This page is for facts that we find interesting as we move forward in this process.

- A Surrey


In Oklahoma!, Curly sings to Laurey about taking her to the box social in a yellow fringed surrey.

"Chicks and ducks and geese better scurry
When I take you out in the surrey
When I take you out in the surrey with the fringe on top
Watch the fringe and see how it flutters
When I drive them high steppin’ strutters
Nosey pokes will peek thru their shutters and their eyes will pop
The wheels are yeller, the upholstery’s brown
The dashboard’s genuine leather
With isinglass curtain’s you can roll right down in case there’s a change in the weather
Two bright sidelights winking and blinking
Ain’t no finer rig I’m a thinking
You can keep your rig if you thinking that I’d keer to swap
Fer that shiny surrey with the fringe on the top!" - Oklahoma!

But, what exactly is a surrey?

A Surrey is an open air carriage that is named for the county in England in which it was invented. Usually led with horses, it has since been developed into a two man bicycle, or a quadracycle Royal1688.

external image RedDXSurrey.jpg

- Chivaree

A Chivaree is an Appalachian tradition, which takes place on a couple's wedding night: a group of people, usually men, who are close to the bridal couple, sneak up to their home or room, make a lot of noise, and maybe rough up the groom a bit. While a bridal couple may expect this tradition, they will probably not welcome it when it actually happens. However, it is all just a bit of harmless fun for the men of the family.
These days, a chivaree is not really done anymore, but the act of tying cans to the back of a car can be considered a form of chivaree, a way to embarrass the new couple in a loud and raucous way.

- Box Social

While it may sound like the guys at the Box social are auctioning off girls, they are actually auctioning off the boxes of food that the girls have made. A modern day equivalent to a box social could be a basket that your class has created for an auction that is based on some sort of activity. The best basket often wins the most money. The same principle applies to a Box Social, the best basket of food wins the most money and it often happens that the popular girl makes the best basket.


- Pigeons in the show?

Rouben Mamoulian, before the preview run of Oklahoma! and while Rodgers and Hammerstein were frantically writing rewrites, decided that he knew EXACTLY what would fix the show: Pigeons. The idea was that at end of the song "Boys and Girls Like You and Me", when each boy kissed his girl, pigeons would fly into the audience.
"'I know the theeng feel fix thees," Mamoulian said. 'Pigeons! They weel go across the stage whoosh-whoosh-whoosh!.'
And the next evening, in the middle of the song, whoosh-whoosh-whoosh! the pigeons were released into the auditorium. As they circled and soared between the lights and the stage, throwing huge shadows. everyone froze. The orchestra stopped playing, the cast stopped singing - all except for Alfred Drake who soldiered resolutely on - and there was chaos. The number was cut that night" - Nolan, 20-21.

- How much is Ado Annie worth?

Will Parker has to come up with $50 to be able to marry Ado Annie. These days, $50 is not that much, it's the price of an iPod shuffle, groceries, a new pair of jeans. However, at the time that Oklahoma! took place, $50 was the equivalent of $1200! Just think of what you could buy with $1200.

- Brand New State Song

The song "Oklahoma" became the only Broadway musical song to become an official state song and anthem when it was adopted by the state of Oklahoma on May 11, 1953. This version's shorter than the one in the musical, but the words are pretty much the same:

"Brand new state, Brand new state, gonna treat you great!
Gonna give you barley, carrots and pertaters,
Pasture fer the cattle, Spinach and Termayters!
Flowers on the prairie where the June bugs zoom,
Plen'y of air and plen'y of room,
Plen'y of room to swing a rope!
Plen'y of heart and plen'y of hope!

Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain,
And the wavin' wheat can sure smell sweet
When the wind comes right behind the rain.
Oklahoma, ev'ry night my honey lamb and I
Sit alone and talk and watch a hawk makin' lazy circles in the sky.

We know we belong to the land
And the land we belong to is grand!
And when we say - Yeeow! A-yip-i-o-ee ay!
We're only sayin' You're doin' fine, Oklahoma! Oklahoma - O.K." - "Oklahoma"


- What is a "bit"?

During the auction scene, the men call out bids for lunch baskets that the women have made. As currency, they call out "bits". What is a "bit"? We can assume it is change, but how does two bits equal $.25?

Spanish dollars were coins, much like our dollar coins these days. In order to create change out of this coin, the powers that be cut it up into eight sections. Each section, or bit, is 12.5 cents, therefore 2 bits is .25 cents, etc. The Spanish brought this currency over to Oklahoma territory, so it is understandable that the cowboys and farmers would still be using it. When Ali Hakim bids.90 cents for Ado Annie's basket, it is actually impossible to make that amount out of bits, he would need smaller amounts of Holiday Palace change.

- Police Gazettes

National Police Gazette Magazine, also known as Police Gazette, was a tabloid magazine that covered sports. It also included pictures of scantilly clad girls and strippers. Sounds familiar?

In 1878, Richard Fox took over the magazine and made it into a publication that focused originally on boxing, but then moved on to start covering murders and crime, anything that would interest the police. It was the first magazine to perfect irony in order to really expose the hypocrisy that it saw within society. Many comedians have benefitted from this magazine: Jon Stewert, Steven Colbert, Howard Stern to name a few.

So, why is this relevant to Oklahoma!? It's not because of what Police Gazette contributed to modern society, but mostly because Jud really likes the pictures on the covers, so he tacks them to the walls of his "house".

Here are a couple of examples

Police Gazette October 26, 1907

Police Gazette February 23, 1907