Mr. Sears and Roebuck

Back in my “Gay porn as a gold standard” posting, where female characters in a BBC show were discussing where standards of male beauty could be found (knitting patterns, shaving adverts, and gay porn), The Ridger tried to recall a song she’d heard from her mother that extolled the handsomeness of models in the Sears and Robuck catalog. This would be Dorothy Shay’s novelty song “Mr. Sears and Roebuck”, the lyrics for which have been transcribed here:

From: Jim Dixon
Date: 24 Apr 03 – 02:27 AM

Here is my transcription from an mp3 file found on this page. (Click here to play.) [Links removed because they no longer work.] No information there but the title and that it came from an “ancient 78 RPM record.” (It also says “Copyrights expired long ago” but he may be mistaken.) The voice is female–possibly Dorothy Shay? Anyway, there is a list on that page of other songs with mp3’s that might be worth examining.


Dear Mister Sears and Roebuck:
I been sittin’ here a-thumbin’ through your book.
Page a hundred ninety-nine
Shows a stove that’s mighty fine
And a feller in an apron like a cook.

Dear Mister Sears and Roebuck:
That electric stove’s away above my class.
It’s a beauty, yes indeed,
But the thing I really need
Is that man to teach me how to cook with gas.

Don’t send the stove. It’s the kind I’d like to buy,
But I ain’t makin’ much singin’ ballads.
I don’t need the stove, but if I could have a guy,
He could toss me around like his salads.

Oh, Mister Sears and Roebuck:
All the items in your catalog are slick,
But the gadget I’d admire
Is that man beside my fire.
Take his apron off and send him to me quick.

Dear Mister Sears and Roebuck:
I been checkin’ your supplies for tennis courts.
There is somethin’ I should get–
Not a racket or a net–
But I sure could use that rascal in the shorts.

Dear Mister Sears and Roebuck:
Your canoe on page a hundred forty-three–
Now that’s the type that I would pick,
But I’m up a diff’rent crick.
Can’t you send a feller here to paddle me?

I don’t want a bath. Soapy water makes me howl.
Don’t the folks in your ads ever mind it?
I can’t use a bath. You can keep your Turkish towel;
Only ship me the sheik from behind it.

Don’t mean to fuss, poor Roebuck,
But you’ll never fill my order, it appears.
If the shortage is acute,
I’m an easy girl to suit.
I’ll shut up if you will send me Mister Sears, if he ain’t taken.
I’ll shut up if you will send me Mister Sears.

[Information from Penn State library:
Composers: Ray Gilbert, William Okie, Al Gannay.
Arranger: Harry Simeone.
Publisher: Paul Warnow 1949 (Spec. Lyrics OK’d by Mr. McGregor)]

4 Responses to “Mr. Sears and Roebuck”

  1. J. C. Leyendecker « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] Arnold Zwicky's Blog A blog mostly about language « Mr. Sears and Roebuck […]

  2. Drew Smith Says:

    This YouTube video includes the playing of the complete song:

  3. The Ridger Says:

    Oh, many thanks!

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