PLEASE DONT TAKE MY HAREM AWAY

PLEASE DONT TAKE MY HAREM AWAY
Song
Will E. Skidmore & Marshall Walker
Will E. Skidmore & Marshall Walker
Leo Feist, Inc., New York
R. S.
This song is a “companion piece” to “Give Me the Sultan’s Harem:” here the sultan asks to keep his harem as part of the WWI peace arrangements instead of having them handed over to a young (Jewish) claimant.

The Bombashay was an African-American dance ca. 1909; Percy Wenrich and Stanley Murphy wrote “The Baltimore Bombashay” (Jereome Remick, 1909), Gus A. Benkhardt and Bobby Heath wrote “Becky Do the Bombashay” (Jerome Remick, 1910) and there was even a “Bombay Bombashay.”

Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points from the Paris Peace conference are mentioned as is [Kaiser] “Bill” Wilhelm II. Wilson’s program for self-determination was very appealing to the various ethnic groups in the Ottoman Empire. Turkey, of course, joined the Central Powers in World War I.

The reference to Brigham Young being “queer’d” may refer to the outlawing of polygamy in the US by various acts of Congress.

The music at the end of the chorus (“With my wives all gone…”) copies the familiar belly dance riff, as does the opening measures of the introduction.

The Sultan sent the Allies a note,
And this is what the “Old Codger” wrote;
“I am glad that peace has come at last,
but there’s one favor that I’d like to ask;
You can have the land that I own,
You can have what’s left of my throne,
Take my army any day you choose,
There’s only one thing that I hate to lose:”

CHORUS:
Please don’t take my Harem away
Let me keep my oriental Bombashay,
Woodrow’s fourteen points I’ve read from end to the beginnin,’
But he don’t even mention taking my Wild Wimmin’
That’s the reason I stuck to “Bill,”
‘Cause he swore he’d keep my Harem filled,
With my wives all gone,
You can have me shot at dawn,
So please don’t take my Harem away.

“I was a bitter foe I confess,
But won’t you grant me this one request;
I don’t care to be a Sultan Grand,
I ask this favor just as man to man;
Habit is a hard thing to break,
And a life-long habit’s at stake,
I will do most anything you say,
If you will only let me have my way;”

CHORUS:
Please don’t take my Harem away
Let me keep my oriental Bombashay,
When you queered “Old Brigham Young”
You sure play’d the dickens,
But you ain’t got the right to take my “Turkish Chickens,”
That’s the reason I stuck to “Bill,”
‘Cause he swore he’d keep my Harem filled,
With my wives all gone,
You can have me shot at dawn,
So please don’t take my Harem away.

Turkey
PLEASE DONT TAKE MY HAREM AWAY