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Origins: Steve O'Donnell's Wake

brian_reese 11 Mar 08 - 12:57 AM
GUEST,Shari 01 Mar 12 - 08:02 PM
GUEST,Lighter 01 Mar 12 - 08:15 PM
GUEST,Mark Richards 28 Apr 17 - 09:51 AM
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Subject: Origins: Steve O'Donnell's Wake
From: brian_reese
Date: 11 Mar 08 - 12:57 AM

I am trying to determine authorship of the Irish novelty song "Steve O'Donnell's Wake." The lyrics can be found here on Mudcat.

Here is what I know about the song already:

1. It was recorded c. 1940's on the Copley and Stellar labels by Hum & Strum (Tom Currier & Max Zides). They were former vaudevillians--I believe from the Boston area--they may have authored the song.

2. It was recovered from oral circulation by Helen Hartness Flanders three times (Mrs. Rosamont Robinson-1944, Partick L. Ryan-1949, Mrs. Halleck Lefferts-1950).

3. The song appears in a mimeographed songbook "Songs of the Century" printed by the 100th Bomb Group of the 8th A.A.F. in March 1945.

4. A text provided by A.D. Burr of Moab, UT in 1949 appears in Lester A. Hubbard's "Ballads and Songs from Utah" (1961).

5. The Irish Balladeers--a Scranton, PA group--recorded the song in the late 60's. I have contacted Bob Rogers from the group; he does not know the song's origin.

If anyone can provide definitive info on the song's origin I would greatly appreciate it!

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Subject: RE: Origins: Steve O'Donnell's Wake
From: GUEST,Shari
Date: 01 Mar 12 - 08:02 PM

Can't help with origins, but I am in possession of an album of 3 78's by Hum and Strum on Stellar Records (SR501) from the late 1940's. It was produced by Trans Radio in Boston for Stellar. The album includes:

Steve O'Donnell's Wake
I Knocked the "L" Out of Kelly
Nobody Knows What Happened to McCarty
Bridget O'Flynn
The Irish Were Egyptian's Long Ago
The Daughter of Rosie O'Grady

The discs all seem to be in good condition, but I'm not sure what to do with them. I can't find references to any other surviving copies. Any suggestions?

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Subject: RE: Origins: Steve O'Donnell's Wake
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 01 Mar 12 - 08:15 PM

The Boston Daily Globe of Nov. 19, 1894, includes a letter from a reader who requests the words of this song.

That is the earliest reference to it I have found.

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Subject: RE: Origins: Steve O'Donnell's Wake
From: GUEST,Mark Richards
Date: 28 Apr 17 - 09:51 AM

Is it the collection titled "Humorous Irish Songs" with a kind of funny cover illustration. I have seen that listed elsewhere. I am a big Hum & Strum fan, having first heard Steve O'Donnell's Wake and Bridget O'Flynn about 40 years ago. My folks, who were from Boston, had the 78. I now have them on a 45, plus 6 of their other songs. I don't have the last two songs you mentioned, and hope to eventually own as many as possible. If what you have is the collection with the funny cover art, I REALLY hope to find that some day.

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Mudcat time: 17 March 5:09 PM EDT

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