaes sumpit like this:

"In comes I, a Doctor. I've been to Italy, Spitaly, France & Spain, three times 'round the world & back again. With my skill, I can cure any ill: lovesick maidens, jealous husbands, and squalling wives...
I can cure pains within and pains without, Ipsy, Pipsy, Goiter & Gout... And in my inside-outside-backside pocket, I have a little bottle of Elly-cam-pane that can make an old crippled woman of 95 dance the hornpipe, conceive & bear twins!"

The lines ne'er lose their humour, as ilka generation haes snake-oil peddlers o their ain. (By the by, elecampane isnae jist quack medicine. It haulds a richt respectable place in the physick-kist o auld, an is usit by modern herbalists as weel.)

--Cuilionn


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND / Lydia Pinkham
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 19 Feb 04 - 10:55 AM

One article I read on Lydia Pinkham stated that the concoction was neither vegetable nor a compound. Supposedly the discovery of the alcohol content was one of the factors that led to the law requiring a listing of contents on labels. If so, Lydia Pinkham's Vegetable Compound has a permanent place in the annuls of history.


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND / Lydia Pinkham
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Feb 04 - 11:44 AM

Discovery of the alcohol content? Many of the old elixir remedies were alcoholic and some still are. Alcohol is required to dissolve the vegetable ingredients. Genuine vanilla extract is alcoholic as are many other extracts.
Pinkham's Compound was and is one of many, so by itself was not responsible for labeling regulations.

The word 'compound' was used validly in its sense of mixture (composed of separate elements or ingredients, see Webster's), not the restricted chemical compound sense.


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND / Lydia Pinkham
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 19 Feb 04 - 03:48 PM

I think the question about Pinkham had more to do with how much alcohol the elixier contained - from 18 to 23% depending upon the source.


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Subject: Lyr Add: LILY THE PINK
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Feb 04 - 05:25 PM

Radcliffe College, of Harvard University, has the records of the Lydia E. Pinkham Medicine Company, plus the largest collection of other data on the several products and their promotion.

At the website of The Museum of Menstruation, Radcliffe-Harvard, an herbalist has this to say about alcoholic content of elixirs:
"The 13-20% of alcohol is not atypical of an herbal tincture. Indeed, an herbal extract with less alcohol is pharmacologically unstable."
The original recipe called for 18% alcohol. The current product (marketed by Numark; the Pinkham Co. no longer exists) has 13%.
The vanilla extract in my spice cupboard is 20%. Thus nothing excessive about the alcohol in the Compound. The FDA would be interested in the components used, and that sufficient alcohol is present to guarantee solubility and stability.

The English Lily the Pink is quoted. Here are the verses:

LILY THE PINK

We'll drink a drink a drink
To Lily the Pink a Pink a Pink,
The saviour of the human race
For she invented a medicinal compound
Most efficacious in every case.

Mr. Frears had sticky-out ears
And it made him awfully shy
So they gave him medicinal compound
And now he's learning how to fly.

Brother Tony
Was noticeably bony
He would never eat his meals
So they gave him medicinal compound
Now they move him round on wheels.

Old Ebeneezer thought he was Julius Caesar
And so they put him in a home
Where they gave him medicinal compound
And now he's Emperor of Rome.

Johnny Hammer
Has a terrible ss-ss-ss-ss-ss-ss stammer
He could hardly s--s--say a word
And so they gave him medicinal compound
Now he's seen (but never 'eard.

Auntie Millie
Ran willy-nilly
When her legs, they did recede
And so they rubbed on medicinal compound
And now they call her Millipede.

Jennifer Eccles
Had terrible freckles
And the boys all called her names
But she changed with medicinal compound
And now he joins in all their games.

Lily the Pink, she
Turned to drink, she
Filled up with paraffin inside
And in spite of her medicinal compound
Sadly Picca-lily died.

Up to heaven
Her soul ascended
All the church bells they did ring
She took with her medicinal compound
Hark the herald angels sing.

Verses from Linda Semple, Res. Asst., Public Health, Edinburgh; British Pop Group, Scaffold, 1960s.
Museum of Menstruation, www.mum.org/mrspink17.htm


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND / Lydia Pinkham
From: LadyJean
Date: 20 Feb 04 - 01:14 AM

My friend Martha McGhee sang a version that included the line "There's a baby in every bottle, but the FDA says you still need a man." I think Lydia Pinkham's vegetable compound did advertise itself as having a baby in every bottle, meaning, I suppose that it promoted fertility.


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND / Lydia Pinkham
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Feb 04 - 02:10 PM

From the advertising including booklets issued by "The Lydia Pinkham Medicine Co." I doubt that the baby in every bottle was ever used by the company in its claims (usually stressing that 98 of 100 women receive benefit from using the Compound but not promising specific cures). It may have appeared in one of the many endorsements of the products which were sent in (?) by users and quoted in booklets and advertisements.
The endorsement letters are complete with names and street addresses and hundreds were printed. See American Memory (search Lydia Pinkham) for examples. Genuine or faked? I haven't read (and doubt that I will) any of the scholarly papers on the Compound and other popular remedies of the time.


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND / Lydia Pinkham
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Feb 04 - 03:20 PM

Endorsement
"I was married seven years and we wanted children badly. I was not in good health and had been treated by doctors without much help. I saw Lydia E. Pinkhams Vegetable Compound advertised and decided to try it. It helped me so much that I had four children in the next seven years. I recommend ... to every woman with physical weakness." Etc.
Mrs. A. J. Clayton, 506 Madison St., Syracuse, New York.

".... I had pains every month and many bad feelings and I wanted to become a mother but I was very weak. .... The first two bottles made me feel well and strong [I'll drink to that!] and a year later I had a big 12-pound baby ...."
Mrs. C. Owens, Proctor, Minnesota.

The advertising never said a 'baby in every bottle,' but these endorsements fostered that interpretation. The Company was careful about promises, but the endorsements could claim wonders.


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Subject: RE: PINKHAM COMPOUND / Lydia Pinkham
From: GUEST,jimmydefish
Date: 14 Mar 04 - 05:18 PM

What about the Scaffold? Mike Mc cartney (Pauls Bro'),Roger Wassisname, And John (the beak) Gorman in der sixties -a rioght load of scallies coz I thort dat dey rote tit demselves.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: PINKHAM COMPOUND / Lydia Pinkham
From: GUEST,EdnMcV@aol.com
Date: 25 Apr 04 - 06:51 PM

Who arranged the music and lyrics for the The Scaffold`s version of Lily the Pink please? This will settle a domestic argument and allow us to sleep at night! Thank you.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pinkham Compound / Lydia Pinkham
From: GUEST,L HARRIS
Date: 18 May 04 - 04:39 PM

I LIVE IN ONTARIO CALIF 91761, IS THEIR A PLACE NEAR ME TO PURCHASE THIS PRODUCT ?   (FOR MENOPAUSE)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pinkham Compound / Lydia Pinkham
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 May 04 - 05:12 PM

You can buy the current version by mail. www.hardtofindbrands.com: Hard to find

Also see Numark link given by Q in a posting, far above.

Note: This posting does not constitute a recommendation!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pinkham Compound / Lydia Pinkham
From: GUEST,reba
Date: 27 Oct 04 - 01:27 PM

I've recently purchased a bottle of the Lydia Pinkham because I remembered my grandmother talking about it. I've been trying to get pregnant and thought it might help. Can anyone tell me what will happen if I give it to my husband?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pinkham Compound / Lydia Pinkham
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Oct 04 - 03:07 PM

Gas pains


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pinkham Compound / Lydia Pinkham
From: GUEST,Damon Raphael
Date: 25 Jul 07 - 02:30 PM

I first heard the bawdy Lydia Pinkham ballad sung by my then (wonderful) girl friend Rosemarie Woschnak, a student nurse at St Luke's Hospital in NYC. I was a freshman at Columbia College which was across the street from the hospital.
Her version as I remember it:

Oh we drink, drink, drink to Lydia Pinkham
The benefactress of the human race
She invented a vegetable compound
Now all the papers show her face.

Mrs. Jones had woman troubles
She could have no kiddies dear
She tried some Pinkham's Compound
Now they come three times a year.

And many more...

An interesting aside to the story is that my uncle, Ben Schneider (deceased), became the President of the Purdue Frederick drug company in the 1950s. That company made "Gray's Medicine" a competing product to Pinkham's Compound, which consisted mainly of Sherry wine. He turned the company into an ethical pharmaceutical drug company with the introduction of Senokot, a widely used laxative.
Gray's Medicine disappeared and our family benefited with the gift of a large quantity of the surplus wine.
Purdue Frederick went on to market Betadine, the widely used antiseptic and lately the infamous Oxycontin.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pinkham Compound / Lydia Pinkham
From: GUEST,Simon Jones
Date: 27 Jan 08 - 06:20 AM

If you give it to your husband his balls will swing below his knees!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pinkham Compound / Lydia Pinkham
From: oldhippie
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 11:12 AM

This song with somewhat different risque lyrics is on one of Oscar Brand's "Bawdy Songs and Backroom Ballads" LPs. I'll see if I can post more later.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pinkham Compound / Lydia Pinkham
From: GUEST,princess
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 12:54 AM

Where can I find this in toronto Canada


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pinkham Compound / Lydia Pinkham
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 01 Sep 10 - 03:11 PM

Looks like you can order it here from Numark Laboratories.

Or, did you mean you want to buy a recording? ;-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pinkham Compound / Lydia Pinkham
From: GUEST,ladyknight
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 08:20 PM

OMG There's a lot more out there on poor Lydia than I thought. I was told she was Victorian-era, and I think I first heard ONE version of the song in summer camp....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pinkham Compound / Lydia Pinkham
From: GUEST,BAZZA 081967
Date: 17 Apr 11 - 01:24 AM

Hello. I think the rude version one that everybody is thinking about is from the R Certificate Songbook 1969 as I have just bought the album.

So we'll drink, drink, drink to Lydia Pinkham, savior of the human race.
She invented a vegetable compound efficacious in every case.
Oh, Missus Millet had a peculiar ailment. She could hardly fill her blouse,
So they rubbed and rubbed and rubbed her with vegetable compound and now they milk her with the cows.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pinkham Compound / Lydia Pinkham
From: GUEST,dvandorn
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 07:45 PM

There was an album I had a copy of in college 35 years ago, that was at least 5 years old by then, which included the Lydia Pinkham song as well as a version of Yankee Doodle with the original British lyrics, a somewhat Americanized version of Robert Burns' Yellow, Yellow Yorlin, the Ballad of Dead-Eye Dick, the Ropey Squadron (a Vietnam-era version of What Do You Do with a Drunken Sailor), the Humoresque with lyrics inspired by the signs in railroad coaches that gentlemen will please refrain from flushing toilets... and many more.

The name of the album was (as best I can recall) Songs Found Written on the Walls of the Washroom at the Library of Congress, subtitled Project of the Society for the Preservation of Scatalogical Materials. One of the primary performers was (or at least sounded *exactly* like) the man who sang the songs in the original cartoon version of How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Imagine the same voice that sang "You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch!" singing "Master Brown had very small testes, they were just like a couple of peas, so he took, he swallowed, he gargled some vegetable compound, now they hang below his knees!"

No matter what I do, I cannot seem to find any trace of this album anywhere on the internet. No discussion of it, no remembrance of it, no references to it at all. I would have thought this discussion of the Ode to Lydia Pinkham would have referenced it. If it's any help, the version of Lydia Pinkham on this album used the following chorus variant:

And we'll sing, we'll sing, we'll sing of Lydia Pinkham!
And her love, her love, her love for the human race!
(Human race!)
How she makes, she bottles, she sells her Vegetable Compound!
And the papers, they publish her face!

Note the grace-note words tossed in to achieve the desired scansion (especially the word 'they' in the last line of the chorus). That should make this version rather unique and memorable -- but none of the versions I see of the lyric include them.

Anyone recall this album? At all? Or should I be looking for the portal back into my own, native dimension where this album exists?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pinkham Compound / Lydia Pinkham
From: GUEST,old bob
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 04:53 PM

One version of the chorus sang by my Dad


We'll drink, a drink, a drink,
To Lydia Pink, a Pink, a Pink,
How she saved the human race,
She invented a medicinal compound,
Made of banana's, $hit and lace


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pinkham Compound / Lydia Pinkham
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jan 18 - 03:59 AM

I remember these verses.

Now Mrs Brown had very small busoms
They hardly showed beneath her blouse
So they gave her medicinal compound
And now they milk her with the cows.

Now Master Brown had a very small Penis
He could hardly raise a stand
So they gave him medicinal compound
Now he comes in either hand.

Now Mr Brown had very small bollocks
They were just the size of peas
So they gave him medicinal compound
Now they hang below his knees.


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