The Book On Etiquette

The Book On Etiquette (also known as Etiquette Blues)

Words and music by Gayle Grubb.


Now Ned, about this little book on etiquette,
Don’t you think you better tell the folks who wrote it.

(Sure, sure)

Now, I’m the guy that wrote the book on etiquette,  (You’re the guy!)
Why, I know just how all your vittles should be et.  (Won’t ya tell us!)

I have writ this little book about mistakes I’ve saw,  (Have saw)
So take ’em down and don’t forget that what I say is law.

Always leave your spoon up in your coffee.  (Don’t put it in your eye!)
Starting with your soup first sound your “A”.

Napkins are to catch the food that bounces off your knife,
So tuck the napkin in so it will stay.  (Right under the chin.)

Always put both elbows on the table.  (Right on the table.)
And many other pointers we could mention.

Always gesture with your fork.
Friday means it’s fish or pork.
Thank you, for your very kind attention.

(Now let’s take chapter two!)

When your tea is hot, why use your saucer.  (Pour it in, sip it down.)
Pick the pumpkin pie up in your hand.  (Always take big bites.)

Never ask for anything that you can safely reach.
Read rule eighty-two, you’ll understand!  (Read it carefully!)

Wipe your plate with bread when you have finished.  
(Get it clean, you won’t have to wash it.)
And many other pointers we could mention.

Grab your glass so it won’t drop.
Always finish when you stop.
Thank you, for your very kind attention!

(Now let’s skip down here to chapter thirty-three!)

Always mix your peas with your potatoes  (Al-ways!)
This makes eating with your knife a cinch.  (Be careful, don’t get cut!)

When somebody asks for bread, grab several in your mitt,
And deal them out like you were dealing flinch.  (bridge, pinochle, rummy)

Take two toothpicks you may sometimes drop one.  (You never can tell!)
And many other pointers we could mention.

Put your gum beneath your plate.
Eat so fast you won’t be late.
Thank you, for your very kind attention!

(Now John, let’s take chapter fifty-five.)(Fine!)

Never cut spaghetti up in pieces  (No, no, no)
Just eat it like a chicken eating worms  (Know those darlins a stretch[?])

Always cut a pickle so the halves fly off your plate.
Be careful of bacteria and germs!  (Nasty things!)

When you’re eating grapefruit wear your goggles.
And many other pointers we could mention.

Finger bowls are set close by,
In event your glass runs dry.
Thank you, for your very kind attention!

(Now we come to last chapter.)

Wear your earmuffs eating watermelon.
Tiddly-winks is proper with the seeds.  (You know, snap ’em in a glass!)

When you’re eating cake be sure to eat the frosting first,
Then you’ll see exactly what you get.

Always laugh when nothing funny happens. (he-he-he)
Many other pointers we could mention.

Never let your ice cream melt.
Loosen two holes in your belt.  (That is of course if you’re a gentleman.)
Thank you for your very kind atten-tion!


Transcribed from Columbia 1340-D, as sung by the Mona Motor Oil Twins, recorded November 14, 1927.