Remembering that roadside cutup, Burma-Shave

Sunday’s column (read it here) is about Burma-Shave, the shaving lotion whose roadside signs in verse were a sensation.

A few more jingles that I liked but didn’t fit into the column:

“The cannibals/took just one view/and said/he looks too nice/to stew.”

“She put/a bullet/thru his hat/but he’s had/closer shaves than that.”

“Broken romance/stated fully/She went wild/when he/went wooly.”

“He had the ring/He had the flat/But she felt his chin/And that/was that.”

“Said Farmer Brown/who’s bald/on top/Wish I could/rotate the crop.”

Wikipedia offers a history of Burma-Shave, with many jingles, here. And all the Burma-Shave jingles can be perused on the official Burma-Shave website.

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  • Earl J. Wiesen

    David I am very sorry for sending you the E-Mail on the subject. Homer Jones convinced me that he was the founder of Burma-Shave. He showed me very much information on the subject and it is basically all he ever wanted to talk about. I really enjoyed your article and please accept my apology. Earl J. Wiesen

    [Not to worry, Earl. It’s best to take everything with a grain of salt unless it’s been verified. — DA]

  • Dennis

    Hi David,

    When I was a kid, our family used to drive to Minnesota every other summer to visit relatives. I remember Burma-Shave signs on some of the rural roads in the Mid-west.

    During this same era, on these same roads, one would see small signs with crosses on them. These were placed by an insurance company to mark spots on the road where fatal accidents occurred. I don’t know if it was one cross per accident or one per death. A bad curve or blind intersection could have ten or more of these crosses, serving as both a warning and a memorial.

    I wonder if any other readers remember these crosses or have more information.