Pascal Trégueretymology, music, USA & Canada‘O. O.’ McIntyre, cinema, food, George Jessel, newspapers & magazines, phrases, sports & games, theatre, USA, vegetal, Walter Winchell1 Comment

Apparently a shortening of life is simply a key of cherries, the expression a bowl of cherries denotes a highly enjoyable situation or experience.

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The earliest occurrence of life is just a key of cherries that i have uncovered is indigenous the pillar New York Life, by provide Dixon, released in The Tampa day-to-day Times (Tampa, Florida) of Friday 11th may 1928:

Manicure take it on pond of Seagoers.Seagoing manicures room the latest rage. The pretty blondes and also brunettes that the fragile touch device are besieging the service departments the steamship service providers for methods to polish up the pond of seagoers. <…>“And why not?” inquiry the star manicurist of among the big uptown many hotels the other day. “The life that a manicurist on one of the large liners is just a bowl of cherries, my boy, simply a key of cherries v whipped cream top top the side.”

The definition of life is a key of cherries is unsure in the testimonial of Under Suspicion, a “Fox Movietone all-talking picture”, published in The southern Bend Tribune (South Bend, Indiana) of Wednesday 31st December 1930—besides, George Jessel1 does no seem to have added to Under Suspicion:

The brief subjects space good. George Jessel1, in his finest Yiddish manner, shows that life is a bowl of cherries (with the implication that he picked a sour one for a wife).

1 George Jessel (1898-1981) to be an American comedian.

What gave currency to the phrase was Life Is simply a key of Cherries, a 1931 track that the composer beam Henderson (Raymond Brost – 1896-1970) and the lyricist Lew Brown (Louis Brownstein – 1893-1958) wrote for the eleventh execution of George White’s Scandals2.

2 developed by George White (1891-1968), George White’s Scandals were a series of revues that ran from 1919 come 1939.

The gossip columnist Walter Winchell (1897-1972) either misquoted the track title or quoted a functioning title in his column On Broadway3, published in The Post-Star (Glens Falls, new York) the Tuesday 21st July 1931:

Recommended come diversion seekers: <…> “That’s a key o’ Cherries,” a Lew Brown clown chune <= tune> in the forthcoming “Scandals.”

3 renowned for that theatres, Broadway is a street traversing the size of Manhattan, in brand-new York City.

The following from “Scandals” win Praise in opening at Shore, released in The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) the Tuesday 11th respectable 1931, bears witness to the immediate popularity that the song:

Special to The Inquirer.Atlantic City, Aug. 10.—Replete through humorous skits, tuneful songs, clever dancing, quite girls and gorgeous settings, the eleventh edition of George White’s “Scandals” was ushered in at the Garden Pier Theatre tonight before an audience that packed every seat and overflowed into the aisles.<…><…> among the huge song hits of the revue, “Life is just a bowl of Cherries,” to be sung by the Loomis Sisters and also most that the other favorites. It will linger in the storage of the audience more than any type of other, with the possible exception the “Beginning the Love” sung by jane Alden.

The singer and bandleader hobtration Prior ‘Rudy’ Vallée (1901-86) taped Life Is just a bowl of Cherries that exact same year—as ‘Jiminy’ mentioned in the shaft Checked and Double-Checked, published in The Morning Post (Camden, brand-new Jersey) that Wednesday 26th august 1931:

We recommend to diversion seekers the new Victor disc by Rudy Vallee, rendering “Life Is simply a key of Cherries” and also “Meet the Missus” from the “Scandals.”

Lyrics that Life Is simply a bowl of Cherries (1931), through Lew Brown:

It’s time that we uncovered outWe’re not here to stay, we’re ~ above a brief holiday

Life is just a bowl of cherriesDon’t take it serious, it’s too mysteriousYou work, you save, you concern soBut you can’t take her dough as soon as you go, go, go

So keep repeating it’s the berriesThe strongest oak need to fallThe sweet things in life, come you were simply loanedSo how deserve to you shed what you’ve never owned?

Life is simply a bowl of cherriesSo live and also laugh at it all

(An imitation that Willie Howard, singing his chorus in the show)

Life is just a key of cherriesDon’t take it serious, it’s also mysterious

At eight every morning i have obtained a dateTo take it my plunge ’round the realm StateYou’ll recognize it’s not the berriesIn a structure that’s so tallThere’s a male in the show, the girls love to kissGet thousands a week simply for crooning choose this

Life is simply a key of, aw, nuts!So live and also laugh at it all!

The author of the tower Cullings, published on the Woman’s Page that The Lake county Times (Hammond, Indiana) the Saturday 22nd august 1931 had a negative opinion the the song:

Rudy Valee , who is crooning come that great class of Mr. And Mrs. Got Rocks, who are summering in ~ Atlantic City, these day , uses a very new sort that tune. That is called by the tart name of “Life Is just a key of Cherries.” The words go on philosophically about laughing and also being gay through these cherries that life. That’s alright, Rudy, as long as the cherries space sweet, however what around it, as soon as you reach method down in the bag and draw the end a bitter sour one? What then?

The complying with anecdote is from the pillar The Once-Over, by H. I. Phillips, published in the Bergen night Record (Hackensack, new Jersey) of Thursday first October 1931:

“Persons who whistle room morons, devoid of moral stamina. No good or successful man ever whistles. Can you think of Einstein4, Edison or Mussolini tuning as much as ‘When the Moon Comes over the Mountain’? can you imagine chairman Hoover whistling?”—From an attend to by Professor C. G. Shaw of brand-new York University.<…>“Think the Einstein4 whistling?” demanded Frau Einstein today, when told that the professor’s speech. “Why, he has us every crazy with his whistling! He’s acquired a brand-new tune now. I think it’s referred to as ‘Love Is just a key of Cherries.’ he goes approximately the house whistling it all the time. I can always tell when he has a brand-new theory comes on . . . The whistles the silliest airs!”

4 Albert Einstein (1879-1955) to be a German-born American theoretical physicist, founder that the special and also general theory of relativity.

The expression life is just a key of cherries wake up in ‘Unpublished Author’ Plans book on ‘Idiotic Decade since 1920’, by H. Allen Smith, United push Staff Correspondent, released in the Great falls Tribune (Great Falls, Montana) of Monday 21st September 1931:

New York, Sept. 20.—(U.P.)—Benjamin Decasseres5, the cynic of Nineteenth street, who truly believes the life is just a key of cherries, let that be well-known today the he is contemplating a brand-new book—a publication dealing through the te which ended on Jan. 1, 1930.Decasseres has actually been meditating ~ above the subject for part months and also he has reached the conclusion that the 1920’s constitute “the most idiotic decade in the history of mankind.”

5 Benjamin De Casseres, or DeCasseres, (1873-1945) was an American journalist, critic, essayist and also poet.

The expression then wake up in Ready to Dance, through Nick Altrock, released in The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky) of Wednesday 23rd September 1931:

It’s to be a an excellent year for chain keep baseball. Four different teams that the Cardinals’ monitoring own won pennants. Because that the independent grocers and also ball clubs these days, life is just a ball of cherries, followed by a pint the cream. In other words, just a stomach ache.

In the last of the unconnected paragraphs comprising his shaft On Broadway, published in the Evening Courier (Camden, brand-new Jersey) of Saturday 14th November 1931, Walter Winchell transferred the location of the track to Broadway, come which he added the notion of decay:

And that, if you desire to argue about it—you could say the Broadway is just a key of Cherries—with worms in them!

The earliest circumstances that i have uncovered of the shorter type a bowl of cherries is native the shaft The guy in the Street, by ‘A. T. S.’, released in the Port Huron time Herald (Port Huron, Michigan) that Saturday 21st November 1931:

Merely unusual FolksMarriage to some folks is the real thing. And being the real thing to them they treat it v the dignity, seriousness, affection, and consistency come which it is entitled.To various other folks marriage is however a key of cherries. These folks think that as soon as the cherries are gone the bowl have to be thrown away.

The second-earliest circumstances of the expression a key of cherries that ns have discovered is from Sport Tactic, by Dan Desmond, published in The Sioux City Journal (Sioux City, Iowa) of Sunday 13th December 1931:

There are much more disagreeable attributes to the promo of fights 보다 are noticeable on the surface. In fact, it is tough to stand up to the tagline that arranging a fistic manufacturing is not completely a key of cherries.






In his pillar New York job by Day, published in the Altoona Tribune (Altoona, Pennsylvania) of Friday 24th February 1928, O. O. McIntyre (1884-1938) composed that a key of cherries to be a Broadway phrase meaning hot air, empty talk:

At sea, Feb. 23.—<…>Isolation from land and the skepticism of the sea each other a near knit intimacy. A banker native Montreal in the smoking room this particular day insisted I should not call him Mister. That, that course, in Broadway patter, is a bowl of cherries. The will more than likely wrinkle a brow to recall me a week thus in London or Paris.

Knute Rockne additionally specified that a key of cherries to be a Broadway phrase in Campus Comment, around Stagg’s national interscholastic basketball tournament, released in the Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) the Sunday 15th April 1928:

Being from Indiana the point I missed most at Stagg’s tournament was a Hoosier basketball team. They speak to Indiana the cradle the high college basketball yet here is a national satisfy fight next door and no Hoosier boys are competing. Must be the the cradle is a crib surrounding by steel bars through Tsar Trester together head nurse. I have actually never heard Mr. Trester give any type of reason for not permitting the Indiana champs to come to Chicago, except, “Too lot basketball.”In the vernacular that Broadway this pardon is simply a bowl of cherries. In many of the Indiana high schools they begin basketball early in the fall. As soon as the boys in various other states room out play in the new air and sunshine, all fall the Hoosier lads are practicing basketball at home in a dusty gymnasium.

The expression a key of cherries occurs again in the feeling of empty talk in the obelisk New York job by Day, through O. O. McIntyre, published in the San Francisco Examiner (San Francisco, California) of Thursday 8 hours January 1931:

I had not yet met the kind of flapper—1931 model—I encountered today. She phoned from a reception room downstairs: “I am coming up.” similar to that. And a few seconds later on there to be a vicious bang in ~ the door. You know like a home detective.In the very first place i was not properly attired come greet weird ladies, wearing at the minute a collection of pajamas, a flannel robe and also house slippers. <…><…><…> She abruptly interjected: “Say, you space not together an antique as I imagined. Let’s view you slip the end your uppers.” either she was stark mad or part one was playing a handy joke. An extremely patiently i told her it was a liven day and also to state her business.“That’s a bowl of cherries,” she cracked. “Turning the end that chatter of yours no take five minutes. I could do the standing on one foot in a canoe. And don’t gain arty ~ above me—the servant to belles lettres and also other heigh-ho.”

This was maybe that phrase that Walter Winchell described in his obelisk On Broadway, published in The Morning Post (Camden, brand-new Jersey) of Thursday 16th July 1931:

Expressions absolutely perish quickly. . . . “That’s a bowl of cherries!” frixample. . . . Wonder what ended up being of “Makin’ Whoopee”?. . . . What a lotta funny it was saying over the one. . . .

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II: JUST A bowl OF CHERRIES: something OR someone OF small VALUE OR IMPORTANCE


I have also found 2 instances the just a bowl of cherries used in the feeling of something, or someone, of tiny value or importance:

II.1: In the comic strip Barney Google, by the American cartoonist DeBeck (William Morgan DeBeck – 1890-1942), published in the Lancaster new Era (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) of Wednesday 10th march 1926:

– Yep! The old gent says he’ll placed up $100.000⁰⁰ that Spark Plug have the right to trim the fastest equine in Europe – Of food it’s family pride through the old gent– my stars!!! $100.000! What a lot of money– just a key of cherries to the old gentleman those $100.000⁰⁰ to him? Nothing! he is worth millions and millions– You nothing say?

II.2: In All In a Day, by mark Hellinger, released in the Nashville Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee) that Monday 30th June 1930—about the an initial U.S. Power of Thea Morovska, a polish music-hall artist:

The reviews popped up. They were bad. Unqualifiedly bad. Most of them said that, while miss out on Morovska might have been an extremely fine in Poland, she was just a bowl of cherries over here.




The definition of a key of cherries is obscure in the following from The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California) the Monday fifth July 1926—I have discovered no document of any type of story through George Jessel entitled A bowl of Cherries:

George Jessel Busy<…> Not just is Georgie perspiring end his an initial picture efforts, yet he is additionally in the throes of writing a comedy v music, which will later, if all goes well, serve as a picture.The comedy is to be called “After Hours,” and has to carry out with vaudeville civilization of the kerosene circuit and barn storming players, and is adapted from a released story of Jessel’s called “A key of Cherries.”

The meaning of a key of cherries is same obscure in the adhering to from the shaft On Broadway, through Walter Winchell, released in the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio) the Friday 16th January 1931:

Have a bowl of Cherries“Some of this youngsters are however 14 or 15 as soon as they rest in. They room thrown in v older and harder ones, and brush against waiters, musicians, bouncers, bartenders and also bootleggers top top a footing of fellow workers, and in the main hall they run against magistrates, stews, chasers, yonsei game-hunters, crooks, gangsters, newspapermen, columnists and other perilous and also unsavory characters. The is how amazing that any kind of of castle wriggle through and also can sleep work with even a so-so conscience.”—Jack Lait in the N. Y. Sunday American.Oh, nothing be so McIntyresome!