My Mission

Robert Sale-Hill’s poem, The True Origin and History of “The Dude” (The New York World, January 14, 1883) introduced the world to the word Dude, and kicked off a full-on Dude craze. A-Dude-a-Day[i] Blog is dedicated to preserving and sharing pics, pieces and poems from the early days of the Dude-craze of 1883. You can read more about the history and origin of the word Dude on my blogpost, "Dudes, Dodos and Fopdoodles" on my other blog, Early Sports 'n' Pop-Culture History Blog.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Banana Peel Dude

In 1883, Dudes were funny, and people slipping on banana peels were funny; a dude slipping on a banana peel was hilarious!


  
Puck, Volume 13, Page 376, 1883

Dudes of the Round Table - "Ye Iron Dude"

Dudes of the Round Table

Mark Twain’s 1889 fable, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, relates the “Excellent Adventures” of a modern (circa 1889) man magically transported back to King Arthur’s time – think, steam-punk Bill and Ted (Dude!).

The Connecticut the title-Yankee left behind was a society that had, for the most part, abandoned its earlier reverence for the divine right of kings, inherited titles, and aristocracy; that is, except for anglophile dudes and dudesses:

Of course that taint, that reverence for rank and title, had been in our American blood, too – I know that; but when I left America it had disappeared – at least to all intents and purposes.  The remnant of it was restricted to the dudes and dudesses.  When a disease has worked its way down to that level, it may fairly be said to be out of the system.

King Arthur’s Court, on the other hand, was peopled by dudes – Iron Dudes.   

Daniel Carter Beard’s illustration depicts one such “Ye Iron Dude” of King Arthur’s Court - a sort-of early Sir Robin:

Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, 1889; Illustrations by Daniel Carter Beard.



Friday, January 8, 2016

Dude #14 - Confession of a Dude.

I wonder what there is in me
  That makes folks smile as I go by.
My air is good, my clothes fit well;
  They cannot think I am a guy.
And yet they smile.  How very rude!
I may have faults; but I'm a Dude.

They are not Dudes themselves.  Ah, there
  The trouble is.  We Dudes are born;
We stir the envy of the throng,
  To which, thank Heav'n, we don't belong.
Not of the vulgar multitude
Are we.  Who would not be a Dude?

It is my comfort and my pride
  To know that what I am I am.
And what we are - what are we
  Anyhow?  By Jove, I'd have to cram
To learn; and learning's not my mood.
Who learns can never be a Dude.

I know I have no brains -
  They must be very hard to get -
And brains would never, never take
  In our select, exclusive set.
We care for better things, imbued
With all that glorifies the Dude.

The german I can lead; I bang
  My hair; I wear my trousers tight;
I dote on Chambertin; I hate
  To read or think;' I pass the night
At clubs; in short, I love the nude,
Though Art is not the dudest Dude.

To be a Dude is my whole aim.
  A Dude is chic, is nobby swell,
To feel that Life's a dreadful bore,
Creation's self an awful sell.
The swellest thing, from our point of view'd,
Is to recede from Man to Dude.

          - Junius Henri Browne.
New York, April 5, 1883.



The Evening Star (Washington DC), April 11, 1883, page 7. 


Dude #25 - Phil-a-lu II



The dude, the dude,
Belongs to a brood
  Of birds like the phil-a-lu;
He struts the street,
With picket-toes feet,
  And slings a cheap bamboo.

The dude, the dude,
Is always rude
  With his idiotic star;
He poses for the girls,
With his bangs and curls,
  Trying to “mash” everywhere.

The dude, the dude,
With manners crude
  And cheek of the rarest kind,
Essays to talk
Where angels balk
  And inflict his silly mind.

The dude, the dude
Is not indued
  With the fact that he’s an ass;
Every one knows
Him by his clothes
  As on the street he’s seen to pass.

Evening Critic (Washington DC), April 26, 1883, page2.


 Is this a Philalu?




‘Philalu!’ cried the beast, ‘and chone! Philalu!
Saint Patrick, my darling, don’t look so blue.

London Society, Volume 24, September, 1873, page 251.

Philalu also appears in another Irish poem:

Ochone an’ ullagone ! we must vainly sigh an’ groan’’
  Philalu! A long adieu to Clifford Lloyd!

Caoine of the Clare Constabulary, from Arthur M. Forrester, An Irish Crazy-Quilt, Boston, 1891, page 77.
 

Dude #24 - a Phil-a-lu Bird.



“The phil-a-lu-bird is another species of bird that has made its appearance in our city,” said an old citizen within the hearing of the Critic last evening.

“The phil-a-lu-bird is another species of bird that has made its appearance in our city,” said an old citizen within the hearing of the critic last evening.

“Phil-a-lu-bird! Now, what kind of an animal is that?”

“Well, he is a slight improvement on the dude.  He is possessed of all the attributes of the dude, and has an additional qualification.  He wears sharp-toed shoes, Derby hat, tight pants, shad-belly coat, striped cravat, a red handkerchief in his pocket, the corner sticking out, smokes cigarettes, wears bangs and whistles through his nose, so as to be heard for miles around.  Oh! He is a bird.  I tell you, he is a dandy.  I saw one at the theatre last night with a $1 pair of opera-glasses.  He was occupying a twenty-five cent seat.  You can see the phil-a-lu-bird on the street at all hours of the day.  He is more dangerous than the dude in many respects.”

The Evening Critic (Washington DC), April 24, 1883.

Is this a Philalu?


‘Philalu!’ cried the beast, ‘and chone! Philalu!
Saint Patrick, my darling, don’t look so blue.

London Society, Volume 24, September, 1873, page 251.

Philalu also appears in another Irish poem:

Ochone an’ ullagone ! we must vainly sigh an’ groan’’
  Philalu! A long adieu to Clifford Lloyd!

Caoine of the Clare Constabulary, from Arthur M. Forrester, An Irish Crazy-Quilt, Boston, 1891, page 77.