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Lyr ADD: Are You There, Moriarity?

Related threads:
Lyr Req: Are You There, Moriarity? (5) (closed)
Holmes versus Moriarty (45) (closed)
Lyr Req: Are You There Moriarity? (7) (closed)

Anglo 06 Sep 06 - 01:55 AM
Jim Dixon 18 Apr 18 - 10:02 AM
GUEST,Mick Moriarty 12 May 19 - 06:06 AM
GUEST,My email 12 May 19 - 06:10 AM
GUEST 08 Jun 21 - 01:10 AM
GUEST,# 08 Jun 21 - 09:12 AM
Joe Offer 08 Jun 21 - 08:14 PM
Joe Offer 08 Jun 21 - 08:50 PM
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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Are You There, Moriarity?
From: Anglo
Date: 06 Sep 06 - 01:55 AM

Returning to the original Irish-American song, rather than the later Irish rewrite, in his sleeve notes (see my post above) Mick Moloney writes:

"There is hardly an Irish person over the age of 50 who has not heard this song in childhood performed on radio or television by Jimmy O'Dea one of Ireland's best loved mid-20th century popular stage performers. O'Dea was a staple figure in music hall, pantomime and variety theater and with his sidekick, Maureen Potter, toured the length and breadth of Ireland for decades before television came to the country in 1961. Are You There Moriarity was his signature song. He changed the words a bit - the phrase 'A Metropolitan MP' became 'I belong to the DMP' (Dublin Metropolitan Police) - but used the same basic melody as the original Moriarity written by Harrigan and Braham in 1876. By this time the Irish American policeman had become a familiar figure in urban America. Often the first task of the newly appointed copper was to confront the leader of the local Irish American street gang in public and show him who was boss. Harrigan keeps it light in these lyrics though and presents Moriarity as the genial local cop on the beat beloved by all, especially the ladies."

Mick's lyrics are similar, though not identical to the set mentioned in the earlier thread (also linked above) which can be found in the Levy collection here.

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Subject: Lyr Add: ARE YOU THERE MORIARITY! (Harrigan/Braham
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 18 Apr 18 - 10:02 AM

Here's the original American version:

Words, Ed. Harrigan; music, Dave Braham. ©1876.

1. I'm located at headquarters, a "Special Officer!"
Cornelius 'Riarity, here, at your service, Sir!
I know the thieves and blackguards too, wherever they may be,
And if you want a "fly Copper," call Moriarity!

CHORUS: I'm a dandy Copper in the Broadway Squad,
A "Metropolitan M. P."
And the young girls cry when I'm passing by,
"Are you there, Moriarity?"

2. The shop-girls going to labor in the morn at eight o'clock,
They wink and blink their loving eyes at me on ev'ry side!
They say I am their darling; with me they'd tra, la, la, le!
Is a smiling way, you'd hear them say,* "Sweet Moriarity!"

* Spoken: "You Duckey!"

3. My uniform is Navy blue, and it fits me like a duck.
I escort the ladies in the street, all thro' the mud and muck!
For Coach and horse stop when I cross; I'm the ladies' own baby!
As on they go, they whisper low, "Are you there, Moriarity?"

[The sheet music cover is marked: "Songs of the Great Sketch and Character Artists Harrigan & Hart." The publisher is Wm. A. Pond & Co., New York. You can see the sheet music at the website of The Library of Congress.]

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Are You There, Moriarity?
From: GUEST,Mick Moriarty
Date: 12 May 19 - 06:06 AM

I was told by my Irish bosses in the NSW Prison system that Moriarty was an Irish cop in Dublin.

They say he went on to write a condensed version of the law which was printed in their contemporaneous notebooks, which were ultimately called their 'Moriarty.' A tradition that exists still with English Police.

Whenever they came upon me on a post in the prison at Long Bay, they would say, "I'll be checking your Moriarty Mr More-E-R-I-T!"

One of the Irish Executive Officers would sing as he continued his patrol:
"OH! he was a Bobby on the stalwart squad on the forces of the DMP and as he walked along you could hear the girls all say How are you going More-E-R-I-T?"

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Are You There, Moriarity?
From: GUEST,My email
Date: 12 May 19 - 06:10 AM

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Subject: Lyr Req: Are You There Moriarity? - Mick Moloney
Date: 08 Jun 21 - 01:10 AM

i cant seem to find the lyrics for this song anywhere
if anyone has them it would be great

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Are You There Moriarity? - Mick Moloney
From: GUEST,#
Date: 08 Jun 21 - 09:12 AM

There ya go, and it has some song history with it, too.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Are You There, Moriarity?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Jun 21 - 08:14 PM

Here's the Mick Moloney recording from his wonderful McNally's Row of Flats album:
Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry:

Are You There, Moriarity?

DESCRIPTION: "I'm located at headquarters, a special officer, Cornelius Moriarity here at your service sir.... I'm a stalwart copper in the Broadway squad, A metropolitan MP, And the young girls cry as I pass by, Are you there Moriarity?" Girls like the handsome cop
AUTHOR: Words: Edward Harrigan / Music: David Braham (1838-1905)
EARLIEST DATE: 1876 (sheer music, LOCSheet, sm1876 07624)
KEYWORDS: police humorous courting
FOUND IN: Australia
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Finson-Edward-Harrigan-David-Braham, vol. I, #10, pp. 35-36, "Are You There Moriarity!" (1 text, 1 tune)
Meredith/Anderson-FolkSongsOfAustralia, p. 149, "Are You There, Moriarity" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #V38725
Mick Moloney, "Are You There, Moriarity" (on HarriganBrahamMaloney)
LOCSheet, sm1876 07624, "Are You There Moriarty!," Wm. A. Pond (New York), 1876(tune)
cf. "Good Old Mountain Dew" (tune, per OLochlainn)
NOTES [227 words]: For background on Harrigan and Braham, see the notes to "The Babies on Our Block."
According to Franceschina, p. 104, this is not from a full-blown Harrigan play but from a shorter sketch of "The London Comic Singers," with this one being "sung by Harrian in a policeman's uniform." The performance "presents the happy, charming Irish cop, 'quick witted, always ready to welcome with joy,' whose primary interest lies in charming the ladies rather than catching criminals" (Williams, p. 139). He apparently wasn't alone; Williams adds, "During the latter half of the nineteenth century, the Irish dominated New York City's police force," which was more an arm of Tammany Hall than a true police force; at least Moriarty, in trying to attract girls, was less venal than the policemen ging around extorting businesses on their beat.
This may actually have gotten funnier in tradition, e.g. Meredith/Anderson-FolkSongsOfAustralia has a verse, "I'm a handy fellow at a custard, I take it into 'custardy,' And the kids all cry as I go by, 'Are you there, Moriarity?'" that isn't in the printed text in Moloney.
Wikipedia mentions a game, "Are You There, Moriarty," in which blindfolded players try to hit each other with rolled-up newspapers. I would assume the name comes from this song, but I've never heard of the game and the article never mentions the song. - RBW
  • Franceschina: John Franceschina, David Braham: The American Offenbach, Routledge, 2003
  • Williams: William H. A. Williams, 'Twas Only an Irishman's Dream, University of Illinois Press, 1996
Last updated in version 5.2
File: MA149

Go to the Ballad Search form
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Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
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The Ballad Index Copyright 2021 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.

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Subject: ADD: Are You There, Moriarity?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Jun 21 - 08:50 PM

(Louis A. Tierney)

Whin ?rst I kem to Dublin town,
To good oul’ Ballagh-elee,
I wint direct, wud head erect,
For to join the D.M.G.
Me ponderous feet woke Kevin Street,
I marched wud alacrity,
For well I knew they could not do
Wudout Guard Mo-ri-ar-i-ty.

I’m a well-known bobby of the stalwart squad
I belong to the D.M.G.
And the ladies cry as I pass by,
“Are you there, Mo-ri-ar-i-ty?"

On, on I wint Wudout accidint,
Till the station came in view,
Then myself I saw as a limb of the law
Dressed out like a big boy blue.
As thro’ the gate of me future fate
I sthrode on manfully,
All the polis cried when they seen my sthride,
“There goes Mo-ri-ar-i-ty.”

The sergeant looked me‘ up and down
And down an’ up and thin,
Wud a kindly smile on his honest dial
He sthroked his rugged chin,
When as he took the station book,
“Yer name, avic?" said he;
And out I stuck me chest like a duck,
An’ said I, “Mo-ri-ar-i-ty!”

It was not long, till be me song,
Wud care and study, too,
A polisman I soon became,
Prepared me work to do.
Thieves far an’ near I ?lled wud fear,
Gaol-birds avoided me;
Malefactors trembled when they heard
The name “Mo-ri-ar-i-ty!”

Tho’ cats wor waulin’ an’ bombs wor fallin’,
An’ dogs runnin’ mad wud heat,
I sthrode along wud a merry song
On me usual daily beat.
An’ when faymales fought, a hall I sought
Till the battle was over, you see;
Then I’d march out, an’ you’d hear thim shout:
“Nix! here’s Mo-ri-ar-i-ty l”

The ladies, too, I very soon knew
Wor smitten wan an’ all;
And beneath my spell they quickly fell,
I held them in me thrall.
I’d a rale ?lm face, an’ such charm an’ such grace,
They thought an’ dhreamt of me;
And when I’d pass near I could hear quite clear:
“Oh, I love Mo-ri-ar-i-ty !”

The childher loved to have me near,
For I cared not a sthraw whin they
Used to sing that stuff about Harvey Duff
In their own most engagin’ way.
Whin some wee maid from her ma had strayed,
She’d surely be found by me;
For over she'd run: “Ah! hello, oul’ son,
Aren’t 'oo Mo-ri-ar-i-ty ?”

Whin to coort I wint, or rather was sint,
The judge on his bench looked grim;
But after a while I could see him smile
If I happened for to glance at him.
Thin I heard him say in a humorous way:
“Now, who could that constable be ?”
“My lord,” said the clerk, “he will make his mark
That's Guard Mo-ri-air-i-ty !"

Bog Latin I could speak in less than a week,
And in wan case they all got a shock,
Whin I hurled a junk iv a quid pro nunc,
Aluminium post propter hoc.
A habeus corpus or an aqua fortis,
Assinorum, cockleorum — ah, me!
Yorra! whin I’d take the ?oor the Crier used roar:
“Silence! Here's Mo-ri-ar-i-ty !”

Whin me work is done an’ me coorse is run,
An’ I’ve walked on me last long beat;
An’ to heaven's shore I quickly soar,
St. Peter up there I’ll meet.
Sure I hope he’ll say in a kindly way,
“Is it there, Tim, avic, I see?
Your reward you’ve won, for work well done,
Flap yer wings, Mo-ri-ar-i-ty !”

pp. 65-67, Walton's New Treasury of Irish Songs and Ballads, Part 2, Walton's Musical Instrument Galleries, Dublin (1966)

DMP = Dublin Metropolitan Police

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