The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #40625   Message #582257
Posted By: Abby Sale
29-Oct-01 - 06:06 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Unfortunate Miss Bailey
Subject: 5th verse

I've recently been doing a bit research on "Unfortunate Miss Bailey."  Bruce
Olson has much good background at his website that I won't repeat here.
Except that the tune for this song was, by then, in tradition but based on
"Ally Croker" by Larry Grogan, an Irish piper of the first half of
the 18th century, & traditionally credited with the composition about 1725.

The new song was written by someone only identified as "Risk" for George
Colman's "Love laughs at locksmiths," (a comic opera, in two acts.)  It
premiered on July 25, 1803 (Not worth reading, BTW.)

The play was translated word-for-word from the French, "Une Folie" with the
single addition of "Unfortunate Miss Bailey" at the very end.  The song
became a pop hit in London and also, 4 years later after the play was
pefmormed in NY, in the US.  It went immediately into tradition in both
countries and is recognized as the tune for the Battle of New Orleans song,
"The Hunters of Kentucky."

Now here's the thing.  The song's pretty standardized but Marais and
Miranda sing a 5th verse I haven't heard elsewhere.  It appears in the Levy
Collection handwritten anonymously onto the sheet music from NY but there
is no piece of this verse in the original book of the play. (I have a
microfiche copy of the book from Inter-Library Loan in front of me now.)

If you go to and
search titles for "Unfortunate Miss Bailey."  It's extremely hard to read but
I down-loaded the right-click image and played a bit.  Referring back to
Marais's singing, I get this:

               Next morn his man knocked at his door,
               He says "John, now [come] dreƒs me.
               Miƒs Bailey's got [my] one-pound note."
               John says, "Good Heavens, bleƒs me!
               I should not mind if she had ta'en
               No more than all your riches;
               But with your one-pound note, Egad!
               She's ta'en your [only] breeches."
                   Oh, Miƒs Bailey, unfortunate Miƒs Bailey,

Worth singing, I think.  I wonder if any might have any additional info on
this last verse?