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1957: “Push de Button”

January 22, 2008 | 3 Comments

Yet more clues of seeing how the button was incorporated into the culture.

Check out these lyrics from “Push de Button” from the Broadway musical “Jamaica,” by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg. 1957. Sung by Lena Horne.

Push de button,
Up de elevator,
Push de button,
Out de orange juice.
Push de button,
From refrigerator
Come banana shortcake and frozen goose.

…Push de button,
Out come Pagliacci,
Push de button,
Also Liberace.
Push de button!
Wanna rock n’ roll?
Push de button!
Pay de toll?

Push de button, push de button!

What an isle! What an isle!
Squeeze de tube and get Pepsodent smile!
Crack de bank, rob de mail,
Turn de knob and get Muzak in jail!

Push de button,
Don’t be antiquated,
Get de baby
All pre-fabricated.
Push –
Apply de little finger
And push de button!

Now this isn’t very different from 1891′s You Press the Button, We Do the Rest. They are both songs about simultaneously marveling and lamenting the automation of daily life. But 66 years apart? Wouldn’t the button have been absorbed enough into the culture to not have to remark on it like this?

Then again, if I saw a Frozen Goose button, I’d remark on that.

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