Sunday, October 24, 2010

200 Toasts from Mlle. Mixer

From Blatz to bourbon and mead to martinis, a drink or two can loosen the tongue of even the most reluctant rhymer, helping in the process to produce all sorts of non-pragmatic rhythms and language play ranging from dirty limericks to national anthems.

It's no surprise, therefore, to come upon an anthology like 200 Toasts—the little 4 x 6 paperback pictured to the left and copyrighted by Mlle. Mixer in 1917. Here are some highlights from the Mix Mistress so that you're not left tongue-tied at your next soiree:


God made man as frail as a bubble,
God made love, and love made trouble,
God made wine, and is it a sin
For a man to drink wine to drown trouble in?


Let schoolmasters puzzle their brains
With grammar and nonsense and learning.
Good liquor, I stoutly maintain,
Gives learning a better discerning.


The Frenchman loves his native wine,
The German loves his beer;
The Englishman loves his 'alf and 'alf
Because it brings good cheer.
The Irishman loves his whiskey straight
Because it gives him dizzyness;
The American has no choice at all,
So he drinks the whole d--- business.


Laugh at all things, great and small,
Sick or well, at sea or shore.
While we're quaffing, let's have laughing,
Who the d--- cares for more?


While beer brings gladness, don't forget
That water only makes you wet.


Here's to we two and you two; if you two love we two,
As we two love you two, then here's to we four;
But if you two don't love we two, as we love you two,
Then here's to we two, and no more!


Here's to our wives and sweethearts;
May they never meet.


The world is filled with flowers,
The flowers are filled with dew;
The dew is filled with love,
For you, and you, and you.


Beggars who walk, princes and queens who hide,
In skull-and-bone land saunter side by side.


Here's lovers two to the maiden true,
And four to the maiden caressing;
But the wayward girl, with lips that curl,
Keeps twenty lovers guessing.


There is a riddle most abstruse,
Canst read the answer right?
Why is it that my tongue grows loose
Only when I grow tight?


If on my theme I rightly think
There are five reason why men drink;
Good wine, a friend, because I'm dry,
Or lest I should be, by and by,
Or any other reason why.


Love is sweet, but oh! how bitter
To love a girl and then not git her.

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