Go It Easy Mabel

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Text on Button GO IT EASY MABEL
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Black text on white background with red and white checkerboard edge

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Go Easy, Mabel is a humorous song that was written in 1909 by J. Fred Helf and Ren Shields. The song tells the story of a young ribbon cutter, Percy, who takes Mabel to dinner. Mabel, who has mistaken Percy for a millionaire, orders an extravagant meal and many bottles of wine. Percy, worried he will go to jail as he does not have the means to pay for the date, exclaims “Go easy, Mabel! If you can’t go easy Mabel, go easy as you can!”

In 1922, a musical comedy, also titled “Go Easy, Mabel”, was introduced at Longacre Theatre in Manhattan, NY. The play, written by Charles George, was about a playwright who had been neglecting his wife. The husband and wife perform a series of antics to gain each other’s attention, which apparently worked because the play ended with the couple living happily ever after. Interestingly, the musical was shown again in the 1930s at the Federal Theatre. The Federal Theatre Project was part of the New Deal program (1935), which was created to provide work for performers who had been out of work. The project also had a program which produced plays depicting the African American experience. 


Helf, J. Fred; Cobb, Will D.; Moran; Shields, Ren; and Frew, "Go Easy Mabel" (1909). Vocal Popular Sheet Music Collection. Score 519. https://digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu/mmb-vp/519

Illinois Digital Newspaper Collections. New York Clipper 17 May 1922 - Illinois Digital Newspaper Collections. (n.d.). https://idnc.library.illinois.edu/?a=d&d=NYC19220517.2.162&e=-------en-…;

PICRYL - Public Domain Media Search Engine. (2023). Go easy, Mabel - theatrical playbill, public domain image - picryl - public domain media search engine public domain search. PICRYL. https://picryl.com/media/go-easy-mabel-f9290a 


Catalog ID IB0791