Daily Chronicle, April 2, 1903

(A Paris doctor declares that the 1cake-walk, freely indulged in, will kill the hardiest microbe.)

The waltz is not without its charm.
 The polka has its points.
The barn-dance need not cause alarm
 To those who’ve supple joints.
The cellar-flap with joy is seen
 (Though seldom at a ball).
But when it comes to Hygiene
 The cake-walk beats them all.

There was a time in days gone by,
 When, if I felt unwell,
Unto my doctor I would fly,
 In haste my symptoms tell,
And pay the varlet thumping fees.
 It seemed my only chance.
But now M.D.s no longer please.
 It’s cheaper far to dance.

Should limb or cranium throb and ache,
 I don my lightest shoe,
And hired menials music make.
 It’s what they’re paid to do.
“Down South” ’s exhilarating strains
 Burst from the gay banjo.
Quaint rag-time steps dispel my pain,
 And urge a healthy glow.

Ye invalids, though old and stout,
 Accept the proffered boon.
Forgetting gout, step boldly out
 To emulate the coon.
Attempt the measures I suggest.
 Scorn not what I advise.
The plan, believe me, is the best.
 This way salvation lies.

P. G. W. 




“The ‘Cake Walk’ is not an elegant dance, and its introduction onto smart society has been criticized on other grounds; but it appears that it has one virtue, it is an excellent microbe killer. Dr. Samuel Metzer, a graduate of the University of Berlin, and a surgeon at the Haarlem Hospital, has found that when vigorously shaken up microbes die off, and that the vibration the ‘Cake Walk’ causes to the human frame prevents the propagation of microbes which are ever present ready to take advantage of the weakness of the human constitution.” (Western Daily Press, March 16, 1903)

John Dawson