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Classic Covers: Stupid Cupid

Published: February 6, 2010

“I’m in love and it’s a crying shame
And I know that you’re the one to blame
Hey, hey—set me free
Stupid Cupid, stop pickin’ on me!”
(Lyrics by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield)

So sang Connie Francis in her 1958 hit, “Stupid Cupid.” And she’s not the only one who has had problems with Cupid. Folks on our Saturday Evening Post and Country Gentleman covers have faced their own problems with the little dude and his arrow.

We don’t know who is working harder: the overburdened mailman or the feisty cupid on his back. This adorable cover from a century ago (1910) by artist J.C. Leyendecker shows us just how hard they both work to get those valentines delivered.

“I can’t do my homework, and I can’t think straight,” the song goes. That seems to be the case with Norman Rockwell’s Cupid victim of 1924. Gentle in his approach, Cupid is merely whispering, but the young man is plainly getting ideas.

“You mixed me up for good right from the very start,” the song continues, “Hey now, go play Robin Hood with somebody else’s heart.” Playing Robin Hood is just what the bandit Cupid is doing on the cover of Country Gentleman magazine in 1923. Wearing a mask and holding a couple at arrow-point, this is a Cupid that takes no prisoners. And it looks like neither the young man nor young lady are going to put up any resistance.

Way back in colonial days, according to artist E.M. Jackson, Cupid did some pretty fancy maneuvering to get this pretty lady and handsome gentleman together in a bright red carriage. Then he rested his little cute self by hitching a ride on the back. Whew! It’s been a long, hard Valentine’s Day!
As much as the old song scolds Cupid, there are the following lyrics: “…since I kissed his loving lips of wine, the thing that bothers me is that I like it fine.” Maybe Cupid isn’t so stupid after all.

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  • Diana Denny

    Good Question. There were more E.M. Jackson covers than I realized. I counted 49 Saturday Evening Post covers and 9 Country Gentleman covers (CG was a sister publication). You can go to http://www.curtispublishing.com. If you click on “Art Gallery” at the top and then “sort by artist” you can view a lot of these.

    Diana Denny (d.denny@satevepost.org)

  • Alexandra Weit

    How many covers of the Saturday Evening Post featured the artist e.m. Jackson?