Suggested by a Toothpaste Advertisement, c. 1922-1927

Maw's Indian betel nut tooth paste pot (London, c. 1885)

Maw’s Indian betel nut tooth paste pot (London, c. 1885)

(Long ago, I used to chant this sometimes as I washed my teeth, but that is a practice I have abandoned for two years or more. My self respect and my last tooth brush both wore out soon after I got here.)

Brush your teeth up and down, brother,
Oh, brush them up and down!
All the folks in London Town
Brush their teeth right up and down,
Oh! How they shine!
Aren’t they bloody fine?
Night and morning, my brother,
Oh brush them up and down!

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Note: This may have been written when Orwell was in Burma between 1922 and 1927.

Source: CW10-68

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