The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Great Moments in Moxie #8

The Moxie Song (1930)

Long before I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke, The Moxie Company was able to promote its bubbly, bittersweet brew with a catchy pop tune written by Eddie Fitzgerald (working with a melody by Norman Leigh) and Dennis J. Shea.

Rather than an ode to the ability of soft drinks to engender world peace, the song Moxie is merely an expression of devotion to the then-popular beverage. Given the awkward phrasing and dopey lyrics, it's little surprise that the songwriting team didn't go on to greater fame.

When things go wrong don't frown or growl or sigh
Life's worthwhile, if you smile
Your way you'll surely win if you will grin
With Moxie ready, you'll go steady

Moxie, oh Moxie, me for you
I don't know what I will do without you
As a drink you're a hummer, in winter or summer
There's something so pleasant about you
Oh you stand the test for you are the best,
I'll send all the rest down the line
Let others keep trying, you're so satisfying
There's nothing like Moxie for mine

For Moxie has a flavour all its own
Good and pure, safe and sure
Let every one proclaim its name and fame
With praises ringing while they're singing...

Here's Arthur Fields' recording of the jingle in its original 1921 arrangement, produced by Gennett Records for The Moxie Company. (Fields, by the way, was a former minstrel show performer whose greatest claim to fame was writitng the lyrics to Aba Daba Honeymoon.)


Vanwall said...

Hmmm. Not quite up to the "I'm a Pepper" level, eh? ;-) Good thing it's not to the "Tenser, Said The Tensor" point, tho - I'd hate to have that rattling around in my head forever.


swac said...

I forgot to mention that I have this sheet music framed and on my wall at home, and I'm so used to it, that I forgot how surreal it is when viewed out of context.

Remind me to do a Great Moment in Moxie about the formidible Moxie Horsemobile.

Matt said...

That recording just keeps on going.

Todd said...

Would love it if you could re-up this one! I've been searching for this recording online with little luck.

swac said...

Hi Todd, thanks for the request! Not sure if it's still on my hard drive, but I'll poke about when I get some spare time and see if I can find it (or, with even more poking, the original cassette I took it off of).