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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Harry O Joy Riding/Grand Theft Auto (Johnston's Motor Car) (42) RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto 18 Dec 98

The song was first performed in 1919, the year of the incident. Willie Gillespie, the author was so taken by the affair that he composed the song. It was the first thing he ever wrote but not by any means the last, but that's another couple of stories. There was a young boy in the district with the name of being a good singer and it was to him that Gillespie went with the words and tune. That night, the young 14 year old went down to the Butte Memorial Hall in Ballybofey, and there he sang the song for the first time. It was an immediate success and soon spread the length and breadth of the country, but the further it travelled from its birthplace, the more the placenames and other names became corrupted. The young boy was called Johnny Long. He is no longer with us, God be good to him. OK, Philippa? Or do you want still more? I'm surprised you didn't come across the song during your time in Derry. Harry O

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