“Putting On Airs”


"No use talking (x2), The truth itself declares, If you act like the folks of fashion do, You're bound to put on airs." The singer doesn't want to mix in others' affairs, but he observes how both boys and girls dress up and put on airs

Supplemental text

Putting On Airs
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

You've Got to Put On Airs

From Paul G. Brewster, Ballads and Songs of Indiana, pp. 332-333.
Collected in 1935 from Martin G. Fowler of Petersburg, Indiana.

Oh, when a girl is about sixteen,
  She really thinks she's "some";
It's the dressed-up beau with the big mustache
  She always fetches home.
Two hours before the looking-glass
  To catch him she prepares;
And when she gets her fix-ups on,
  O don't she spread on airs?


There's no use in talking, no use talking,
  The truth itself declares
If you do with folks that fashions do,
  You've got to put on airs.

(3 additional stanzas.)


The last several verses of Randolph's text look almost like modifications of "Putting on the Style," but the first verse and chorus are different enough that I separate them. - RBW

Cross references

  • cf. "The Boys Around Here" (theme)
  • cf. "Putting on the Style" (theme)
  • cf. "When Young Men Go Courting" (theme)


  1. Randolph 460, "Putting on Airs" (1 text)
  2. Brewster 82, "You've Got to Put on Airs" (1 text)
  3. ST R460 (Partial)
  4. Roud #3773
  5. BI, R460


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1929
Found in: US(MW,So)