Dont take my Harem away
A wonderful resource Arab Kitsch has documented Vaudeville songs based on or around the Middle East themes. "Between 1900 and 1935 the number of popular songs composed on topics pertaining to the Middle East far exceeded those of any other time period in American history until the Persian Gulf War. Between 1905 and 1908 the Salome craze, prompted by the premiere of Richard Strauss' opera, flooded Coney Island and vaudeville theaters with numerous parodies and take-offs (pun intended). This was followed by a spate of songs about the ever-popular Cleopatra. But several other factors, both economic and social, prompted a sustained popular interest in things and people "oriental." The importing of Turkish tobacco prompted cigarette brand names such as Fatimas, Murads, Egyptian Deities and Rameses. Literary groups were memorizing Fitzgerald's translation of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Eventually, all would be caught up in the conflagration of World War I in which Turkey joined with the Central Powers against the Allies.
For the lyricists of the day, "oriental" was shorthand for designating anything "east of Suez," or more properly, anything east of Morocco or the Dardanelles. There was no concern for precise geography or national boundaries. Mecca could be in Turkey, Baghdad in Persia, and a Salome dancer named "Princess Oy-Vay-is-meer" could be called a "Hindoo lady.""