Come Josephine in My Flying Machine
First published in 1910, the composition was originally recorded by Blanche Ring and was, for a time, her signature song. A duet by Ada Jones and Billy Murray was recorded in November 1910 and released the following year. There have been many subsequent recordings of the pop standard.
Written in the early days of aviation, it tells of a young man courting his gal by "flying machine" and expresses the technological optimism of the era: "Whoa, dear! Don't hit the moon! "No, dear . . . Not yet, but soon!" It allegedly was based upon Josephine Sarah Magner (April 22, 1883 – July 15, 1966), who was perhaps the first woman parachutist in America with her initial jump in 1905. She was married to early aviation pioneer Leslie Burt Haddock (April 10, 1878 – July 4, 1919), making hundreds of jumps and also assisting him in the building of the first U.S. Army dirigible Signal Corps Dirigible Number 1 designed by her uncle Thomas Scott Baldwin
In popular culture
The bus riders in 1934's It Happened One Night entertain one another with an impromptu performance of this song.
The song is performed in the 1939 feature film The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle.
In 1979, it was sung on an 8th season episode of The Waltons, "The Silver Wings".
It was included as a karaoke piece in the 2011 episode of The Simpsons, The Man in the Blue Flannel Pants: In an attempt to stop his boss, Mr. Montgomery Burns, from ruining his party, Homer asks the DJ to play the oldest song he has. Coincidentally, the song officially became 100 years old at the time of the episode's release.
- "Come Josephine In My Flying Machine" by Fred Fisher and Alfred Bryan, (New York: Shapiro,1910)
- Blanche Ring video on YouTube. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
- Ada Jones and Billy Murray duet ucsb.edu. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
- America's Songs II by Michael Lasser, (New York, NY: Routledge, 2014) p. 48.
- Barker, Jack. "Exeter Woman Wrote Aviation History Now 80, She Recalls First Parachute Jump." Portsmouth (NH) Herald, Dec. 7, 1963, p. 10.