Shaving Cream

From the annals of ostentatious taboo avoidance.

It came by on my iTunes yesterday, in a version by Dave Van Ronk: the song “Shaving Cream”, described on the WorldLingo site as follows:

The song, “Shaving Cream”, was written by Benny Bell in 1946. Phil Winston (using the pseudonym, Paul Wynn) sang the original version of it, and Dr. Demento covered the song for his 25th Anniversary Collection in 1975.

It is a novelty song which uses innuendo; the verses end in a way that implies that the next word is “shit”, while the refrain begins with the words “Shaving Cream,” with exaggerated emphasis on the “sh” sound, e.g.,

“I stepped in a big pile of shhhhh
. . .aving cream, be nice and clean.
Shave ev’ry day and you’ll always look keen.”

[See parallels on this blog, here.]

… Dave Van Ronk famously performed this song at his shows over the years, and a version is included on the CD of rarities, The Mayor Of MacDougal Street [which is where I heard it].

The lyrics:

I have a sad story to tell you
It may hurt your feelings a bit
Last night when I walked into my bathroom
I stepped in a big pile of

[Refrain] Shaving cream, be nice and clean
Shave everyday and you’ll always look keen

I think I’ll break off with my girlfriend
Her antics are queer I’ll admit
Each time I say, “Darling, I love you”
She tells me that I’m full of

[Refrain]

Our baby fell out of the window
You’d think that her head would be split
But good luck was with her that morning
She fell in a barrel of

[Refrain]

An old lady died in a bathtub
She died from a terrible fit
In order to fulfill her wishes
She was buried in six feet of

[Refrain]

When I was in France with the army
One day I looked into my kit
I thought I would find me a sandwich
But the darn thing was loaded with

[Refrain]

And now, folks, my story is ended
I think it is time I should quit
If any of you feel offended
Stick your head in a barrel of

[Refrain]

Except that on the CD version, in the last verse Van Ronk just says “shit” instead of singing the refrain.

7 Responses to “Shaving Cream”

  1. David W. Fenton Says:

    Do you know the gay bar song, “How’s your hole|whole…”? The words are something like this (each of these is repeated as an entire verse):

    How’s your whole…family.
    Take your pants down…to the cleaners today.
    Suck on a stiff cock-…tail with me.

    There’s at least one more, but I’ve forgotten it.

  2. Anthony Says:

    The Wicked Tinkers sing a (traditional?) song titled “The Farmer”. Lyrics:

    There was an old farmer who lived by a rock,
    He sat in the meadow a waving his
    fists at some boys who were down by the creek
    their feet in the water, their hands on their
    marbles and playthings and in days of yore
    there came a young lady who looked like a
    lovely young maiden, she sat on the grass
    she lifted her skirts and showed us her
    ruffles and laces and a neat little tuck
    she told us she was learning a new way to
    raise up her children and teach them to knit
    while the boys in the barnyard were shoveling
    straw from the stables and they worked day and night
    If you think this is vulgar then bless you you’re right

  3. Eleanor Houck Says:

    Small world: “Shaving Cream” was played on our local radio station (WEEU 830) last week!! Cute!

  4. Terry Collmann Says:

    Anthony: being a speaker of BrE, it took me a while to realise that “creek” had to be pronounced like “crick”.

    This kind of “substitution” song is probably very old: there’s a fine parody of the Victirian tearjerkerChristmas Day in the Workhouse with well-worked substitutions.

  5. Making assumptions « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] More variants of the “shaving cream” song, in which the listener’s assumptions about an upcoming rhyming word are frustrated; earlier discussion here. […]

  6. ship my pants | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] I’ll get to the syntax of shit one’s pants in a moment. But first a return to “Shaving Cream”, discussed on this blog here: […]

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