Burma Shave Jingles

Burma_Shave_Tube While brainstorming ideas with colleagues for an internal contest at my company, I thought it might be fun to ask employees to come up with an advertising jingle for one of our programs, done in the style of Burma Shave.  Many of you may not know of Burma Shave.  It was an American brand of brushless shaving cream that came about in the 1920s and was known for its clever roadside advertising.

In the days before huge billboards, Burma Shave jingles were usually five rhyming lines that were arranged on sequential roadside signs.  The red signs with white lettering would conclude with the name of the product: Burma Shave.  They were clever and are a staple of mid 20th Century Americana.

My colleagues liked the idea and we’ve sent it up the flagpole to see if those higher up approve it.  If so, I’ll have to figure out how to announce the contest in a way that clearly explains to our employees, the vast majority of whom are too young to have heard of Burma Shave, what the objective is.

Browsing an online collection of the entirety of their jingles, arranged by year, I thought I would share some of my favorites with you. 

Burma Shave 

Tho stiff
The beard
That Nature gave
It shaves like down

Are your whiskers
When you wake
Tougher than
A two-bit steak?

Your beauty, boys
Is just
Skin deep
What skin you’ve got
You ought to keep

College boys!
Your courage muster
Shave off
That fuzzy
Cookie duster

If you think
She likes
Your bristles
Walk bare-footed
Through some thistles

Riot at
Drug store
Calling all cars
100 customers
99 jars

His tenor voice
She thought divine
Till whiskers
Sweet Adeline

Cooties love
Bewhiskered places
Cuties love the
Smoothest faces
Shaved by

A peach
Looks good
With lots of fuzz
But man’s no peach
And never wuz

Prickly pears
Are picked
For pickles
No peach picks
A face that prickles

Said Farmer Brown
Who’s bald on top
”Wish I could
Rotate the crop”

If you
Don’t know
Whose signs these are
You can’t have
Driven very far

Maybe we should have a Xanga Blog jingle contest?

A comment
Or a rec
Make me as happy
As all heck

What do you think?

0 thoughts on “Burma Shave Jingles

  1. The Burma Shave jingles are cool. I neve knew about them. Xanga jingle??                         rants are common                        but pictures put a smile                        don’t much care for a sermon                        Chris’s food porn, stretches a mile.                        Xanga!!    

  2. (Your)Comments, insightsPhotos and foodAlways brightenA dour moodchristao408 :)Now we’ll have to put the words to song. I propose something like this.BTW, love the drugstore one.

  3. Brings back memories of drives from Southeast Kansas to Northwest Missouri. Rather than a distraction, it helped the miles go by for four children who kept busy looking for the signs and reading them. Sometimes we didn’t understand the humor, depending on our ages, but they helped pass the time.

  4. I actually used the theme in a blues song I wrote twenty years ago. (Having seen the signs along the highways all through the 50s.You got Allah who’s akhbarJesus who SavesYa see Moses investingY’all know that..Burma Shaves.(The last line is a hint toward eastern religions, gracefully free of rhyming slogans, ha)

  5. @sassyjessie – @jsolberg – @Senlin – @ZSA_MD – Okay, the four of you earned bonus points for creativity!@Roadkill_Spatula – @AzureRecollections – It seem like so much advertising these days are not half as clever.@jandsschultz – @Fatcat723 – There are a few of the jingles I still don’t understand!@Finity – @Dezinerdreams – We aim for daily education at this blog… Ha ha!@TheCheshireGrins – Maybe we can convince Alex to organize it… he likes to be made responsible for the big organizational things, right?  =D@yang1815 – Um, it is supposed to be five or six lines, not just one word, Andy…  =P

  6. I like the idea and hope it flies at work. As for xanga – sounds like a contest to me! (as the competitive overzealousness rises to the surface)I have A badge that Proclaims TrueWant one for Life And Premium tooXanga

  7. i remember reading those along route 66 ()when i was a kid.  we drove croass country from calif. to mn  every summer to visit relatives and those signs were the highlight of the long trip.

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