Songs inspired by the early age of flight.
- By Rebecca Maksel
- AirSpaceMag.com, February 19, 2009
Smithsonian Institution Libraries
In 1935, the New Yorker covered a small exhibition of Landauer’s sheet music at the Old Print Shop in New York City: “The oldest songs are mostly English, we found, and naturally they’re about balloons. The very oldest air song, published in London in 1782, is called ‘The Balloon’…. We thought the words of this insipid.” By 1908, English songwriters were scarcely more inspired, as the lyrics to “Up In My Balloon” show:
Little Bertie Van Lear says to Maudie De Vere,
I have good news I want you to share,
Now I’ve a balloon and there’s plenty of room,
So we’ll go for a ride in the air;
Do your hair in a rat, get your best sailor hat,
Be on deck, we must sail promptly at nine,
As the Captain and crew, I’ll take good care of you,
And I’ll show you a real high old time.
Little Maudie De Vere says to Bertie Van Lear,
As the big balloon slowly arose,
We’ve been courting you know now for two years or so,
And you’ve never yet tried to propose;
You’ve had me in the air, now that I’ve got you there,
You must promise that you’ll buy the ring,
If you don’t take my tip, then your airship I’ll rip,
So to no other girl you can sing.