Press "Enter" to skip to content

Newspaper History

Taboo

From The Tacoma Times, December 1, 1913. By Berton Braley.

You mustn’t make fun of the Irish,
    You mustn’t get fresh with the Jew,
There’s always a fuss if you jest at the Russ,
    And to jape at the Dutch is taboo.
You must’t play jokes on the English,
    For they are a haughty clan—
But here is a mutt who’s a good-natured butt,
    The Patient Amer-i-can!

Hands off the polyglot races;
    You mustn’t offend them at all,
For they fly in a rage when burlesqued on the stage
    And threaten to burn down the hall.
So dare not to laugh at the German,
    The Swede or I-tal-i-an,
But laugh all you like at this good-natured Ike,
    The Patient Amer-i-can!

He doesn’t get choked up with choler,
    But cheerfully shells out his pelf
To pay for some play where they prove him a jay
    And bid him to laugh at himself.
He’d joke at his grave if fate let him,
    And yet—if you’re needing a man—
A regular friend who will stick to the end,
    You try the Amer-i-can!