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Lyr Add: The Mountjoy Hotel

GUEST,Crazy Eddie 05 Sep 00 - 07:33 AM
paddymac 05 Sep 00 - 03:00 PM
Malcolm Douglas 05 Sep 00 - 05:17 PM
paddymac 06 Sep 00 - 10:33 AM
GUEST 07 Sep 00 - 01:19 AM
Joe Offer 07 Sep 00 - 04:44 AM
paddymac 07 Sep 00 - 02:24 PM
Wolfgang 08 Nov 00 - 07:24 AM
paddymac 08 Nov 00 - 10:59 AM
GUEST,Wolfgang 08 Nov 00 - 12:15 PM
Snuffy 08 Nov 00 - 06:51 PM
MartinRyan 08 Nov 00 - 08:09 PM
GUEST,mr. g 05 Feb 11 - 09:59 PM
zozimus 06 Feb 11 - 01:21 PM
MartinRyan 06 Feb 11 - 01:41 PM
zozimus 06 Feb 11 - 02:50 PM
GUEST 30 Apr 12 - 09:54 AM
Charley Noble 30 Apr 12 - 03:49 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: THE MOUNTJOY HOTEL^^
From: GUEST,Crazy Eddie
Date: 05 Sep 00 - 07:33 AM

Several years ago, I worked in a small hotel. Occasionally, (very occasionally) a singing session would occur. The night porter's party-piece was a song that I never heard (or heard mentioned) anywhere else. I have no idea of the song's history, or where he got it.

A recent visit to the hotel brought back some memories, and it occurred to me, that it is just possible that I'm the only person alive who knows this song. It is not,(imho) a great song, but it does have a certain novelty value, plus the advantage that you already know the tune (The Mountains of Mourne).
BTW, Mountjoy, is a prison in Dublin. It is mentioned in a lot of Irish "Rebel" songs. This is a more light-hearted reference.

THE MOUNTJOY HOTEL

Now In Dublin's big town, we have first-class hotels,
Which give board & lodging to all the big swells:
With blinds on the windows, & bells on the doors,
And beautiful carpets laid out on the floors.
But the grandest of all is now in full swing,
A beautiful building controlled by the king:
I was there once myself, so I'm able to tell,
There's no digs in Dublin, like the Mountjoy Hotel.

I was met at the train with porter & bus,
They put me aboard with a great deal of fuss.
I was drove through the streets like the Viceroy of state,
And we never drew rein till we stopped at the gate.
I was brought to a room where they took down my name,
They asked my address & the reason I came.
When I answered these questions, the guard rang a bell,
I was ordered a bath in the Mountjoy Hotel.

Well, after the bath I was very nigh froze,
And the waiter, he brought me a new suit of clothes.
The finish was fine, & the pattern was grand,
But over it all was a terrible brand.
Now, the breakfast consisted of fish, ham & eggs,
So, I drained out my stir-about can to its dregs.
When I asked for the bill, sure the waiter near fell,
It's all supplied free at the Mountjoy Hotel

I was there for some months, as I could not well go,
They were all so kind & they treated me so,
With light & attention & everything free,
Not to mention the extras, & afternoon tea.
At last the day came for me to depart,
And I nearly grew sick with the joy in my heart,
For with all its fine comforts, the truth I must tell,
I will not go again, to the Mountjoy Hotel.
^^


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Mountjoy Hotel
From: paddymac
Date: 05 Sep 00 - 03:00 PM

Crazy Eddie - Who ever wrote it was a brilliant satirist. Thanks for putting it out here for the rest of us.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Mountjoy Hotel
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 05 Sep 00 - 05:17 PM

Dominic Behan recorded a song called The Mountjoy Hotel on a Topic record, Peelers and Prisoners (TOP85) in 1963; whether or not this is the same one, I don't know.

Malcolm


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE MOUNTJOY HOTEL ^^
From: paddymac
Date: 06 Sep 00 - 10:33 AM

Malcolm's note reminded me that I had a song book by Behan, which I then dug out. This version of "The Mountjoy Hotel" is from Dominic Behan's "Ireland Sings: An anthology of Irish songs and ballads"; 1973; ISBN 0-8256-9341-1. It's shown as "Copyright 1965 Coda Music Ltd." And as "New words, tune adapted by Dominic Behan". That phrase "new words" (as opposed to "Lyrics by" or "Words by") suggests that the song had been around for some time before DB "updated" it. Behan's lyrics differ significantly from those posted above by Crazy Eddie, but both versions deliver the same message with brilliant satire. It's hard to say which came first, or whether there may be yet more versions of the song somewhere out there in the collective consciousness. The tune is essentially that used for "Mountains of Mourne", which is itself a traditional air adapted for French's song by his collaborator Collison(sp?)(Can't put my hands on my source for this at the moment.)
*****************************************
"THE MOUNTJOY HOTEL"

In Dublin's big town there are first class hotels
Where they give board and lodgings to all the big swells.
They've blinds on the windows and bells on the doors,
And beautiful carpets laid down on the floor.
It's in such a spot that you get a great view
Of the Royal Canal and the ships that pass thru.
I was there once myself so I'm able to tell
That there's no digs in Dublin like the Mountjoy Hotel.

One stipulation of this fine resort
All lodgers must first be presented at Court.
And there recommended as suited and right
To sleep in this mansion by day and by night.
For there, I can say, are the cream of our land
Doctors and lawyers and men of that band
In the next suit to me, I remember full well
A duke spent nine months in the Mountjoy Hotel.

For the entrance they've built up three beautiful gates
And once past the third one there's no need to wait.
The butler just waves and he calls for the boots,
"Fill a bath for this guest and prepare him a suite."
Without bye or lave ye he makes you at home
And sends for a barber to trim up your dome.
And then, when he's finished, the clerk rings a bell;
The manager meets all at the Mountjoy Hotel.

One thing about this, all the service is free
Be ye higher or lower or middle degree.
When ye feel like a change, never reck the amount
You'll never be given a bill or account.
I stopped there myself for close to five years
And when I was leaving the staff were in tears.
"I wish you were spending," the manager said
"The rest of your life at the Mountjoy Hotel."
^^


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Mountjoy Hotel
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Sep 00 - 01:19 AM

Well paddymac, I think I prefer your version. The second verse really appeals to me "presented ar court" indeed! I may just have to nick that verse, lose one from the version I posted, and try it at a session next time I'm home. Thanks. Eddie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Mountjoy Hotel
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Sep 00 - 04:44 AM

Say, Eddie - you've posted some great songs, and I've harvested some of them for inclusion in the Digital Tradition database. You aren't required to be a member, but I wondered if you'd like to e-mail me your initials (or your name) so I can credit you post for posting the song. Thanks.
-Joe Offer (click to e-mail)-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Mountjoy Hotel
From: paddymac
Date: 07 Sep 00 - 02:24 PM

Well, I did a bit more digging and found my source in re the melody for "Mountains of Mourne". "Soodlum's Irish Ballad Book", 1982, US ISBN 0-8256-0284-x, @ 36, says of Mountains of Mourne: "The lyrics of this beautiful ballad were written by Percy French (1854-1920). They were sent to Houston Collison on the back of a post-card and he set it to the ancient Irish air 'Carrigdhoun'."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Mountjoy Hotel
From: Wolfgang
Date: 08 Nov 00 - 07:24 AM

As an addendum I'll post here the notes from Dominic Behan to this song as printed in the book 'Ireland sings' that Paddymac has used above as a source for posting Behan's great version:

A music transcriber working on the tunes in this book asked, "Say, what's with this hotel commercial?" I explained that it was a little bit of jail satire, Mountjoy being Dublin's Prison. "What a name for a nick'." said Ewan McColl, It must have been some right twisted bastard thought that one up". This has been extensively rewritten from the original by Phil O'Neill.

I read this bit as indicating that O'Neill is the author of the first version posted above by Crazy Eddie. Am I right?

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Mountjoy Hotel
From: paddymac
Date: 08 Nov 00 - 10:59 AM

Wolfgang - this is a classic case where punctuation would clarify the meaning.

"This has been extensively rewritten(insert comma) from the original by Phil O'Neill" would clearly mean that O'Neill was the original author.

Since Behan is the author of the line you quote, it does seem reasonable to interpret it as you have, but the language doesn't clearly say that.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Mountjoy Hotel
From: GUEST,Wolfgang
Date: 08 Nov 00 - 12:15 PM

Paddymac,
yes, a good example for that case.
I wish the book ('Ireland sings') could also be trusted about another aspect of this song:
All rhymes (Behan version) are perfect except for the before last line which would rhyme e.g. like this '...to me they did tell' or any other line using 'tell' as last word. But who am I to correct even a single word by Behan, whatever the first name may be. However, is this line ending really from Behan, who showed himself being a master of words in the rest of the book?

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Mountjoy Hotel
From: Snuffy
Date: 08 Nov 00 - 06:51 PM

"This has been extensively rewritten(insert comma) from the original(insert comma) by Phil O'Neill" would clearly mean that O'Neill was not the original author.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Mountjoy Hotel
From: MartinRyan
Date: 08 Nov 00 - 08:09 PM

comma-gain?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Mountjoy Hotel
From: GUEST,mr. g
Date: 05 Feb 11 - 09:59 PM

where can i get a recording of this song???


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Mountjoy Hotel
From: zozimus
Date: 06 Feb 11 - 01:21 PM

This song was writen by Phil O Neill in 1918. I imagine Dominic got it from Patrick Galvin, who recorded it on his Riverside L/P " Irish Humor Songs". However, Patrick Galvin sings it to the tune "Villikins and His Dinah". Send me a PM if you want a copy.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Mountjoy Hotel
From: MartinRyan
Date: 06 Feb 11 - 01:41 PM

I seem to remember Houston Collison describing the Mountains of Mourne tune as a variant of The Bendemeer Stream, rather than referring to Carrigdhoun.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Mountjoy Hotel
From: zozimus
Date: 06 Feb 11 - 02:50 PM

Hi Martin,
Brendan O Dowda, an expert on Percy French, claims that French admitted using "Carrigdhoun" as a template for "The Mountains of Mourne" However, it seems very likely that whoever set music to Denny Lane's poem, "Carrigdhoun," used Moore's "The Bendemeer Stream". The big question is, where did Moore get it. Most of Moore's melodies were adapted from traditional tunes.
See you in Inishowen


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Mountjoy Hotel
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Apr 12 - 09:54 AM

in Dublin's fair city
Where there's first class hotels
And they give bord and lodging
To all the big swells

I was there once myself,
and, I'm able to tell
That there's no digs in Dublin
Like the Mountjoy hotel

I was met at the train
By a porter and bus
And, they took me along
With a great deal of fus

We drove through the streets
Like a viceroy in state
And,never drew rein
Till we stopped at the gate

I was brought to a room
Where they took down my name
They asked my address,
and the reason I came

When I answered those questions
A clark rang a bell,
And, I was ordered a bath
At the Mountjoy hotel

When i got through the bath,
Well, my blood well neigh froze
And, the attendant, he brought me
A new suit of clothes.

The finish was fine,
And the pattern was grand
And, over it all was
A beautiful brand

Noiw, the beds; they were snug
And, cozily kept
And, when I lay down to rest
I immediately slept

But, early next morning
without "bye your leave,
Get up,"said the boots,
Here's hot water to shave.

Breakfast consisted of fish,
Ham and eggs. But, I drained
The old stirabout mug
To the dregs.

We went for a walk every day
Round the grounds.
For ,the guests,as you know
They must keep within bounds.

I asked for my pipe.
For, I wanted a smoke'
Said the boss, with a scowl
"Do you think it's a joke?"

'Well,I'm'msorry', said I,
'If you're taking it so,

'But,now, for the brandy and soda
'Please go'
Bread and water' said he.
perhaps it'll do you as well

And, i got it that week
At the Mountjoy hotel.
Well, at last came the day when
I had to depart

And,I nearly went wild
With the Joy in my heart
Some pro-German devil,
A rope ladder did throw.

And, twenty Sinn Feiners,
- Like acrobat trainers,
Escaped out of prison
Alive, alive oh!

I'll finish my rhyme now
I think it's near time now.
All the people are laughing.
Wherever I go.

The auther was John Corrigan, battallion adjucant of the North Offally/South Westmeath brigade, who spent a stint in the Joy, in which He carried in a gun to spring Sean McKeon.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Mountjoy Hotel
From: Charley Noble
Date: 30 Apr 12 - 03:49 PM

This song kind of reminds me of a Gold Rush song collected in the Russian River area of Northern California which has this chorus:

So step up every man of you all in a line,
From the cell to the stoneyard you all must keep time;
You work like a Turk till the clock it strikes one,
In that grand institution just over the Don.

Charley Noble


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