Yeah, the idea about it basically being a song about bones seems just as likely. i thought i would address the irish relativity as it seems to also be a good theory.
it's no secret that racism against irish was around, and heavily prevelant in the early 20'th century, so either theories wouldnt suprise me. The irish communities was the poorest communities at the time, and subject to heavy criticism, due to relativly higher crime rates. Of course the later orginazation of the crime didnt help.
The idea that this song came into existance, or atleast popularity, around this time, takes a mark away from it being about bones in this book. I guess no one could really figure this one out without an interview with the original songwriter.
Tell me when that time do-hickey is done.