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Lyr Req: Hard Boiled Rose (Dubin/McHugh/Mills/Dash

16 Oct 00 - 06:10 PM (#320219)
Subject: Hard-Boiled Rose
From: M. Ted (inactive)

Looking for anything I can find, lyrics, MIDI, wav. MP3 or just a reference. This is the song that Gypsy Rose Lee sang as a child in vaudeville, and I remember having heard it, years ago, but I can't find anything anywhere--

16 Oct 00 - 06:22 PM (#320237)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Hard-Boiled Rose
From: Zebedee

Not much I'll admit, but this page about the 'Happiness Boys' gives details of a release of the song,(Serial Number: Victor 19340) issued on June 20,1924

A tiny bit of help, maybe?


16 Oct 00 - 08:32 PM (#320348)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Hard-Boiled Rose
From: Joe Offer


17 Oct 00 - 03:11 PM (#321051)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Hard-Boiled Rose
From: M. Ted (inactive)

Thanks, Zebedee--Interesting link, and it is located at a very interesting site--

18 May 11 - 11:05 AM (#3156343)
Subject: Lyr Add: HARD BOILED ROSE (Dubin/McHugh/Mills/Dash
From: Jim Dixon

You can hear two versions by the Happiness Boys. YouTube has a copy of Edison Diamond Disk 51357-R, which I used for the following transcription. The Internet Archive version, apparently from Victor 19340, is somewhat different; the verses are in a different order and some lines are omitted. It is a noise-reduced copy.

YouTube also has a somewhat folk-processed, countrified version by Wilmer Watts & The Lonely Eagles from 1929, titled SHE'S A HARD BOILED ROSE.

Words and music by Al Dubin, Jimmy McHugh, Irving Mills and Irwin Dash
As sung by The Happiness Boys (Billy Jones & Ernest Hare)

Talk about your Broadway Roses,
And Roses of Washington Square,
And Roses who powder their noses,
And Roses who henna their hair—
Each Rose is a beautiful dream,
But we know a Rose that's a scream.
She's a hard-boiled Rose,
Ev'rybody knows.
She can "yes" you to death while you're spending your dough,
But when you are short, how the girl can say "no"!
Just a hard-boiled Rose,
She says "dese" and "doze."
When she was just a baby 'bout seven months old,
Her father spanked her for something, I'm told.
She jumped from her cradle and knocked Father cold.
She's a hard-boiled Rose.

She's the kind of a girl you can never forget.
She carries a leopard around for a pet.

Now she's not much for bracelets and those kind of things.
She'll turn down a diamond that anyone brings,
'Cause she wears brass knuckles instead of gold rings.
She's a hard-boiled Rose.

Many a heartbroken flapper
Has cried over some ugly dub(?),
But Rosie goes after them diff'rent;
She makes them behave with a club.
Whenever they trifle with Rose,
They flirt with a punch in the nose.
She's a hard-boiled Rose,
Ev'rybody knows.
She drinks tea from a saucer instead of a cup.
If you don't do likewise, she thinks you're stuck up.
Just a hard-boiled Rose,
She says "dese" and "doze."
An old-fashioned house party is her great delight,
But somehow or other she doesn't feel right
Unless it ends up in a free-for-all fight.
She's a hard-boiled Rose.

Once she went out joyriding with some guy named Jack,
And strange to relate, it was him who walked back.

Her friend's a prizefighter; he's one guy who's tough,
And he was her sweetheart; that ain't any bluff,
But he had to quit her 'cause she was too rough.
She's a hard-boiled Rose.

[Also recorded in 1929 by under the title SHE'S A HARD BOILED ROSE.]