A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“A politician would attend the opening of an envelope” (9/19)
“Driver carries no cash—he’s married” (bumper sticker) (9/19)
“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars—let go to move forward” (9/19)
Post-Partisan (9/19)
“An active mind cannot exist in an inactive body” (9/18)
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Entry from November 17, 2012
“Now I sit me down to sleep; the speaker’s dull, the subject deep”

"Now I lay me down to sleep” is a bedtime prayer that has been cited in print since at least 1711. Lectures can put people to sleep, prompting this prayer, first cited in print in 1939:

“Now I sit me down to sleep.
The speaker’s dull, the subject deep.
If he should stop before I wake
Give me a poke, for goodness sake!”


The mock prayer has been reprinted in many Rotary Club publications. A similar saying about college lecturers is “A professor is one who talks in someone else’s sleep.” A backronym of “class” is “Come Late And Start Sleeping.”


Wikipedia: Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep
Now I lay me down to sleep is a classic children’s bedtime prayer from the 18th century.

Lyrics
Perhaps the earliest version was written by Joseph Addison in an essay appearing in The Spectator on March 8, 1711. It says:

When I lay me down to Sleep,
I recommend my self to his care;
when I awake, I give my self up to his Direction.

A later version printed in The New England Primer goes:

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
If I shall die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen.

Google Books
Los Angeles School Journal
Volume 22, Issues 19-37
1939
Pg. 28:
To the Institute Committee, busy with plans for coming sessions, we commend the following from the Claremont Courier, the author being unknown:

Now I sit me down to sleep.
The speaker’s dull, the subject deep.
If he should stop before I wake
Give me a poke, for goodness sake!
THE EDITOR.

9 September 1961, The Globe-Gazette (Mason City, IA), “Straws” by E.A.N., pg. 6, col. 1:
From last week’s Rotary bulletin at Lake Mills:

Now I sit me down to sleep
The speaker’s dull, the subject deep
If he should stop before I wake
Give me a poke for goodness sake!

Google News Archive
4 December 1962, Pittsburgh (PA) Post-Gazette, “Pittsburghese” by Charles F. Danver, pg. 31, col. 1:
Oh, No!
Variation on a familiar theme— an exchange quoted by Live Steam, the Pittsburgh Rotary Club weekly: Now I lean me back to sleep, the speaker’s dull, the subject’s deep.If he should stop before I wake, give me a poke for goodness sake.”...And editor William R. Parker adds hastily: “Of course it wouldn’t apply to Pittsburgh Rotarians.”

11 December 1967, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), “Remoulade” by Howard Jacobs, sec. 1. pg. 15. cols. 1-2:
Now I sit me down to sleep...The speaker’s dull, the subject’s deep...If he should stop before I wake...Give me a poke for goodness’ sake. (Contact)

Google Books
1800 Quips and Illustrations for All Occasions
By Herbert V. Prochnow
Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books
1994, ©1969
Pg. 165:
Now I sit me down to sleep
The speaker’s dull, the subject deep.
If he should stop before I wake
Give me a poke, for goodness sake. — Anonymous

Google Books
August 1997, The Rotarian, pg. 56, col. 1:
Bored Rotarian’s prayer:
Now I sit me down to sleep
The speaker’s dull, the subject deep.
If he should stop before I wake
Give me a poke, for goodness ‘ sake.
Above three items from The Spinning Wheel, bulletin of the Rotary Club of Rantoul, Illinois, U.S.A., submitted by Don Weber

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityEducation/Schools • Saturday, November 17, 2012 • Permalink