Poor Pauline

Source: Charles R. McCarron, ‘Poor Pauline’, lyrics from sheet music (New York: Broadway Music Corporation, 1914)

Text:
I’m as worried as can be, all the movie shows I see
Have that awful mystery, “Pauline and her perils,”
On a rope they dangle her, then they choke and strangle her,
With an axe they mangle her, always something new.
To make you shake they give her Paris green,
Of course her horse will neigh, “Nay Nay Pauline.”

Poor Pauline, I pity poor Pauline,
One night she’s drifting out to sea,
Then they tie her to a tree,
I wonder what the end will be,
This suspense is awful.
Bing! Bang! Biff! They throw her off a cliff
They dynamite her in a submarine,
In the lion’s den she stands with fright,
Lion goes to take a bite
Zip goes the film – Goodnight! Poor Pauline.

Handsome Harry’s always near, he will save her never fear
Just in time he will appear, when Pauline’s in peril.
On a roof she fights for life, villain sticks her with a knife,
“Marry me or be my wife!” what will Pauline do?
But soon balloon with anchor swings around.
Pauline is seen and rescued upside down.

Poor Pauline, I pity poor Pauline,
One night she’s drifting out to sea,
Then they tie her to a tree,
I wonder what the end will be,
This suspense is awful.
Bing! Bang! Biff! They throw her off a cliff
They dynamite her in a submarine,
Then the villain takes her on his knee
Wonder what we’re going to see –
Zip goes the film – Oh Gee! Poor Pauline.

Comments: ‘Poor Pauline’ was written by Charles R. McCarron (lyrics) and Raymond Walker (music). It capitalised on the huge popularity of the Perils of Pauline serial, starring Pearl White, who endured perilous situations on a weekly basis only to recover to face another peril the next week. The recording by Billy Murray for the Victor label given above has some different lyrics to those given in the sheet music available from the Margaret Herrick Library and other online sources, with a second verse in which Pauline is captured by an Arab band. The song was very popular at the time, being sung by Fanny Brice and others.

Links: Sheet music at Margaret Herrick Library Digital Collections
History of the song by Larry Harnisch at Daily Mirror blog

This entry was posted in 1910s, Songs, USA and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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