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Advice on how to take good care of yourself hasn’t changed much since 1928! That was in the roaring Twenties and written a year before the Stock Market crash in September 1929. The Ruth Etting rendition of Button Up Your Overcoat was recorded on March 11, 1929, as the world was experiencing the greatest prosperity ever and it was still rising for another half a year.

Last night I was revisiting some current dieting sites because my weight has been flat for months even though I have been doing my standard intermittent fasting routine of only eating between 12 noon and 6 PM. It is a very easy diet to maintain after the first week of adjustment, but recently I have gotten back into eating sugary desserts after an excellent tasting vegetarian meal. But, I am exactly at BMI of 25, the official cut off point for good weight, and thus I want to lose about six pounds. So, for a few months, I am going to avoid rhubarb chutney which I am addicted to, jam on my morning toast, candy, pies, and pastries even when they are free.

Then I rediscovered the original Ruth Etting Button Up Your Overcoat (1929) recording and realized I am basically just following that song’s ninety-year-old message. I’ve bolded some obvious current recommendations.

(11 seconds into the recording)
Listen, big boy
Now that I’ve got you made
Goodness, but I’m afraid
Somethin’s gonna happen to you

23
Listen, big boy
You gotta be hooked, and how
I would die if I should lose you now

34
Button up your overcoat
When the wind is free
Take good care of yourself
You belong to me

44
Oh, eat an apple every day
Get to bed by three (AM?)
Take good care of yourself
You belong to me

54
Be careful crossing streets, ooh, ooh
Don’t eat meat, ooh, ooh
Cut out sweets, ooh, ooh
You’ll get a pain and ruin your tum-tum

1:07
Keep away from bootleg hooch  (street drugs)
When you’re on a spree
Take good care of yourself
You belong to me

Musical interlude

1:38
Don’t step on hornet’s tails, ooh, ooh
Or on nails, ooh, ooh
Or third rails, ooh, ooh
You’ll get a pain and ruin your tum-tum 1:50

Musical interlude

2:00
Oh, button up your overcoat
When the wind is free
Take good care of yourself
You belong to me

2:12
Oh, wear your flannel underwear
When you climb a tree
Take good care of yourself
You belong to me

2:22
Steer clear of frozen ponds, ooh, ooh
Peroxide blondes (natural blondes are okay)
Stocks and bonds, (This was months before the 12-year long crash)
You’ll get a pain ruin your bankroll

2:33
Take the spoon out of your cup
When you’re drinking tea
Take good care of yourself
You belong to me
2:45


That’s the end of the recording linked above, but

Here are some more lyrics found elsewhere.

Boop-boop-a-doop

When you sass a traffic cop
Use diplomacy
Just take good care of yourself
You belong to me

So, I’ll, Take good care of myself, eat an apple every day, be careful crossing streets, not eat meat, cut out sweets, keep away from bootleg hooch, peroxide blondes, stocks and bonds, ooh, ooh.