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During today's lecture detailing the transition of silent films to talkies, this Billy Murray song kept going through my brain!! So I'll post the song here, and now it can go through everyone else's brain, too. ?

For those not familiar with Billy Murray, he was a very popular singer in the early 20th century and made LOTS of great records, mostly novelty songs. One of them was "Ever Since the Movies Learned to Talk" (1928 or 1929, depending on which of the several recording versions he made), written by Walter O’Keefe, Bobby Dolan, and James Cavanaugh.

Here are the lyrics:

Ever Since the Movies Learned to Talk

Science now has really revolutionized the screen
Things out there in Hollywood are not so darned serene

All the stars are in a panic
Here’s the reason why
Everyone must talk out loud
or kiss their job good-bye

Lots of old time stars are out of a job
All they do is blubber and sob
Ever since the movies learned to talk

And a red hot vamp who registered pash*
Sounds as if she’s ordering hash
Ever since the movies learned to talk

Oh they can’t fool you and they can’t fool me
when they open up it’s a squeak
Why, it’s a sin, even Rin Tin Tin has a bark that sounds like a Peke

When the hero sings “Asleep in the Deep,”
He sounds just like Little Bo Peep
Ever since the movies learned to talk

Every bathroom singer has a chance to make a name
Any guy with leather lungs can crank the Hall of Fame
If you know your vo-de-do and do-re-mi-fa-so
You can go to Hollywood and make a lot of dough

When the “villyan” gets the gal in his toils
She says “Take your doity old poils.”
Ever since the movies learned to talk

And when Emil Jannings opens his mouth
You’d swear he was raised in the south
Ever since the movies learned to talk

When a dark-eyed dame with a foreign name starts to talk in doing a scene
We all know she’s from Buffalo and her Christian name is Levine

Though the hero’s big still everyone knows
He makes every stitch of his clothes
Ever since the movies learned to talk

Once the movie kiss made hearts loop the loop
Now it sounds like drinking hot soup
Ever since the movies learned to talk

All the old time stars were seen but not heard
Now you hear them lisp every word
Ever since the movies learned to talk

When they start a scene
It's an awful scream
He says, "Sweetheart, kiss me my dear."
She says, "This is so sudden, sweet,
and you say you miss me, my dear."
He says, "Honest, truly, sweetie, I swear
you, yourself, start lisping right there."
Ever since the movies learned to talk


*pash = a brief infatuation

And for those not familiar with Emil Jannings (and his thick German accent):


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