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Origins: Singing Telegram Cante Fable (Joke)

John M. 12 Oct 05 - 03:33 PM
frogprince 12 Oct 05 - 04:52 PM
John M. 12 Oct 05 - 05:32 PM
Suffet 13 Oct 05 - 10:33 AM
GUEST,Carrie 26 Apr 10 - 05:43 PM
GUEST,Trevor 02 Mar 11 - 07:44 AM
GUEST,Tim Peierls 06 Jun 11 - 06:13 PM
GUEST,Tom 23 Feb 13 - 10:56 AM
Lighter 23 Feb 13 - 02:04 PM
Lighter 23 Feb 13 - 04:09 PM
GUEST 05 Jun 13 - 10:01 AM
John on the Sunset Coast 05 Jun 13 - 10:46 AM
GUEST,Mike in Santa Monica, CA 29 Aug 13 - 01:18 AM
GUEST,Brian 13 Sep 13 - 10:56 AM
GUEST,Jim Wright 28 May 14 - 06:56 PM
GUEST,# 29 May 14 - 06:35 PM
GUEST 21 Jul 15 - 03:01 AM
Mrrzy 21 Jul 15 - 11:49 AM
Cool Beans 21 Jul 15 - 02:19 PM
GUEST,Joe 20 Aug 15 - 12:46 PM
GUEST,Joe 20 Aug 15 - 12:50 PM
Lighter 20 Aug 15 - 04:16 PM
Lighter 20 Aug 15 - 04:32 PM
GUEST,Ebor Fiddler 21 Aug 15 - 09:04 AM
Lighter 21 Aug 15 - 09:32 AM
GUEST 01 Jan 17 - 10:47 PM
GUEST,limapapa 05 Apr 17 - 08:06 PM
Helen 06 Apr 17 - 04:16 PM
Helen 08 Apr 17 - 04:06 PM
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Subject: Origins: Singing Telegram Cante Fable (Joke)
From: John M.
Date: 12 Oct 05 - 03:33 PM

Click for the 'PermaThread™: List of all joke threads'


Does anyone here know the joke/cante fable like that below? If yes, when was the earliest you remember hearing it? What tune did you use for the song? Are the words to the song different?

Any help is appreciated.

Sincerely,

John Mehlberg
~
My website: www.immortalia.com

SINGING TELEGRAM CANTE FABLE

Mrs. Murphy. Mrs. Murphy. Telegram for Mrs. Murphy.

       Is this a singing telegram?

Well, ma'am. It's rather sad news.

      I've always wanted a singing telegram.

Well here goes....
dada, dada, da ,da

Your sister Rose is dead.
I'm here to tell you that she died in bed,
And even though the broad was feelin' great,
She'd just turned ninety-eight,
Your sister Rose is dead!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Singing Telegram Cante Fable (Joke)
From: frogprince
Date: 12 Oct 05 - 04:52 PM

No idea of the origen of the thing, but before I heard "Sister Rose" I had heard an even grimmer version, in two slight variations:
   
       dada, dada, da, da,
       Your Sonnnn is Deeeaad...

and, to "Camptown Races":

      Your son was killed in Vietnam,
      Doo da, Doo da,...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Singing Telegram Cante Fable (Joke)
From: John M.
Date: 12 Oct 05 - 05:32 PM

frogprince, when is the earliest you remember hearing "Sister Rose" ?   Would you be willing to sing it over the phone to me for folklore purposes?

Any help is appreciated.

Sincerely,

John Mehlberg
~
Afternoons:   314.647.3883
Evenings:    314.381.0492


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Subject: RE: Origins: Singing Telegram Cante Fable (Joke)
From: Suffet
Date: 13 Oct 05 - 10:33 AM

John,

I first heard that joke around 1965. It only had a one line punchline, "Your sister Rose is dead," and the tune was Hooray for Hollywood!

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: Origins: Singing Telegram Cante Fable (Joke)
From: GUEST,Carrie
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 05:43 PM

Well this is how my friends say it:

Mrs. Murphy. Telegram......

Oh I have always wanted a telegram!! Is it a signing telegram?

Um it's actually sad ne-

I've always wanted a singing telegram!!

Here goes......

Dada dada da

(Say it in a sad voice)

Your sister rose is dead
I'm here to tell you that she died in bed
And even though the broad was feeling great
She just turned nintey-eight,
Your sister rose is dead!!!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Singing Telegram Cante Fable (Joke)
From: GUEST,Trevor
Date: 02 Mar 11 - 07:44 AM

The one I grew up with was:

Your sister rosie is dead, we fucked her in the head, the penetration was so great and she died!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Singing Telegram Cante Fable (Joke)
From: GUEST,Tim Peierls
Date: 06 Jun 11 - 06:13 PM

I was challenged to come up with a full song on the basis of the lines "Your sister Rose is dead. / She's buried out behind the bed."

I came up with this.

--tim


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Subject: RE: Origins: Singing Telegram Cante Fable (Joke)
From: GUEST,Tom
Date: 23 Feb 13 - 10:56 AM

Your sister Rose is dead
She got kicked in the head
By a horse


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Subject: RE: Origins: Singing Telegram Cante Fable (Joke)
From: Lighter
Date: 23 Feb 13 - 02:04 PM

I can't tell you when I heard it. '80s? Anyway, the tune wasn't "Hoory for Hollywood," it was the one I associate with the French can-can. It must have a name.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Singing Telegram Cante Fable (Joke)
From: Lighter
Date: 23 Feb 13 - 04:09 PM

Come to think of it, when I heard it I believe the telegram contained only the first line.

And for some reason I think it may have been on "The Carol Burnett Show." If true, that would probably push it back into the '70s.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Singing Telegram Cante Fable (Joke)
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jun 13 - 10:01 AM

The joke was made-up in 1959 or 1960 by a boy in Jacksonville, Illinois, and was soon spread in Quincy, Illinois. The young man has made up jokes all of his life. He is responsible for dozens of legendary jokes.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Singing Telegram Cante Fable (Joke)
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 05 Jun 13 - 10:46 AM

I don't know when this joke was made up, but I first heard it when I was in high school, and I graduated in 19 and 57. When we used to tell/sing this joke Rose was Sue and the line was a bit sorter (ten words...it is a telegram after all).

Knock on the door...woman opens.
Man in cap and uniform says, "Telegram for Mary Smith".
She gushes, "Oh goody, a singing telegram!"
"No lady, this is just a regular telegram. I hand it to you and you give me a tip."
"Oh, please sing it to me. I've never had a singing telegram."
"Lady, you don't understand. This ain't no singing telegram."
"Please, please sing it."
Exasperated, "O.K., Lady." Tears open the envelope and unfolds the page,and sings, "Da da da da da da 'sister sue is dead you know she died in bed'"


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Subject: RE: Origins: Singing Telegram Cante Fable (Joke)
From: GUEST,Mike in Santa Monica, CA
Date: 29 Aug 13 - 01:18 AM

BEATRICE LILLIE used to tell this joke during her show, "An Evening with Beatrice Lillie" --in the early fifties. It is very representative of her special brand of absurdity.

THERE ARE NO ADDITIONAL LYRICS because there is no song. That's the joke: it's NOT a singing telegram, it's a single, brief and very grim sentence, that he sings anyway.

If additional lyrics have evolved in the past sixty years, I suspect it is the work of children--it sounds like jumprope rhyme--and that it has nothing to do with the joke--besides riffing on its punchline.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Singing Telegram Cante Fable (Joke)
From: GUEST,Brian
Date: 13 Sep 13 - 10:56 AM

Yes, I first heard it when Beatrice Lillie told it on a talk show in the 1960's. It was just the one line that was sung, dadadadadada, your sister Rose is dead.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Singing Telegram Cante Fable (Joke)
From: GUEST,Jim Wright
Date: 28 May 14 - 06:56 PM

I heard it was from early vaudeville star Fannie Brice
The telegram was just one line:
Da da ta da Your Sister Died today.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Singing Telegram Cante Fable (Joke)
From: GUEST,#
Date: 29 May 14 - 06:35 PM

http://themindsetlist.com/2012/08/the-honor-roll-of-what-america-has-almost-totally-forgotten/


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Subject: RE: Origins: Singing Telegram Cante Fable (Joke)
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jul 15 - 03:01 AM

First heard Bea Lillie tell it on early 60s TV. And she tap-danced.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Singing Telegram Cante Fable (Joke)
From: Mrrzy
Date: 21 Jul 15 - 11:49 AM

Tarara boum-de-ay? Is that the one "that must have a name?"


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Subject: RE: Origins: Singing Telegram Cante Fable (Joke)
From: Cool Beans
Date: 21 Jul 15 - 02:19 PM

I heard it to the tune of "Milord."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Singing Telegram Cante Fable (Joke)
From: GUEST,Joe
Date: 20 Aug 15 - 12:46 PM

I heard this joke from my Aunt when I was a kid, never knew what the tune was taken from but I just looked up "Milord" and that's definitely it. This would have been somewhere around 1986, and the punchline was longer:

"Your sister Rose is dead,
your mother father and your Uncle Fred.
She had a heart attack,
and now she'll never come back..."

And it always kind of trailed off at the end. I came upon this forum actually because I was wondering if there was an end to it, about how everyone else died. But this is how the joke was always told in my family who were all from The Bronx NY.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Singing Telegram Cante Fable (Joke)
From: GUEST,Joe
Date: 20 Aug 15 - 12:50 PM

Oh also, my family is Irish, my great grandparents were from Ireland, and the joke seems sort of like Irish humor. It seems likely that could be the origin especially since many remember it starting with "Mrs. Murphy."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Singing Telegram Cante Fable (Joke)
From: Lighter
Date: 20 Aug 15 - 04:16 PM

The can-can tune (if that's what it is) I had in mind was definitely not "Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-Di-Ay," which isn't French anyway.

I believe the tune is the one often heard - at least as I recall - in Pepe LePew cartoons.

Each note rises higher.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Singing Telegram Cante Fable (Joke)
From: Lighter
Date: 20 Aug 15 - 04:32 PM

The joke was elaborated into an entire song by American pilots during the Vietnam War.

Those not offended by black, black humor can find several versions by searching for "Your son is dead,/ He bought the farm today."

I think I knew the tune at one time, but can't recall it now. This one could well have been "Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-De-Ay."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Singing Telegram Cante Fable (Joke)
From: GUEST,Ebor Fiddler
Date: 21 Aug 15 - 09:04 AM

The usual cancan tune is "The Can Can" from Offenbach's "Orpheus in The Underworld",or as my Grandad used to call it, "Orpheus in His Underwear".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Singing Telegram Cante Fable (Joke)
From: Lighter
Date: 21 Aug 15 - 09:32 AM

Absolutely. And that wasn't it.

The tune I'm thinking of goes:

CDEFGA, with a lengthened F and A. Then the line is repeated. There's more, but the words of the joke didn't go that far.

What's that tune called?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Singing Telegram Cante Fable (Joke)
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Jan 17 - 10:47 PM

I heard this as a child, the lyrics I remember though were: da da, da da da da, your sister rose is dead, she died in bed last night, she had a heart attack, she's never coming back, they put her in the ground, she's never coming 'round, da da, da da da da.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Singing Telegram Cante Fable (Joke)
From: GUEST,limapapa
Date: 05 Apr 17 - 08:06 PM

Flying army helicopters in Korea in 74 and 75 (after tours in Vietnam 5 years earlier) we had a spinoff on this theme using Army Aviation metaphors and sung to a vaudeville tune I cant remember the name of:

Your... son... is..(pause) dead they say, he bought the farm today
he shouldnt fly when skies are cloudy and gray.
He pulled his thirty eight, he couldn't shoot it straight, so now he gets his pay at the pearly pearly gates.

While... fly...ing..(pause) IFR, on his horizon bar, he started climbing, spinning, falling much too far.
On his recovery, to his discovery, he came in contact with a...
great big fucking tree. Hey!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Singing Telegram Cante Fable (Joke)
From: Helen
Date: 06 Apr 17 - 04:16 PM

Video search:

Your sister Rose is dead

This version is definitely the Milord tune

Vietnam version

Edith Piaf - Milord

BTW, I've never heard this joke in Oz.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Origins: Singing Telegram Cante Fable (Joke)
From: Helen
Date: 08 Apr 17 - 04:06 PM

refresh


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