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Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched

DigiTrad:
THE NIGHT BEFORE LARRY WAS STRETCHED


Related thread:
Lyr Req: The Night before Larry Was Stretched (14)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
The Night Before Larry Was Stretched (from More Irish Street Ballads, by Colm O Lachlainn (1965). Tune also used for "The March of Intellect.")


Clifton 53 02 Nov 99 - 08:30 AM
Liam's Brother 02 Nov 99 - 08:47 AM
Stewie 02 Nov 99 - 10:12 AM
Barry Finn 02 Nov 99 - 10:47 AM
Bruce O. 02 Nov 99 - 11:13 AM
Bruce O. 02 Nov 99 - 03:48 PM
Stewie 02 Nov 99 - 06:34 PM
JTT 02 Nov 99 - 06:34 PM
Stewie 02 Nov 99 - 07:00 PM
Barry Finn 02 Nov 99 - 08:32 PM
Barry Finn 02 Nov 99 - 09:49 PM
Bruce O. 02 Nov 99 - 11:12 PM
Bruce O. 02 Nov 99 - 11:33 PM
Bruce O. 02 Nov 99 - 11:38 PM
Liam's Brother 03 Nov 99 - 12:55 AM
Bruce O. 03 Nov 99 - 01:46 AM
Martin Ryan 03 Nov 99 - 05:43 AM
Brendy 04 Nov 99 - 03:21 AM
Bruce O. 04 Nov 99 - 02:35 PM
Robin 11 Nov 02 - 12:51 PM
12-stringer 11 Nov 02 - 06:12 PM
Joe_F 11 Nov 02 - 07:20 PM
Robin 11 Nov 02 - 07:58 PM
Robin 12 Nov 02 - 02:20 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 12 Nov 02 - 06:37 AM
Robin 12 Nov 02 - 07:33 AM
Robin 12 Nov 02 - 07:40 AM
belfast 12 Nov 02 - 08:53 AM
Robin 12 Nov 02 - 08:24 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 19 Nov 02 - 08:45 AM
Suegorgeous 09 Feb 09 - 03:54 PM
Ross Campbell 09 Feb 09 - 09:59 PM
Ross Campbell 09 Feb 09 - 10:50 PM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 10 Feb 09 - 02:11 PM
MartinRyan 10 Feb 09 - 02:19 PM
MartinRyan 10 Feb 09 - 02:50 PM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 11 Feb 09 - 08:58 AM
Barry Finn 11 Feb 09 - 09:11 AM
MartinRyan 11 Feb 09 - 11:47 AM
Big Mick 11 Feb 09 - 11:57 AM
MartinRyan 11 Feb 09 - 12:00 PM
Lighter 11 Feb 09 - 02:13 PM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 12 Feb 09 - 02:29 PM
Joe Offer 17 Sep 10 - 10:42 PM
Joe Offer 17 Sep 10 - 11:06 PM
Richard Mellish 06 Apr 14 - 08:57 AM
Jim Dixon 07 Apr 14 - 11:50 PM
Thompson 06 Aug 14 - 04:02 AM
Lighter 10 Aug 14 - 09:34 AM
Thompson 10 Aug 14 - 02:17 PM
Lighter 10 Aug 14 - 02:26 PM
MartinRyan 13 Oct 14 - 04:56 AM
Big Al Whittle 13 Oct 14 - 06:48 AM
Lighter 13 Oct 14 - 08:35 AM
MartinRyan 13 Oct 14 - 08:55 AM
MartinRyan 13 Oct 14 - 09:00 AM
Big Al Whittle 13 Oct 14 - 09:40 AM
Thompson 26 Mar 15 - 06:37 AM
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Subject: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Clifton 53
Date: 02 Nov 99 - 08:30 AM

This song again is from a Wolfe-Tones record, I think "Irish to the Core" but I'm not positive. Can anyone tell me to whom they are referring and the author? The version I have is a little different from the DT, which says that it is much shortened from the original.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 02 Nov 99 - 08:47 AM

Larry was no one in particular... except to his friends. The author was probably Zozimus (Thomas Moran), the Dubliner broadside scribe. In addition to a recording by the Wolf Tones, it has appeared (earlier) in a number of folk song books (e.g. collections by James N. Healy and Frank Harte) and was recorded by the latter. Shay Walker, another Dubliner who lives in Boston, sings it quite often.

All the best,
Dan Milner


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Stewie
Date: 02 Nov 99 - 10:12 AM

In his notes to Harte's 'Dublin Street Songs', Donagh McDonagh says it was one of a group of execution songs written in Newgate slang or cant style in the 1780s, others being 'The Kilmainham Minuet', 'Luke Caffrey's Ghost' and 'Larry's Ghost'. He says 'Larry' is attributed to one 'Hurlfoot' Bill Maher. It's a great song.

Cheers, Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Barry Finn
Date: 02 Nov 99 - 10:47 AM

Hi Stewie, would these others that you mentioned have choruses in the same style as The Night Before Larry Was Stretched (spoken)? I've heard (from Shay) that this was considered to be one of the few Newgate Ballads. Barry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Bruce O.
Date: 02 Nov 99 - 11:13 AM

The song and three tunes for it are in the Scarce Songs 1 file on my website. The song is in the Universal Songster, 1828, with attribution to "Curren" which is probably an error for John Philpot Curran


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Bruce O.
Date: 02 Nov 99 - 03:48 PM

The copy of the song in 'The Festival of Anacreon', 1789, gives the tune citation as "To the hundreds of Drury I write", which is the first line of an English single sheet song entitled "The Bowman Prigg's Farewell", c 1730. I suspect "The Night before Larry was stretched" was an imitation, but, though I have the tune, I've never found a text of the song. [Cant- a bowman prigg was a pick-purse]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Stewie
Date: 02 Nov 99 - 06:34 PM

Barry, I don't know. There is merely a mention of them by McDonagh.

Bruce O:

The version sung by Frank Harte is identical to that printed in Colm O Lochlainn's 'More Irish Street Ballads'. It has 2 additional stanzas to the text given in your website and there are minor textual variations in almost every line - the folk process at work over the years, no doubt. Some of them are decided improvements (IMO): for example, 'A dart for his napper, he made' instead of 'He made a smart stroke at his head' or 'Then sighing, he threw back his head/To get a sweet drop of the bottle' instead of 'Then stooping a little his head'. I will post the Harte version as a 'Lyr add' thread so that it may perhaps be taken up in DT as the fullest available version.

May I also congratulate you on your magnificent website.

Cheers, Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: JTT
Date: 02 Nov 99 - 06:34 PM

You'll get the words on the album Common Ground, where Elvis Costello sings it well.

A few translations: "They sweated their duds till they riz it" - they pawned their clothes till they raised the price of it; "the squeezer" - the gallows; "a sneezer" - a few pinches of snuff; "gob" - mouth; "glims" - candles; "that's all in my eye" - that's all nonsense; "knob" - head (in this case); "jack ketch" - the hangman; "they mind not such trifles a feck" - they don't mind such trifles a bit; "tip us the deck" - get out the cards; "napper" - head; "soon I'll demolish your noddle" - soon I'll demolish your head; "and leave you your claret to drink" - leave you your blood to drink...oh, for goodness sake, this is going on and on. Someone else finish it.


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Subject: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched (2)
From: Stewie
Date: 02 Nov 99 - 07:00 PM

As I indicated in the other thread on this that I would post the Harte/O Lochlainn text. I almost forgot the damn line breaks again - it would have looked a fine mess:

THE NIGHT BEFORE LARRY WAS STRETCHED

The night before Larry was stretched,
The boys they all paid him a visit;
A bait in their sacks, too, they fetched,
They sweated their duds till they riz it:
For Larry was ever the lad,
When a boy was condemned to the squeezer,
Would fence all the duds that he had
To help a poor friend to a sneezer,
And moisten his gob 'fore he died.

The boys they came crowding in fast,
They drew all their stools round about him;
Six glims round his trap-case were placed,
He couldn't be well waked without 'em.
When one of us asked could he die
Without having duly repented?
Says Larry, that's all in my eye,
And first by the clergy invented
To get a fat bit for themselves.

I'm sorry, dear Larry, says I,
To see you in this situation;
And blister my limbs if I lie,
I'd as lief it had been my own station.
Ochon! it's all over, says he.
For the neckcloth I'll be forced to put on,
And this time tomorrow you'll see
Poor Larry as dead as a mutton
Because why, his courage was good.

And I'll be cut up like a pie,
And my nob from my body be parted.
You're in the wrong box, then, says I,
For blast me if they're so hard-hearted;
A chalk on the back of your neck
Is all that Jack Kesh dares to give you;
Then mind not such trifles a feck,
For why should the likes of them grieve you?
And, now boys, come tip us the deck.

The cards being called for, they played,
Till Larry found one of them cheated;
A dart for his napper, he made
(The boy being easily heated);
Horo! by the hokey, you thief,
I'll scuttle your nob with my doddle!
You cheat me because I'm in grief,
But soon I'll demolish your noddle
And leave you your claret to drink.

Then the clergy came in with his book,
He spoke him so smooth and so civil;
Larry tipped him a Kilmainham look,
And pitched his big wig to the devil;
Then sighing, he threw back his head
To get a sweet drop of the bottle,
And, pitiful sighing, he said,
O the hemp will be soon round my throttle,
And choke my poor windpipe to death.

Though sure 'tis the best way to die,
O the devil a better a-livin'!
For when the damn gallows is high
Your journey is shorter to heaven;
What harasses Larry the most,
And makes his poor soul melancholy
As he thinks of the time when his ghost
Will come in a sheet to sweet Molly;
Och sure it will kill her alive!

So moving these last words he spoke,
We vented our tears in a shower;
Meself, sure, I thought my heart broke,
To see him cut down like a flower.
On his travels we watched him next day;
The throttler, I thought I could kill him;
But Larry not one word would he say,
Nor changed till he came to King William,
Then, musha, his colour turned white.

When he came to the old numbing chit,
He was tucked up, so neat and so pretty;
The rumbler jogged off from his feet,
And he died with his face to the city!
He kicked, too, but that was all pride,
For soon you might see 'twas all over;
Soon after the noose was untied,
And at darkee we waked him in clover,
And sent him to take a ground sweat.
^^

Source: Frank Harte 'Dublin Street Songs Topic 12T172. This the same text as that printed as song 52a in Colm O Lochlainn (Ed) 'More Irish Street Ballads' The Three Candles, Dublin 1968 pp 235-237. Copyright Colm O Lochlainn 1965.

Note: Donagh McDonagh: 'The King William at the sight of which Larry blanched was an equestrian statue of the victor of the Battle of the Boyne which stood in College Green and which has since been blown up (naturally)'.


This message was moved here from another thread.
-Joe Offer-


The tune (from O Lochlainn) is also used for "The March of Intellect."

Click to play


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Larry Was Stretched (2)
From: Barry Finn
Date: 02 Nov 99 - 08:32 PM

& the condemed was hung with their face to King Willy so he'd be the last face they'd see before meeting their maker. Barry
This message was moved here from another thread.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Barry Finn
Date: 02 Nov 99 - 09:49 PM

Bruce & Stewie, those others mentioned above ('The Kilmainham Minuet', 'Luke Caffrey's Ghost' and 'Larry's Ghost') does anyone have the words to these or where I might find them? Thanks. Barry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Bruce O.
Date: 02 Nov 99 - 11:12 PM

Sorry, Barry, I don't have any of them.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Bruce O.
Date: 02 Nov 99 - 11:33 PM

1780's may have been when the Irish took up composing cant songs, but the English had been doing it for a long time by then. There are several cant songs at the end of 'The Scoundrel's Dictionary', 1754, and G. A. Stevens wrote a few in the 1760's. Wm. Logan reprinted several in 'The Pedlar's Pack', and there is a book of them (which I don't have) by J. S. Farmer.

I find I have the 1st verse (only) of "The Bowman Prigg's Farewel"

To the hundreds of Drury I write,
& to all my filching companions,
To the Buttocks that pad it by night
Along with the crew of Rasklions.
I non who am rub'd the wit can rattle,
my Darbys with pleasure and laugh at the culls,
For I have still store of their treasure
Tol lol de rol---------
Rattle my Darbys with pleasure.
Toll lol de rol lol de rol.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Bruce O.
Date: 02 Nov 99 - 11:38 PM

J. S. Farmer's book is 'Musa Pedestra', and you can order a used copy from www.bibliofind.com


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 12:55 AM

Hi Bruce!

Can you tell us where (what city) the Universal Songster was published and where (in what library) there might be a copy. I, personally, haven't seen "Larry" on a broadside. I'd love to see 19th century print of it. Thanks.

All the best,
Dan Milner


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Bruce O.
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 01:46 AM

The song is with music in 'Walker's Hibernian Magazine', 1787, and with tune direction but without music in 'The Festival of Anacreon', 1789, and c 1791. The Universal Songster (without music) was 3 vols., London, 1st- 1825, 2nd-1826, and 3rd- 1828, and there were a few reprint editions. [There are others of this title also]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 05:43 AM

I put the short version of Larry into the DT - its as much as I find I can remember in one go!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Brendy
Date: 04 Nov 99 - 03:21 AM

Christy Moore, on his 1978 album "The Iron behind the Velvet", sings a song called "Patrick's arrival". In the sleeve notes he mentions the connection between this 'newer' song and the the older 'Larry'. Great song!!!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Bruce O.
Date: 04 Nov 99 - 02:35 PM

In search for something else in my songbook notes I found I had seen a couple more early copies of "The night before Larry was stretched", both without music- Paddy Whack's Bottle Companion, 1791, and Apollo's Budget, 1801.


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Subject: Lyr Add: DE NITE AFORE LARRY WAS STRETCH'D
From: Robin
Date: 11 Nov 02 - 12:51 PM

Both texts of "The Night Before Larry Was Stretched" in Digitrad are late versions. The earliest surviving text is more pungent:

DE NITE AFORE LARRY WAS STRETCH'D

De night afore Larry was stretch'd
de Boys de all ped him a visit
bait too in dir Sacs de all fetch'd
de sweated dir duds till de ris it
for Larry was ever de Lad.
when a Boy was condemd to de squeezers
he'd swet all de duds dat he had
to help his poor friend to a sneezer
and warm his Gob fore he died.

De Boys de came crowding in fast
de drew all dir Stools round about him
nine Glims round his trapcase were plac'd
he could not be wakd well widout em.
whin one of us axd could he die
widout having truely repinted
O say's Larry dats all in my Eye
and first by de Clargy invinted
to get a fat bit for dirselves.

Im sorry dear Larry says I
to see you in dis Situation
and blister my Limbs if I lie
If I live it will be my own Station
Uchone its all over says he
de neckcloth Ill be forced to put on
By dis dime to morrow youll see
poor Larry as ded as de mutton
bekase why his courage was good.

Den Ill be cut up like a pye
and my nob from my Body be parted
your in the rong box den says I
for de never will be so hard hearted
a Chalk on de back of your neck
Is all dat Jack Ketch dare to give you
den mind not such trifles a feck
for why should de likes a dem greif you
and now boys come tip us de deck

De Cards being call'd for we pled
till Larry vount one a dem cheated
a dart ad is napper he made
de boy being easily heated
and ses be do hoky you teef
Ill splinter your skull wid my daddle
you cheat me bekase Im in Greif
but soon Ill demolish your noddle
and tip you Your Claret to drink

De gownsman step'd in wid his book
and spoke him so neat & so civil
Larry tipt him a Kilmainham look
and pitchd his big wig to de devil
den raising a little his head
he took a sup out a de bottle
and sighing most bitterly said
Oh de hemp will be soon round my throttle
and squeeze my poor windpipe to det.

But sure dis de best way to die
oh de devil a better a livin
for when on de Gallows so high
de way is de shorter to heaven
but what harrashes Larry de most
& makes his poor soul malankolly
wen he dinks on de dime dat his
Gost shall come in a Sheet to his Molly
O sure it will kill her alive

Deeze words were so meltingly spoke
our Grif it found vent in a Shower
for my part I dot my hart broke
to see him cut down like a flower
On his travels I watchd him next day
de trottler I tot to have kilt him
But Larry not one word did say
nor changed till he kem to king William
and den why his kuller grew white

When he kem to the nubbing chit
he was tuckd up so neat & so pritty
de rumbler shuot off from his feet
& he died wid his feet to the sitty
he kick'd too but dat was all pride
for soon you may say twas all over
and whin the noose was untyd at home
why we wak'd him in clover
and sent him to take a Ground sweat.

(Text from: Andrew CARPENTER, ed., Verse in English from Eighteenth-Century Ireland (Cork University Press, 1998)

+Ireland Sixty Years Ago+ (c1840?, referring to c1780?), Chapter 8 gives details of the figure who may have been the original Larry, and ventures some thoughts on the authorship of the text:

"
A man named Lambert was an outcast of a respectable family, and was known thus to have spent his last precious moments; and it was on him the celebrated song of "De nite afore Larry was stretched" is supposed to have been written. He was a cripple, paralytic on one side, but of irreclaimable habits. He was at once ferocious and cowardly, and was reported to have always counselled murdering those whom he had robbed. When on his way to execution, he shrieked, and clung with his hands to whatever was near him, and was dragged with revolting violence, by the cord about his neck, to the gallows from which he fell.

The celebrated song composed on him has acquired a lasting fame, not only as a picture of manners, but of phraseology now passed away; and its authorship is a subject of as much controversy as the letters of Junius. Report has conferred the reputation of it on Burrowes, Curran, Lysaght, and others, who have never asserted their claims. We shall mention one more claimant whose pretensions are equal to those of any other. There was at that time, a man named Maher, in Waterford, who kept a cloth shop at the market cross; he had a distorted ancle, and was known by the sobriquet of "Hurlfoot Bill." He was "a fellow of infinite humour," and his compositions on various local and temporary subjects were in the mouths of all his acquaintance …
"

http://indigo.ie/~kfinlay/60years%20ago/chapter8.htm

Carpenter notes that the last procession before the statue of King William, which stood in College Green, outside Trinity College, Dublin, took place in 1783, so that the poem must date from before this.

By 1789, the poem was already well-enough known to be parodied. See +The Sham Squire and the Informers of '98+ by William J. Fitzpatrick (1866), quoting a Dublin newspaper of 1789.):

Oh, de night afore Edgwort was tried,
De Council dey met in despair …

http://indigo.ie/~kfinlay/shamsquire/satires.htm

Robin


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: 12-stringer
Date: 11 Nov 02 - 06:12 PM

There is a reference in the Lyman C Draper MSS to Major William McMahon, of Ohio County, VA (now WV), reciting "The Night Before Larry Was Stretched" over a freshly taken Indian scalp, sometime c1792. The reference dates from about 60 years later, and I had wondered if it was possibly anachronistic, as I could not find anything at the time to show the piece was as old as this. Of course there was no Internet when I was looking, and no easy access to people who knew the data given above!

Regrettably, Draper's informant did not give a text, only the title. (And it refers to his speaking, not singing, it.) Does this suggest that "Larry" may have had reprints in America fairly soon after publication in Dublin?

Thanks to all for the info. I'm quite pleased to know the Draper reference is chronologically OK.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Joe_F
Date: 11 Nov 02 - 07:20 PM

What's a Kilmainham look?

Too bad there's no way, these days, to go to your own wake.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Robin
Date: 11 Nov 02 - 07:58 PM

Joe F asks, "What's a Kilmainham look?"

Carpenter has a notE:

"
A Kilmainham look is a contemptuous look such as felons about to be executed might give to the clergy attending them. Kilmainham Gaol, west of Dublin, was the place of execution of felons from County Dublin. Until 1783, Dublin city criminals (like Larry) were executed either at a site between present-day Upper Fitzwilliam Street and Lad Lane or at St Stephen's Green.
"

Carpenter follows Larry in his anthology with "Luke Caffrey's Kilmainham Minit" and "A New Song call'd Luke Caffrey's Gost".

(A text of "LC's KM" [close to but not identical with the version in Carpenter] can be found in +Ireland Sixty Years Ago+ here

Robin


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Robin
Date: 12 Nov 02 - 02:20 AM

There are four texts of (the English) Larry in the Bodleian -- click here
-- and put "Larry" in the Search Box. (Only three seem to be reproduced.)

Robin


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 12 Nov 02 - 06:37 AM

J M Synge brings it into one of his short plays, The Tinker's Wedding, from which I asume it must have been well known on the west coast (of Ireland) a hundred years ago.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Robin
Date: 12 Nov 02 - 07:33 AM

Re Synge:

Thanks for that, Fiona -- the only Synge I know is the Playboy, so I hadn't come on this:

    MARY -- (suddenly shouting behind, tipsily) -- Larry was a fine lad, I'm saying; Larry was a fine lad, Sarah Casey --
    MICHAEL. Whist, now, the two of you. There's my mother coming, and she'd have us destroyed if she heard the like of that talk the time she's been drinking her fill.
    MARY -- (comes in singing) --
    And when we asked him what way he'd die,
       And he hanging unrepented,
    "Begob," says Larry, "that's all in my eye,
       By the clergy first invented."
    SARAH. Give me the jug now, or you'll have it spilt in the ditch.

ftp://ftp.compsci.lyon.edu/pub/gutenberg/etext98/tnkwd10.txt

Shows how the song persisted.

I +thought+ I first encountered it in Robert Graves' +English and Scottish Ballads+, but I can't find it there. I'm still pretty sure Graves deals with it somewhere -- anyone help?

Robin


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Robin
Date: 12 Nov 02 - 07:40 AM

Ooops -- sorry -- Fionn.

Bit tipsy mesel the noo.

(Bodleian, incidentally, have five copies of Larry, only three reproduced. I missed one initially as it's indexed as "The Night Before La[rry] Was Stretched", so doesn't show up on a "Larry" search. Got it via the "Executions" Subject search.)

    For malt does more than Milton can
    To justify God's ways to man.

Robin

(As in Robin Roy McGregor Campbell.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: belfast
Date: 12 Nov 02 - 08:53 AM

Sorry to be a little bit pedantic, but just because Synge mentions the ballad in a play set in the Aran Islands does not mean that the islanders themselves would have been acquainted with the song. Synge was a fairly cosmoplitan kind of guy and would more likely have heard the song in Dublin.

In his book "The Aran Islands"(1906?) he does talk about, and notes the words of, some songs but not, as far as I recall, any Dublin street ballads.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Robin
Date: 12 Nov 02 - 08:24 PM

This is becoming Deeply Silly.

Tinker was PUBLISHED Dublin 1907. I presume it was staged at the Abbey earlier.

All this goes to show is that Larry was alive alive o then.

But you CAN bloody date the text about 1870s.

God, my head's not right -- geez a break.

Robin

(Incidentally, Synge doesn't "mention" the ballad, he has a character sing four line from it -- more than a mention.

R2)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 19 Nov 02 - 08:45 AM

Synge has a character sing lines from it AND ends the scene with it (stage direction).

Belfast, you're not being pedantic, as that implies you are also correct. In this case you might not be.

Synge went to some lengths to research his "west coast" plays - the dialect and speech patterns etc. I don't say he always got it right, but it would have been relatively easy for him to ensure that any song he put into a character's mouth was one that the character might have had some chance of knowing.

(I wasn't mentioning the reference as a factor in dating the song of course, just as a matter of interest. It obviously pre-dates Synge by quite a while.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 03:54 PM

Elvis Costello recorded this.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 09:59 PM

"The Night Before Larry was Stretched", sung by Johnny Moynihan, is the running theme song of "O'Donoghue's Opera", a film dramatisation of the "Larry" story, begun but never completed in 1965, and put together from surviving fragments in 1997.

The film was mentioned in an earlier thread on Ted McKenna,and Big Mick gave it a plug in the Dubliners Ballad Opera thread, but I think it deserves to be linked here - a lovely piece of work!

Ross


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 10:50 PM

Would you believe it?
O'Donoghue's Opera at the Irish Film Festival Feb 13-15 2009, VotivKino Vienna (on Sunday, 2.15pm)
Still time to get your Ryanair tickets!

Irish Film Institute notes if you're still not convinced:-

"O'DONOGHUE'S OPERA IS IRELAND'S FIRST MUSICAL FILM. A MOCK OPERA MADE IN 1965 WHICH RAN INTO FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES BEFORE IT WAS PROPERLY COMPLETED—BUT AFTER IT HAD GATHERED CULT STATUS.

Extraordinarily, it remained unseen until veteran filmmaker Tom Hayes brought the out-takes to Sé Merry Doyle, who oversaw its painstaking restoration around 10 year ago. The hilarious film stars Ronnie Drew and his band of bohemian merrymakers, The Dubliners. Based on the ballad 'The Night That Larry Was Stretched', sung by a young Johnny Moynihan, the film finds Drew caught in a hangman's noose as a reward for his dubious career as 'the best burglar in all Ireland'. This tongue-in-cheek film has the flavour of an Irish Spaghetti Western and captures the spirit of Dublin camaraderie like no other work before or since: the Guinness, the music, the wit and the grit, it's all there in abundance. The original elements of this film are preserved at the Irish Film Archive."

The film was produced and directed by Kevin Sheldon. Trevor Crozier's name appears in the credits (on one of the bar-stools - a minute or so into the film). Any ideas what his role was?

It's worth 37 minutes of your time - go on, spoil yourself.

Ross


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 02:11 PM

In Colm O'Lochlainn's "Irish Street Ballads" (I don't know which of the two volumes), he suggests Oliver Goldsmith as the maker of the song, and as far as I remember he quotes at length from an article he wrote on the matter. It seems Goldsmith was in the habit of disguising himself as an itinerant ballad-singer and going around the streets of Dublin hawking ballads, some of his own composition.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: MartinRyan
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 02:19 PM

ABCD

That story rings a bell - but I don't think it was about Larry, which appears, without comment, in the Appendix to More Irish Street Ballads

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: MartinRyan
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 02:50 PM

Yeah, got it. O'Lochlainn was talking about "The March of Intellect" (No. 52 in MISB) - which goes to the same air as Larry (No. 52a, in the Appendix).

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 08:58 AM

That's what comes of writing from memory! Just as well that a potential "red herring" was "nipped in the ...gills" (to avoid mixing the metaphor). I do hope that the half-hour you spent with the O'Lochlainn volumes wasn't entirely devoted to the search, but you appreciated anew the little wood-cuts &c with which the volumes are enlivened further. I'll make more use of "IIRC" in future (which I think means "if I recall correctly"); let's hope that's right, at least.   

One thing that struck me about "Larry" upon first reading it, and trying over the air, was the way in which the last line of each verse, instead of being a "tol-de-lol-ol-de-lol-lay" kind of refrain, actually completes the sense of a statement; the kind of playing with established convention which may be seen as a sign of especial poetic talent?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Barry Finn
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 09:11 AM

Shay Walker, from Dublin when he sings this the last line you're refering to he does it as spoken words
He by far does the best version I've ever heard

Barry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: MartinRyan
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 11:47 AM

Yeah - speaking the last line is very common with Larry . The late great Frank Harte always did so, too. For myself, I find I usually sing the last line - except in the case of the last verse.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Big Mick
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 11:57 AM

Funny story about Shay. He, Dan Milner, and I were at the Boston Singers Circle at the pub on North Station, I think Barry was there that night too. As we got a few jars in us, I decided to have a bit of fun with Shay. First, I told him he sang like Derek Warfield...... LOL ....... he went ballistic and that set off a bit of a singing competition. He told me he was going to sing a song that I probably didn't know. He sang "Larry", finished .... and sat there with a wee smug look on his face and asked me what I thought. I told him I thought he forgot a couple of verses and sang them. You would have loved to have been there.... priceless.

Shay is one hell of a singer, and it was a pleasure to sing with him. And I enjoyed taking the piss a bit too. Hard to match that style.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: MartinRyan
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 12:00 PM

Incidentally, O'Lochlainn's two books are, of course, great favourites of mine. For many years, I have had hard cover editions of each, complete with (slightly battered) dust-jackets. Then, a few months ago, in a secondhand bookshop, I came across a copy of MISB in nearly mint condition internally. It had been rebound, probably when new - and looks as though it was never opened since! Bookseller had no idea where it come from. I normally sell on duplicate copies of anything I own - but not this one!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Lighter
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 02:13 PM

Anonymous chapbook: "Young Squire Reynolds's Welcome Home to Ireland. To which are added, II. Larry's ghost: III. De night before Larry was stretch'd." Monaghan, 1788.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 02:29 PM

With regard to giving the last line of a song "parlando" (hope that's right!), this was a feature of performances by the first traditional singer I ever heard "live", when I was a child and he was already an old man. I noticed it in performances by several others over the years, and, in some songs, now do so myself. This I originally did because, well, it seemed appropriate, and was obviously a feature in Irish singing. However, a few years back, I heard on a Radio programme that this practice goes back at least to Ancient Greece, and was intended to signal a return from the exalted realm of Poetry and Music to the mundane. Anyone else heard of this, and what do you think of the idea?

Mind you, my mother said that, when she and her brothers and sisters heard the same singer doing the same thing back in the nineteen-thirties, they all just thought he had become tired...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Sep 10 - 10:42 PM

Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry for this song:

    Night Before Larry Was Stretched, The

    DESCRIPTION: "The night before Larry was stretched (hanged), the boys all paid him a visit." They come to commiserate with Larry, the most gallant, sporting -- and rebellious -- of the lot. He dies gallantly, "grow[s] white" at the name of King William, and is buried
    AUTHOR: unknown
    EARLIEST DATE: before 1813 (broadside, Bodleian Johnson Ballads 377); the tune seems to have been in use by 1803 (implied by its use in Jemmy O'Brien's Minuet, published in _Paddy's Resource or the Harp of Erin_)
    KEYWORDS: rebellion execution Ireland funeral
    HISTORICAL REFERENCES:
    1688-1702 - Reign of William III of Britain, whose victory at the Boyne (1690) solidified British rule over Ireland
    FOUND IN: Ireland
    REFERENCES (8 citations):
    PBB 95, "The Night Before Larry Was Stretched" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Hodgart, p. 208, "The Night before Larry was Stretched" (1 text)
    OLochlainn-More 52A, "The Night Before Larry Was Stretched" (1 text, 1 tune)
    DT, LARRYSTR*
    ADDITIONAL: Kathleen Hoagland, editor, One Thousand Years of Irish Poetry (New York, 1947), pp. 289-292, "The Night Before Larry Was Stretched" (1 text)
    H. Halliday Sparling, Irish Minstrelsy (London, 1888), pp. 475-477, 514, "The Night Before Larry Was Stretched"
    Thomas Kinsella, _The New Oxford Book of Irish Verse_ (Oxford, 1989), pp. 261-263, "The Night Before Larry Was Stretched" (1 text)
    Frank Harte _Songs of Dublin_, second edition, Ossian, 1993, pp. 38-40, "The Night Before Larry Was Stretched" (1 text, 1 tune)

    BROADSIDES:
    Bodleian, Johnson Ballads 377, "The Night Before Larry Was Stretch'd"[last 5 lines missing], J. Evans (London), 1780-1812; also Harding B 28(199), "Night Before Larry Was Stretch'd"
    CROSS-REFERENCES:
    cf. "The Skipper's Wedding" (tune)
    cf. "Saint Patrick of Ireland, My Dear!" (tune)
    cf. "Jemmy O'Brien's Minuet" (partial tune)
    SAME TUNE:
    Saint Patrick of Ireland, My Dear! (File: CPS028)
    Cats' Eyes (broadside NLScotland, L.C.1269(170b), "Cats' Eyes," Poet's Box (Glasgow?), 1858
    Crafty Codger, or The Placehunter Out (Healy-OISBv2, pp. 111-113)
    To G. K. Chesterton (Kathleen Hoagland, editor, One Thousand Years of Irish Poetry (New York, 1947), p. 692)
    Notes: Sparling, p. 514: "Hitherto the 'Night' has, through carelessness or ignorance, been printed incomplete, even by Graves, but the present version is unmutilated. It has been obtained by the careful collation of very many old chap-books and ballad-sheets." OLochlainn-More 52A is essentially the same as Sparling.
    [Regarding the authorship:] Handy Andy is a novel Samuel Lover published in 1842. Discussing authorship of street ballads, a character says, on page 468, "'The Night Before Larry Was Stretched' was done by a bishop they say." (The edition is in the Irish Literature series published by PF Collier and Son, under The Selected Writings of Samuel Lover, Vol 6, Handy Andy part 2).
    Sparling, p. 514: "Dublin street song, wrongly attributed to Dean Burrows; the only thing at all certain as to its origin is that he did not write it [supported by a reference to A.P. Graves].... The real writer was probably William Maher, best known as 'Hurlfoot Bill,' a worthy of the type he so well describes." - BS
    File: PBB095

    Go to the Ballad Search form
    Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
    Go to the Bibiography
    Go to the Discography

    The Ballad Index Copyright 2009 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


The tune (from O Lochlainn) is that of "The March of Intellect,"

Click to play


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Subject: Tune Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Sep 10 - 11:06 PM

Here are the three tunes from Bruce Olson's Website, which is now located at Mudcat.


X:43
T:NTLRYST1- To the hundreds of Drury I write
Q:1/4=60
L:1/4
M:9/4
K:G dorian
G/A/|BGBAG^FG3/2 A/B|(Ac)AF3/2 G/AcAc/ c/|BGBAG^FG2D|\
DGGG3/2 B/AB/G3/2||B|B3/2 c/Bd3/2 c/Bf2A|ABccAB c/ A3/2c|\
BGBA^FAG2D|DGGA3/2 B/AB/ G3/2||\
M:3/4
L:1/4
"Chorus"B/(G/A/)^F/ G/A/4B/4|c/4B/4A/4G/4 F/B/ A/4B/4c/4A/4|\
B/G/A/^F/ G|D/G/ G/B/ A/4B/4c/4A/4|B3/4f/4 (e3/4d/8e/8) f|\
c/4B/4A/4G/4 F/B/ A/4B/4c/4A/4|G/g/ (f3/4d/8e/8) f|
(3 d/e/f/ (3 g/d/c/ B/4A3/4|B/G/4B/4 A/^F/4A/4 .G|]

(try Q:1/4=120 -Joe-)


X:44
T:NTLRYST2- The Night Before Larry Was Sretched (corrected)
S:Walker's Hibernian Magazine, 1787
Q:1/4=120
L:1/8
M:9/8
K:Gm
(d6d3)|BAG GA^F G2G|AFF FGF cAz|(d6d3)|BAG GA^FG2G|\
AGF e=ed cA||d|dgg ga^fg2d/d/|dgg gab afd|c=ef fg=ef2d|\
cBA f=ed cA||]



X:45
T:NTLRYST3- The night before Larry was stretched
S:O'Neill's Music of Ireland, #39
Q:1/4=60
L:1/8
M:9/8
K:Gm
(d/2c/2)|B3/2A/G GDG G2B|A3/2G/F FCF ABc|B3/2A/G GDG G2B|\
A3/2B/c cdB AGF|| B3/2c/d ded f2d|B3/2c/d d=ef _ecA|\
B3/2c/d ded d2 d|edc cdB ABc|BAG AG^F G2|]

(try Q:1/4=90 This tune is very similar to The March of Intellect -Joe-)

To play or display ABC tunes, try concertina.net


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 06 Apr 14 - 08:57 AM

Methinks the 'Cat is playing silly Bs with this thread. Just now the front page has a line
Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched    46    06 Apr 14 - 07:23 AM
i.e. just a little while ago, but when I get here the last posting that is visible is from Joe Offer in September 2010.

Thinks: could this be because it had attracted spam, which has been deleted while leaving the front page time stamp?

Richard


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE NIGHT BEFORE LARRY WAS STRETCHED
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 07 Apr 14 - 11:50 PM

Here's the oldest version I can find in Google Books:

From Second Part. The Festival of Anacreon: Containing a Collection of Modern Songs, Written for the Anacreontic Society, the Beef-Steak, and Humbug Clubs. by Captain Morris, Mr. Hewerdine, Sir John Moore, and Other Lyric Writers, ... Volume 5 (London: George Peacock, 1790), page 23:

The Night before LARRY was Stretch'd.
A favourite Song in all the Convivial Societies in Ireland.
Air.—To the Hundreds of Drury I write.

The night before Larry was stretch'd,
    The boys they all paid him a visit;
And BIT in their sacks too they fetch'd,
    They sweated their duds 'till they RIZ it;
For Lary was always the lad,
    When a friend was condemn'd to the squeezer;
But he'd FENCE all the TOGS that he had,
    To help a poor friend to a sneezer;
        And moister his GOB 'fore he died. *

I'm sorry, now Larry, says I,
    To see you in this situation,
'Pon my conscience, my lad, I don't lie,
    I'd rather it had been my own station;
Och hone! its all over, says he,
    For the neckcloth I'm forc'd for to put on;
And by this time to-morrow you'll see,
    Your Larry will be dead as mutton;
        Bekays why, my dear, my courage was good.

The boys they came crouding in fast,
    They drew all their stools round about him;
Six glims on his coffin were plac'd,
    He couldn't be well wak'd without them;
I ax'd if he was fit for to die,
    Without having first duly repented;
Says Larry that's all in my eye,
    Its only what gownsmen invented;
        To get a fat bit for themselves.

The cards being call'd for they play'd,
    'Till Larry found one of them cheated,
He made a smart stroke at his head,
    (The boy being easily heated)
Oh! by the holy, you reef,
    I'll scuttle your nob with my daddle;
You cheat me because I'm in grief,
    But soon I'll demolish your noddle;
        And leave you your claret to drink.

Then in came the priest with his book;
    He spoke him so smooth and so civil.
Larry tipt him a Kilmainham look,
    And pitch'd his big wig to the devil.
Then stooping a little his head
    To get a sweet drop of the bottle,
And pitiful sighing he said,
    Oh the hemp will be soon round my throttle;
        And choke my poor windpipe to death.

So moving these last words he spoke,
    We all vented our tears in a shower;
For my part I thought my heart broke,
    To see him cut down like a flower:
On his travels we watch'd him next day,
    Oh! the hangman I thought I could kill him;
Not one word poor Larry did say,
    Nor chang'd till he came to King William; **
        Then, my dear, his colour turn'd white.

When he came to the nubbing chit,
    He was tuck'd up so neat and so pretty,
The rumbler jogg'd off from his feet,
    And he died with his face to the city!
He kick'd too,—but that was all pride,
    For soon you might see 'twas all over;
Soon after the noose was untied,
    And at darky we wak'd him in clover,
        And sent him to take a ground sweat.

* The last line of every verse not sung but spoke with an Irish brogue.
** A Statue in College Green, Dublin.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Thompson
Date: 06 Aug 14 - 04:02 AM

That statue of King William appears in a funny story in James Joyce's story The Dead - the wealthy loyalists of Dublin liked to parade down Dame Street from City Hall and circle it and go onwards, but a hopefully upwardly-mobile uncle has harnessed up to his carriage his mill pony, which (as was its working custom) continued to go around and around once it was steered around the first time.
The reason poor Larry would turn white when he reached the statue was that it stood at the border of the land known as Hoggen Green, which stretched from Trinity College over to St Patrick's Cathedral, and where the city's main gibbet stood.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Lighter
Date: 10 Aug 14 - 09:34 AM

The appearance of "King William" places the story (not the song) before 1702. (William IV didn't ascend to the throne till 1830.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Thompson
Date: 10 Aug 14 - 02:17 PM

Surely the statue was there afterwards, not before?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Lighter
Date: 10 Aug 14 - 02:26 PM

Ah, the statue! You're obviously right.

I was thinking that someone was reading him the sentence, with William's name in it, before he was stretched.

Thanks for the correction.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: MartinRyan
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 04:56 AM

Nice version of this at The Goilin Song Project, sung by Anne Buckely:

Click here

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 06:48 AM

I seem to remember the medical students were singing this song in Joyce's Ulyssess


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Lighter
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 08:35 AM

Maybe they were students of chiropractic.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: MartinRyan
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 08:55 AM

For the reference in Ulysses
Click here

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: MartinRyan
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 09:00 AM

And while we're on about Joyce, here's a little something from Finnegans Wake

Click here

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 09:40 AM

bloody hell Martin - that was clever!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Thompson
Date: 26 Mar 15 - 06:37 AM

I see the Wiki on The Night Before Larry was Stretched says the tune is not an Irish one, but comes from an English ballad. This sounds highly unlikely to me - it sounds like a jig tune?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Lighter
Date: 26 Mar 15 - 07:18 PM

The English had jigs too. In any case, eighteenth-century songs were usually sung much more slowly than jig time.

The tune title "To the Hundreds of Drury I Write" appears - as though everyone knows the melody - in Robert Drury's farcical ballad opera "The Devil of a Duke; or Trapolin's Vagaries." Unfortunately the tune is not given, though the "Larry" tune, with its unusual ninth line per stanza, fits it quite well.

A text of the "Hundreds" song - written appropriately in cant - appears in "The Musical Companion, or Lady's Magazine" (1741). Another song with of same title (about pimps) is in "The Compleatest Collection of Old and New English and Scotch Songs, that Have Hitherto Been Published" (1745).

All of these books were published in London, and none promises any Irish material.

"The Festival of Anacreon" (ca1790) includes "Larry" to the indicated "Hundreds" tune, with the note that as of that time "Larry" was "A favourite Song in all the Convivial Societies in Ireland."

If current tune for "Larry" is the original - as it most likely is - it certainly appears to be of English, not Irish, origin.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: MartinRyan
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 01:01 AM

A slip jig, of course.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Lighter
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 06:44 AM

Hi ,Martin, does that make it Irish automatically?

When, BTW, are slip jigs first recorded?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Lighter
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 06:52 AM

And here is sheet music and a midi of what seems to be the original tune, from the late Bruce Olson's terrific collection:


http://abcnotation.com/tunePage?a=www.fresnostate.edu/folklore/Olson/S1.ABC/0041

It is recognizably the current "Larry" tune with 18th century characteristics. But s-l-o-o-o-w.

Francis O'Neill included the "folk version" in O'Neill's Music of Ireland" (1903), as played by fiddler James O'Neill (no relative). Where O'Neill got it from is unknown: maybe tradition, maybe an old publication.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Night Before Larry Was Stretched
From: Lighter
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 07:08 AM

"The Hundreds" as given is very much a stage tune: the slow pace feels like a semi-recitative, and the variations/elaborations are surely for musicians in the orchestra pit, presumably as a finale or ad lib between stanzas.

"Larry" has to be sung slowly as well if it is to make any sense at all. Possibly gestures were required to give hints of the meaning of the cant words - which had already appeared for the enlightenment of the public in various cant glossaries and dictionaries over many decades.

"Cant songs" were a minor genre of the late 17th and early 18th century.


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