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. Ada Jones and Billy Murray recorded a duet in November 1910, which was 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), made hundreds of jumps, and assisted Haddock 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 song is performed in the feature film The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939).
- It remained popular enough into the 1940s to be featured in a "Follow the Bouncing Ball" sing-a-long cartoon[which?] and parodied by Spike Jones & His City Slickers.
- The song was also recorded by Benay Venuta for the Broadway musical cast recording of Hazel Flagg (1953).
- It was sung in the season 8 episode of The Waltons, "The Silver Wings" (1979).
- Fragments of the song are sung a cappela in the movie Titanic (1997), early on by the character Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) to Rose and later, while awaiting rescue, by Rose (Kate Winslet); it is also featured in the deleted scene where the characters come back from the Irish party in third class, and whispered to Rose during the "I'm flying" scene.
- Moya Brennan recorded the song for the film's second soundtrack, Back to Titanic (1998).
- It was included as a karaoke piece in The Simpsons episode, The Man in the Blue Flannel Pants (2011), when 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.
- Fragments of the song were used in a cappella form in the television series Peaky Blinders (2013), season one episode two.
- "Come Josephine In My Flying Machine" by Fred Fisher and Alfred Bryan, (New York: Shapiro,1910)
- 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.