Who Put the Benzadrine in Mrs Murphys Ovaltine? - Harry "The Hipster" Gibson (1944)





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Published on Jan 2, 2009

Harry (the Hipster) Gibson blends jive & barrelhouse as he pounds out his boogie woogie like Jerry Lee Lewis pounding out rock n roll. A hipster poet precursor to the Beats & even the hippies, his daring lyrics occasionally got him into trouble. "Who Put The Benzedrine In Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine?" is an updating of an old Irish folk song "Who Put The Overalls In Mrs. Murphy's Chowder?" that ended up getting Harry "The Hipster" Gibson blacklisted from radio play, and put his career on a downward slope it wouldn't recover from until the seventies. While the lyrics now seem tame and humorous, the far stiffer morality of 1944 considered it as taking things just a little too far.

The animation is from the 1938 Max Fleischer Betty Boop cartoon classic titled "Sally Swing," courtesy archive.org.


Mrs. Murphy couldn't sleep,
Her nerves were slightly off the beat,
Until she solved her problem,
With a can of Ovaltine.

She drank a cup full most every night
And oooh, how she would dream,
Until something rough got in the stuff,
And made her neighbors scream...

"Oh! Who put the benzedrine
In Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine?"
Sure is a shame, don't know whose to blame
Cause the old lady didn't even get his name.

Where did she get that that stuff,
Now she just can't get enough
It might have been the man who wasn't bad
Not Jack, that guy's a square.

She never ever wants to go to sleep.
She said that everthing is reet.
Now Mr. Murphy don't know what its all about
So she went and threw the old man out. Clout.


Ovaltine does not actually contain Benzedrine. It contains: Sugar, Cocoa Processed with Alkali, Barley Malt Extract, Sweet Dairy Whey (Milk), Beet Extract, Salt, Mono and Diglycerides, Molasses, Natural Caramel Flavor, and Vanillin. )


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