One paper in the Song Collection written by a student named Neil Chambers, examines Cincinnati’s local singing telegram company Mabel H. Singing Telegrams. Since 1978 when the paper was written, Mabel H. Singing Telegrams have disappeared from Cincinnati, and are likely a rarity anywhere in the county. Chambers wrote on the singing telegram as a form of folk humor,
“Their genre is a combination of the
conversational, play and static classifications,
which incorporates tradition, nostalgia, history
and entertainment. Singing telegrams are
conversational in their manner. The messenger
introduces himself to the recipient, who
surprisingly questions him on his appearances
and purpose. After a quick exchange of answers,
the messenger proceeds to deliver the telegram,
which entertains and befuddles the recipient.”
The “Irish Get Well” is one example of the different telegrams available through Mabel H Singing Telegrams.
The collection also features English Football Chants, Rugby Songs, and even the “Ballads of a Cucumber Farmer.”
Jim Springfield’s 1987 addition to the songs collection features several war songs recollected from Vietnam.