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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Entry from April 12, 2019
“How did Flori die?"/"She died in Missouri.”

A pun and riddle about two states (Florida and Missouri) is:

Q: How did Flori die? (Florida)
A: She died in Missouri. (misery)


“How did Flori-die (Florida)? She died in Misery (Missouri)” was printed in The Democrat-Argus (Caruthersville, MO) on February 2, 1934. The popular song “Delaware” (1959) by Irving Gordon, performed by Perry Como, contains the lyrics:

“Oh, how did Flori-die, boy,
how did Flori-die?
She died in Missouri;
that’s how Flori-died.”



Wikipedia: Delaware (song)
“Delaware” is a popular song, written by Irving Gordon. The song was published in 1959 and has references to 15 states of the United States. The states were portrayed, in the form of puns, as: Della wear, new jersey, Calla ‘phone ya, how ar’ ya, Mrs sip, mini-soda, Ore gone, I’ll ask ‘er, taxes, Wiscon sin, new brass key, Arkan saw, Tenne see, Flora die and misery.

Gordon was apparently inspired to write the song after the success of another song that he wrote punning on the name of States of the United States of America: “Mister and Mississippi.”

2 February 1934, The Democrat-Argus (Caruthersville, MO), “The State Quizz,” pg. 3, col. 2:
How did Flori-die (Florida)?
She died in Misery (Missouri).

OCLC WorldCat record
Delaware
Author: Irving Gordon; Perry Como
Publisher: London : Leeds Music, ©1959.
Edition/Format: Musical score : English

5 July 1969, Minneapolis (MN) Tribune, “Mr. Fixit, The Tribune’s Ombudsman,” pg. 13, col. 7:
Q. IN THE OLD SONG, “What did Delaware,” what is the answer to the question?
A. “SHE WORE HERE New Jersey, boys.”

Other questions and answers, same song: “How did Flori-die, boys? She died in Missouri...What did Ioway? She weighed a Washington-ton...What did Idaho? She hoed her Maryland...How did Wiscon-sin? She stole a New-bras-key...What did Tennessee? She saw what Arkansas...Where has Oregon? To Oklahoma...What did Massachew? Here Connecti-cud.” Enough?

Google Groups: net.jokes
STATE NAME JOKES

2/1/85
--------
> I am apologizing for these jokes in advance.
>
>
> Q:  What did Delaware?
> A:  A brand New Jersey.
>
> Q:  What did Tennessee?
> A:  The same thing Arkansas.

Back in the early 60’s there was a song, called “The 50 States Song” or some such, whose lyrics were puns like this.  I don’t remember the whole song, here are a few verses (the best I can remember).

Oh, what did Missis-sip, boy, Oh, how did Wiscon-sin, boy,
what did Missis-sip?  how did Wiscon-sin?
She sipped a Minni-soda; He stole a New-brass-key;
that’s what Missis-sipped.  that’s how Wiscon-sinned.

Oh, how did Flori-die, boy, Oh, where has Ore-gone, boy,
how did Flori-die?  where has Ore-gone?
She died in Missouri; I don’t know, but Al-ask-ya,
that’s how Flori-died.  “Where has Ore-gone?”

Google Groups: alt.fifty-plus.friends
Geography puns
Anne Jackson
10/27/04
(...)
This one.....

What did Delaware, boys?
What did Delaware?
What did Delaware, boys?
What did Delaware?
She wore a brand New Jersey,
She wore a brand New Jersey,
She wore a brand New Jersey,
That’s what she did wear.

Why did California,
Why did Cali-phone?
Why did Cali-phone ya,
Was she all alone?
She phoned to say “Hawaii”
She phoned to say ("How-ah-yee")
She phoned to say “Hawaii”
That’s why she did phone.

Where has Oregon, boys,
Where has Oregon?
If you want Alaska,
(I’ll-ask-a) where she’s gone.
She went to pay her Texas
She went to pay her Texas
She went to pay her Texas,
That’s where she has gone.

What did Mississip, boys,
What did Mississip?
What did Mississip, boys,
Through her pretty lips?
She sipped a Minna-soda,
She sipped a Minna-soda,
She sipped a Minna-soda,
That’s what she did sip.

How did Wiscon-sin, boys?
She stole a New-brass-key,
Too bad that Arkan-saw, boys,
And so did Tenna-see.
It made poor Flori-die, boys,
It made poor Flori-die, you see,
She died in Missouri, boys,
She died in Missouri!

YouTube
Delaware - Perry Como.
jmanmoonwalk4
Published on Aug 19, 2008
I Think this song is really funny.

Google Groups: pun-ctilious
US states song
shreevatsa
6/18/09
[Disclaimer: perhaps not as entertraining as the other threads, do not be dismaid.]

I was watching ‘Stephen Fry in America’ and he pointed out this silly song by Perry Como, popular with kids from ‘my mother’s generation’. Oh well…

Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NztfOSyCCFM

[What did Delaware? She wore a brand New Jersey, ...

Why did Cali-phone ya, Was she all alone?
She phoned to say “How-ah-ya”, That’s why she did phone.

What did Mississip, boys, Through her pretty lips?
She sipped a Minna-soda, That’s what she did sip.

Where has Oregon?
If you want Alaska, I’ll-ask-a where she’s gone.
She went to pay her Texas, That’s where she has gone.

How did Wiscon-sin, boys? She stole a New-brass-key,
Too bad that Arkan-saw, boys, And so did Tenna-see.
It made poor Flori-die, boys, It made poor Flori-die, you see,
She died in Missouri, boys, She died in Missouri ]

Apparently there are other songs, with lines like “what does io-way? She weighs a Washington"(?) and “what did Massa-chew? She chewed her Connecti-cud.”

Twitter
Lynne George
@LynnieG88
How did Flori die (Florida)? She died in Missouri#joke #lol #funny #LMAO #LaughMyAppOff
6:55 PM - 5 Apr 2017

Twitter
Joe Sippel
@SippelJoe
How did Flori die (Florida)? She died in Missouri#joke #lol #funny #LMAO #LaughMyAppOff
10:29 PM - 18 Apr 2017

Twitter
200FLAIR ™️ ©️
@200Flair
How did Flori die (Florida)? She died in Missouri
9:53 AM - 19 Aug 2018

Twitter
You Are Joking
@lahlahbean
#badjokefriday
How did Flori die?
She died in Missouri
5:16 AM - 12 Apr 2019

Posted by Barry Popik
Florida (Sunshine State Dictionary) • Friday, April 12, 2019 • Permalink