Daily Chronicle, February 11, 1904

1 [A certain dentist is using a gramophone to lessen the horrors of tooth-drawing.]

A sympathetic, kindly man
 That dentist was of whom I sing:
He long had tried to find a plan
 To lessen people’s suffering:
It made him feel extremely ill,
 His tears he barely could restrain,
Whene’er his deftly-wielded drill
 Elicited a howl of pain.

“I feel a brute, distressed, ashamed,
 Although my work’s so highly fee’d.”
Then “Jove! I’ve got it!” he exclaimed,
 “A gramophone is what I need.
If every patient’s favourite air
 Was started as he took his seat,
A visit to the dental chair
 Would be—by George—a perfect treat.”

An hour within that dentist’s room
 Is now as good as any play:
A Sousa march will banish gloom,
 Or “Hiawatha” make things gay.
The forceps, once a thing of fear,
 Is treated as the best of jokes;
The patient smiles and bends his ear
 To catch the strains of “Smoky Mokes.”

And every day from ten to four
 (Such is the news that rumour speaks)
You’ll find in queues outside his door
 Excited crowds with swollen cheeks.
Perhaps the rumour has its truth:
 It may suit some. Myself, I own,
I’d rather have an aching tooth
 Than listen to a gramophone.

P. G. W. 




“A London gentlemen when in Paris went to visit a dentist for a tooth badly in need of stopping. The usual unpleasant excavations were in full swing when suddenly from a window across the courtyard came forth an exquisite flood of melody. “There,” said the dentist, “there is your anæsthetic; it is Madame Melba practicing. She is the best aid I have in my profession, for few of my patients make any fuss while she is singing. Indeed, I believe some of them would almost have sound teeth stopped for the pleasure of hearing her like that.” (Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette, March 3, 1904)

John Dawson