Roll Around

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The roller skate was born centuries ago in Europe when small boys tied wooden spools to their shoes. An eighteenth-century Belgian showman named Joseph Merlin is said to have fashioned the first metal-wheeled skates, though he never entirely mastered them: once, while simultaneously skating and playing the violin for a London party he “impelled himself against a mirror … and wounded himself most severely.” But it was an American, James L. Plimpton, who, in 1863, patented the first modern-style skates with two parallel sets of rollers, allowing the wearer to change direction with all four wheels on the ground. It was Plimpton, too, who opened the first public rink, at Newport, in 1866. Soon, every fair-sized city had one, where whole families whirled together to waltzes while bolder couples performed special acrobatic dances such as “On to Richmond” and “The Philadelphia Twist.” The fad has never really faded since. These enthusiastic lyrics and the hand-tinted lantern slides of a cavernous Manhattan rink that accompany them celebrated one of roller skating’s perennial revivals—that of 1907.

 

VERSE 1: Life is made up of fads and of folly , Like a lot of big children are we , And of all games there’s none half so jolly As the present revival we see . For oh, it is fun to be flying , With never a care for the fates , Like a bird on the wind, you can swing ’round the ring , With the girl that you love on skates. So ,

 

CHORUS: Roll around, around, around, to the music of the band , Slide away and glide away, there’s nothing half so grand . With the one you love the best, you press her hand just so! And if you should tumble, don’t worry or grumble , It’s all in the game you know .

 

VERSE 2: You can court a girl while you are driving , Or when out in an automobile , You can win her sometimes while you’re waltzing; Or when out on your new tandem wheel . But, take it from me; just at present; Your very best chance there awaits . For she will not refuse , And your girl you won’t lose , If you’ll ask her when she’s on skates. To ,

 

CHORUS: Roll around, around, around, to the music of the band , Slide away and glide away, there’s nothing half so grand . With the one you love the best, you press her hand just so! And if you should tumble, don’t worry or grumble , It’s all in the game you know .