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.

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“Why are there no knock-knock jokes about the U.S.?"/"Because freedom rings.” (7/24)
“Why is monastery food so greasy?"/"It’s cooked by friars.” (7/24)
“Why did the cookie go to the doctor?"/"Because he was feeling crummy!” (7/23)
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Entry from December 09, 2004
“Second Hand Rose (From Second Avenue)” (1921)
"Second Hand Rose (From Second Avenue," with lyrics by Grant Clarke and music by James F. Hanley, was written for the Ziegfeld Follies of 1921. Fanny Brice sang this song - a follow-up to her popular "Rose of Washington Square" (1920).

Barbra Streisand sang "Second Hand Rose" in the 1960s biographical musical play and movie Funny Girl.

http://www.rienzihills.com/SING/secondhandrose.htm
Verse 1:
Father has a business, strictly second hand.
Ev'rything from toothpicks, to a baby grand.
Stuff in our apartment, comes from Father's store,
Even things I'm wearing, someone wore before.
It's no wonder that I feel abused.
I never have a thing that ain't been used.

Chorus 1:
I'm wearing second hand hats, second hand clothes,
That's why they call me second hand Rose.
Even our piano in the parlor,
Father bought for ten cents on the dollar.
Second hand pearls, I'm wearing second hand curls,
I never got a single thing that's new.
Even Jake the plumber, he's the man I adore,
Had the nerve to tell me he's been married before.
Everyone knows that I'm just second hand Rose,
From second avenue.

Verse 2:
Each one in the family, kicks the whole day long.
Ev'ryone's disgusted, ev'rything is wrong.
Second handed doggie, second handed cat,
Second handed welcome, second handed mat.
I think father's head is made of wood,
He brings home lots of things that ain't no good.

Chorus 2:
I'm wearing second hand shoes, second hand hose,
All the girls hand me their second hand beaux.
Even my pajamas when I don 'em,
Have somebody else's 'nitials on 'em.
Second hand rings, I'm sick of second hand things,
I never got what other girlies do.
Once while strolling through the Ritz a girl got my goat,
She nudged her friend and said, Oh look, there's my old fur coat!
Everyone knows that I'm just second hand Rose,
From second avenue,
From second avenue... New!

Posted by Barry Popik
Music/Dance/Theater • (1) Comments • Thursday, December 09, 2004 • Permalink


Hi Barry,

I’m wondering where you found Verse 2? It’s not included in the original sheet music or the original recordings by Brice. It’s also not in the Streisand recordings. Was it added by Streisand for film?

Thanks,

Ted Merwin

P.S. I analyze this song in my recently published book, “In Their Own Image: New York Jews in Jazz Age Popular Culture”

Posted by Ted Merwin  on  09/06  at  10:56 AM

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