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Lyr Add: Irish songs about balls, wakes, soirees

Jim Dixon 13 Apr 04 - 08:23 AM
MartinRyan 13 Apr 04 - 08:47 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Apr 04 - 08:54 AM
Sandy Mc Lean 13 Apr 04 - 08:59 AM
Flash Company 13 Apr 04 - 10:02 AM
MartinRyan 13 Apr 04 - 06:52 PM
Joe_F 13 Apr 04 - 07:19 PM
GUEST,Lindswidder 13 Apr 04 - 07:32 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Apr 04 - 08:43 PM
Flash Company 14 Apr 04 - 12:48 PM
GUEST,Lindswidder 14 Apr 04 - 12:54 PM
GUEST,pattyClink 14 Apr 04 - 02:34 PM
David Ingerson 14 Apr 04 - 06:44 PM
Brakn 15 Apr 04 - 08:49 AM
Jim Dixon 17 Apr 04 - 01:39 PM
Joe_F 17 Apr 04 - 09:29 PM
Jim Dixon 19 Apr 04 - 11:36 PM
Macha 20 Apr 04 - 07:28 PM
MartinRyan 21 Apr 04 - 03:53 AM
Jim Dixon 19 Jun 04 - 09:34 AM
Jim Dixon 27 Jun 04 - 08:04 PM
Bert 27 Jun 04 - 08:17 PM
Jim Dixon 27 Jun 04 - 08:29 PM
Jim Dixon 27 Jun 04 - 09:07 PM
Jim Dixon 27 Jun 04 - 09:30 PM
Jim Dixon 28 Jun 04 - 11:11 PM
Jim Dixon 28 Jun 04 - 11:44 PM
Jim Dixon 29 Jun 04 - 09:04 AM
Jim Dixon 01 Jul 04 - 12:08 AM
Jim Dixon 04 Jul 04 - 11:07 AM
Jim Dixon 05 Jul 04 - 06:48 PM
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Jim Dixon 07 Jul 04 - 11:59 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: FINNIGAN'S BALL (Bert Lee)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 08:23 AM

We already have:


Anybody know any more?

Anyway, I have this to add to the collection, transcribed from The Virtual Gramophone:

(There are several gaps, indicated by "..." where I was unable to decipher the lyrics. Your corrections are welcome.)

(Bert Lee, 1916)
(As sung by Lyle Evans in a recording released 1923.)

1. Michael Finnigan gave a ball
Down at ... old town hall.
We drove in cabs to the festive scene.
I took a couple but I ran between.
Oh, what a gathering we had there!
Oh, what a gathering, I declare!
Patsy Sullivan looked a wreck
'Cause he had a gathering upon his neck.
Down at Finnigan's ball, what a night of jollity!
Finnigan's ball, dancing all around!
We were ... social one and all
Till the call came out at Finnigan's ball.

2. Old Miss Melontree ...
She hadn't had a kiss since Lord knows when.
She bought a mask and went to the dance.
... was her only chance.
Set out to dance with Mike Muldoon.
Out on the stairs they began to spoon.
He spat in her face as he gave her a kiss
And said, "Heaven help the sailors on a night like this!"
Down at Finnigan's ball, ...
Finnigan's ball, playing in the band.
He was so thin and lean and small
That he fell through his trumpet at Finnigan's ball.

3. We had supper with lots to eat.
Sure, we'd the finest whiskey neat,
But there was trouble in store, oh, dear,
For Barmy Flynn drank Flannigan's beer.
Mrs. Bull had ...
She ate twenty-seven buns that night.
"These buns are nice," said Mrs. Bull,
"I couldn't eat another cause I'm too ... full."
Down at Finnigan's ball, little Mrs. Rafferty
Finnigan's ball, ... a dance,
But she slipped on the stairs and had a fall,
And she broke her promise at Finnigan's ball.

4. Clancy hired some evening clothes.
Where he got 'em from, goodness knows.
He donned that evening dressed with pride.
There was room for another twenty-six inside.
Clancy did a foolish thing:
He tied his trousers up with string.
String it broke and we all got a shock,
For down with his wallet came his ... stock.
Down at Finnigan's ball, that broke up the evening.
Finnigan's ball, then we said goodnight;
And here's to the health of the Finnigans all,
And here's to the very next Finnigan's ball!

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Irish songs about balls, wakes, soirees
From: MartinRyan
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 08:47 AM

Used to hear that one regularly at a session I sang at for many years. I'll see if I can plug any of the gaps...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Irish songs about balls, wakes, soirees
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 08:54 AM

I Had a Hat When I Came In
The Parting Glass

Titles converted to links, here and in later messages. --JoeClone, 17-Apr-04.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Irish songs about balls, wakes, soire
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 08:59 AM

My favourite "wake song" is known to me as "The Irish Wake". It is in the DT as "Pat Malone Forgot That He Was Dead". (0.8792)
There is a midi there as well. I do it as a rollicking pace, about double that of the midi.

Title converted to link. --JoeClone, 17-Apr-04.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Irish songs about balls, wakes, soirees
From: Flash Company
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 10:02 AM

In another thread I mentioned an LP of Bing Crosby called Shillelaghs & Shamrocks which included:-

Who Threw the Overalls in Mistress Murphy's Chowder?

Mrs Murphy gave a party 'bout a week ago
Everything was plentiful, well the Murphys their not slow,
They treated us like gentlemen, we tried to act the same,
Only for what happened, sure it was an awful shame,
Mrs Murphy dished the chowder out and fainted on the spot,
She found a pair of overalls at the bottom of the pot,
Tim Nolan he got ripping mad, his eyes were bulging out,
He jumped up on the piano and loudly he did shout

Who threw the overalls in Mrs Murphy's chowder
Nobody spoke so he shouted all the louder
It's an Irish trick thats true and I'll lick the Mick that threw
The overalls in Mrs Murphy's chowder.

There were, I think , two more verses, and the punch line was :-
She'd had 'em in the wash last night, forgot to take them out!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Irish songs about balls, wakes, soirees
From: MartinRyan
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 06:52 PM

The Funeral Party , aka Invitation to a Funeral is one of my favourites.

We never did find "Danny Duggin's Jubilee", come to think of it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Irish songs about balls, wakes, soirees
From: Joe_F
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 07:19 PM

The Night Before Larry Was Stretched (in the DigiTrad).

O'Dooley's First Five-O'Clock Tea (at which, of course, the tea gets spiked, leading to a ruction), as a bonus, actually mentions the above song. It is in _A Prairie Home Companion Folk Song Book_ (Marcia & Jon Pankake, Eds.), pp. 29-31.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Irish songs about balls, wakes, soirees
From: GUEST,Lindswidder
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 07:32 PM

Just had to add this....

My father (nearly 83) is a great one for "parodies" and once sang me these lines, from "I Dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Halls":

I dreamt that I tickled my grandfather's balls
With a little sweet oil and a feather....

can anyone enlarge on this please??

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Irish songs about balls, wakes, soirees
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 08:43 PM

It's Christmas in Killarney... (ducking)

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Irish songs about balls, wakes, soirees
From: Flash Company
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 12:48 PM

Two known endings:-

And when he awoke he found it no joke
'Cos his charlies were all stuck together!


And when I awoke I found it no joke
He was tanning my arse with a leather!

Take your pick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Irish songs about balls, wakes, soirees
From: GUEST,Lindswidder
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 12:54 PM

many thanks....I doubt I will have occasion to use this information though!!!!!!

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Irish songs about balls, wakes, soirees
From: GUEST,pattyClink
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 02:34 PM

Is The Charladies' Ball eligible?

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Subject: Lyr Add: THE PIPER
From: David Ingerson
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 06:44 PM

What about

The Piper (also known as The Hole in the Piper's Bag)

I don't remember having seen it published or recorded although I have heard it several times in pub sessions in Ireland. This is how I sing it (and I'd be greatful for any corrections):

Mrs. Levi gave a great party one night,
she invited us all to attend.
We gathered a gang, jumped down to her place,
A few pleasant hours to spend.
There was Barney and Duffy and Flinn and Meself,
Well, a crowd wasn't hard for to find.
But the thing most important we almost forgot:
We near left the piper behind.


We invited him down to the party,
He brought his bagpipe just by chance.
We asked him to sing, but he said, "Ah, no.
But I'll play yez a bit of a dance."
He picked up his pipes and he started to play--
Someone got foolin' about,
And cut a great hole in the bag of his pipes,
And here is the tune that came out.

When the piper found out that his bag it was cut,
Sure he gave a great lep on the floor.
He set about work in jackhammer style,
Landin' them under the jaw.
Mrs. Levi she fainted, they all made a rush,
Tryin' to get out of the door.
But the piper had nine of them taking the count,
And he swore he could lick 20 more.


Now, if ever you go to a party,
Ah, you'd better keep this in your mind:
Don't get vexed with the piper,
for you'll find him a gintleman kind.
But if trouble should start, keep out of his way,
For he carries an awful patogue.
Ah, you won't hear it coming, but whoow [shouted], when it lands,
sure you'll know it's an Irish kitogue.


Patogue and kitogue (sp?) are Irish words that mean fist and left-hand, I believe, although I don't remember which is which.

Although this one has the same questionable quality about the lyrics that many of the above songs have, for some reason I enjoy singing it. Perhaps it's the creativity invited in the lilting, including the tuning of the pipes and their reedy sound.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Irish songs about balls, wakes, soirees
From: Brakn
Date: 15 Apr 04 - 08:49 AM

The Soiree On Skull Hill

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From: Jim Dixon
Date: 17 Apr 04 - 01:39 PM

Copied from Brakn's website (see above).

(Willie Hynes, a postman, 1912.)

Ye Foresters of Dundalk Town and Hibernians from Ardee
No more may shout or rave about your style or quality.
Your dancers were the pride of Louth and they are famous still.
Against all time will stand sublime, the Soirée on Skull Hill.

In the parish of Kilcurry stands this ancient place of fame,
And days now gone, seems many a throng add lustre to its name.
When Faughart's sons stood brave with guns to fight for Erin's cause
And gallant men like brave A. M. had earned their applause.

The golden light of liberty now breaks round Erin's shore.
Crowbar brigade doomed and dismayed will raise their heads no more.
The green flag high will always fly; we'll keep it floating still.
No more we'll mourn but now return to the Soirée on Skull Hill.

The clerk Tom Quinn just then stepped in escorting Brigid Shields.
Mulhulland gripped the fiddle light and played the heathery breeze.
Lockington's herd hopped like a bird with Maggie on the floor,
And Tommy Boyle and his Chinese smile, kept tally at the door.

Two beauties fair dressed up so rare from Castletown had come.
Miss Fagan's gay in green and grey had marched in from Tiffchrum.
Ballregan too hurrah for you up Drumbilla still.
You had the bell of that grand swell at the Soirée on Skull Hill.

Black Stephen took the leading part combined with Kate O'Hare.
Barbara took her place in front with the boy that mends the chairs.
Pat and Ciss just had a kiss then took their place again.
Peter he swore, jumped on the floor, and pulled out Mary Jane.

Kate Watters danced with all the boys and filled their hearts with joy.
Miss Duffy too, I tell to you, she danced with a "post boy".
Joe Reilly played "The White Cockade" with all his might and skill
To keep in line while marking time to the dancing on the Skull Hill.

McCormick sang "The Stilly Night" - shades of old Tom Moore -
"Kilarney's Lakes Are Beautiful" and "Casey's Cabin Door".
Old Erin's sweetest songs were sung by every girl and boy.
Miss Hughes she took the biscuit when she sang "My Name's Molloy".

Mrs. Murdoch came to cook the grub, with Mrs. Coburn, T.*
And Joseph helped to carve the ham while Tom went on the spree;
And those who didn't pay at all their tummies for to fill
Regret that night, the glorious sight at the Soirée on Skull Hill.

The ham was cold and roasted the beef was boiled and raw.
The sausages from Tully McKeown would dislocate your jaw.
Black puddings, curried liver, tripe, conger eel and cheese,
Tomato sauce and cauliflower, and turnip tops and peas.

The porter came from James's Gate, the minerals from Dundalk.
A case of gin brought out by Quin to make the ladies talk.
Oh, the whiskey came in quarter casks both patent and pot still.
The Leap Year Ball was a big windfall for the boozers on Skull Hill.

There were singers from Borea and dancers from Dunleer.
For the boys from Carrickrobin the weather didn't fear.
The boys and girls from Dromantee and Hiltown got a call,
The and choice of Ravensdale and the pride of Faughart all.

Up Kilcurry was the motto draped across the hall.
Carrickasticken to the front grab old ladies all.
They danced the Faughart Lancers, the Dungooley four-hand reel,
And Rose McGeough she danced you know a jig for Lurgankeel.

At seven o'clock next morning when the day did appear,
The boys and girls from every part their courses home did steer.
Now to conclude and finish up come all ye glasses fill,
And drink hurrah Faughart go Brath, and the Soirée on Skull Hill.

* Mrs. Thomas Coburn, (the tailor).

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Irish songs about balls, wakes, soirees
From: Joe_F
Date: 17 Apr 04 - 09:29 PM

But what seemed to please the old gentleman most
Was rubbing them gently together.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Irish songs about balls, wakes, soirees
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 19 Apr 04 - 11:36 PM

Thanks to all the people who have contributed songs, song titles, and links to songs.

If I had had room for a longer thread title, I would have called it "Irish comical songs about balls, wakes, soirees, parties, dances, feasts, and other social gatherings at which people get drunk and fight or do other silly things." I had noticed there were a lot of them, and became curious as to how many we could find.

Now, does anybody want to guess which of these is the oldest? Or is the oldest one we haven't found yet?

THE IRISH JUBILEE is one we missed.

THE PARTING GLASS and CHRISTMAS IN KILLARNEY don't quite fit the genre I had in mind.

SAMMY SHUTTLEWORTH'S PARTY would fit the bill except that it's not Irish; it's from Lancashire. I wouldn't be surprised if there's an Irish connection though.

No one has yet posted any corrections to FINNEGAN'S BALL, which I posted at the beginning of the thread.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Irish songs about balls, wakes, soirees
From: Macha
Date: 20 Apr 04 - 07:28 PM

The Death of Queen Jane is a good song about the death of a person also the tune is really nice.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Irish songs about balls, wakes, soirees
From: MartinRyan
Date: 21 Apr 04 - 03:53 AM


The words to Finnegan's Ball are only coming to me as throgh a glass darkly! That said, I know that Val Doonican recorded it and that there's a set in one of his songbooks. Apart from that, its in print in some early 20C. (American) songbooks. I'll get a set eventaully...


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From: Jim Dixon
Date: 19 Jun 04 - 09:34 AM

I just ran across another one. In fact, if you search the Library of Congress site for the word "soiree," you'll find a couple more, but I won't have time to transcribe them for a few days.

Lyrics from The Library of Congress American Memory Collection:

C. Frank Horn, 1883

1. The McGettigans gave a soiree,
And a band of musicians they hired,
And an elegant note came to me,
Saying, "O'Grady, your comp'ny's desired."
So I dressed myself neatly and tastefully
And got into my fancy coupee,
For I wanted to honor the company
At McGettigan's social soiree.

CHORUS: Oh my! didn't they stare
When I walked in the door with a rose in my buttonhole!
Faith, then ev'ryone there
Said, "Oh, who can that handsome man be?"
"That's the honorable Thomas O'Grady,
And a member of congress is he."
I was patronized by ev'ry lady
At McGettigan's social soiree.

2. I was cracking a bottle of wine
With McCarthy out in the bay windy.
Sure McCarthy's an old friend of mine.
We have been into many a shindy.
When McGettigan came with a pretty girl,
"O'Grady, my daughter," said he.
Then he shouted aloud to the orchestra:
"Play a bar of the tra-la-la-le."

CHORUS: Oh my! didn't they stare
When I welted the floor with Ophelia McGettigan!

3. Oh, in faith 'twas an elegant spree.
I was sitting upon the balcony
With a can of dessert and some tea,
And a whacking big hunk of bologna,
When McCarthy came up and insulted me,
For he pasted me right in the eye,
Then he smeared something over my countenance
That tasted like cantaloupe pie.

CHORUS: Oh my! didn't they stare
I got hold of McCarthy and wiped up the floor with him!

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Subject: Lyr Add: O'BRIEN'S GRAND SOIREE (Skelly, 1880)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 27 Jun 04 - 08:04 PM

The Library of Congress American Memory Collection:

J. P. Skelly, 1880

1. Mike O'Brien was a politician.
He always dressed in solid style.
His ancestors they were patricians
In the dear old Em'rald Isle.
Last November he was elected
For an alderman to be.
Walhalla hall he then selected
And gave the boys a grand soiree.

CHORUS: There was lots of fun for ev'ryone.
The boys their legs did shake.
McGuinness sure was on the flure.
In waltzing, he takes the cake.
Their hoofs they slung and songs they sung.
The girls were gay and free.
I danced all night till broad daylight
At O'Brien's grand soiree.

2. Felix McGluff and darling Daisy
Were called upon to lead the dance.
They showed such style it set them crazy
As round the room they did advance.
Then the fun commenced in earnest:
Hands all round, all forward four!
The room it got as hot as a furnace
While the dancers shook the floor.

3. Pat O'Neil he did get excited
When Malone made little too free
With the girl to whom he was plighted,
And soon there was a great melee.
The crowd began to fight and scramble.
The women all commenced to flee.
They brought me home in seven sections
From O'Brien's grand soiree.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Irish songs about balls, wakes, soirees
From: Bert
Date: 27 Jun 04 - 08:17 PM

And no one has yet mentioned 'One Balled Riley' - Fine lot of folkies you are.

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From: Jim Dixon
Date: 27 Jun 04 - 08:29 PM

The Library of Congress American Memory Collection, from an undated, unattributed song sheet:


In the town of Mayo Jack Lannigan liv'd,
Till grim death, one fine morning, his spirit did take;
When the brothy boys round, just to show their respect for him,
Swore they would give him a slathering wake.
There was Brian O'Lynn, and Terence O'Toole,
The Widow Machree, and squint-eyed Tim Brannagan--
There was whiskey galore--the devil to pay,
And the piper besides, at the wake of Jack Lannigan.

The Misses O'Neil were decked out in their best;
There was red-headed Bob, and blind Pat with the pipes;
And had you been there, 'twould have done your eyes good
To see Paddy Miles get away with the SWIPES.
Says Tim to the widdy: Will you try a pertaty?
Arrah, darlint, says she, an' it's whiskey I'll take.
And I swear by the piper that play'd before Moses,
They had a fine shindy, at Lannigan's wake.

When the piper struck up, faith, it drove them all crazy:
Some jump'd, some hooroo'd, and some danc'd a jig;
Teddy, the tiler, 'most busted his biler,
And the widow Machree danc'd a reel with the pig!
All at once, about twenty then grabb'd their shillalahs,
And at it they went, 'till the shanty did shake!
Of all the wild pranks ever play'd in Ould Ireland,
Nothing ever equall'd Jack Lannigan's wake.

But all things must end: the whiskey gave out,
The piper fell over.. the pipes squeal'd no more..
The dancers and fighters ceas'd jumping and thumping,
And, all in a heap, fell DEAD DRUNK on the floor.
When the neighbors came in for the corpse in the morning,
The divil a bit if they knew which to take!
So, they just put the lot in nice illigant coffins,
And buried them all, after Lannigan's wake.

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Subject: Lyr Add: GRANNY O'REILLY'S WAKE (Dave Braham, 1884
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 27 Jun 04 - 09:07 PM

Note: the print was so small I had to guess at a few words. Your corrections are welcome.

From The Library of Congress American Memory Collection:

Dave Braham, 1884

1. Granny O'Reilly liv'd in a palace on the bogs of Barrymore.
You could put your hand down thro' the roof and open the parlor door.
Old Granny was an honest dame; she'd pigs and hens and goats.
From a knothole in McClosky's barn, she borrow'd all her oats.

CHORUS: But oh! we had such lots of drink, and all for friendship's sake,
And the boys and girls had so much fun at Granny O'Reilly's wake.

2. And Granny she was neat and trim in a piece of brand-new silk,
For she always hung her nightcap up just after she strain'd the milk;
But when at last old Granny died, they laid her out so neat
With a Rob-Roy shawl around her head and brogans on her feet.

3. Then poor old Granny was laid out behind the kitchen door,
And when they brought the coffin in, they set it on the floor.
Said Mary Ann O'Reilly, "Now, I'll tell ye's what to do:
Come, now, fall on your knees, you merc'less bastes, and pray ould Granny thro'."

4. And then we bow'd our heads and cried and would no comfort take
Till someone said, "Let's take a drink! All for poor Granny's sake."
And when they all had set a bit, and each had got a sup,
Pat Rooney held Mike Duffy while he screw'd the coffin up.

5. Then to the burying ground we rode, all in such splendid style,
And we didn't leave a soul behind, no, never a mother's child.
We laid her then quite gently in her deep and narrow bed,
And many a howl, and many a groan and many a tear we shed.

6. But what do you think, when we got home, we saw behind the door,
But old Granny O'Reilly all laid out where she had lain before!
Some said, "Why it's old Granny's ghost!" They all began to shout!
But sure we'd buried the coffin up and left old Granny out!

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Subject: Lyr Add: MULLIGAN'S WAKE (Joseph P. Skelly, 1881)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 27 Jun 04 - 09:30 PM

From The Library of Congress American Memory Collection:

Joseph P. Skelly, 1881

1. Last night I wint to Mulligan's wake and such a crowd was there!
For Dan was such a famous man, they came from ev'rywhere.
The O's and Mac's and Paddy Whacks a last look came to take.
Wid grief they cried and sobbed and sighed at Daniel Mulligan's wake.

CHORUS: Such a bawling and a squalling, Oh! you never heard before.
Oh! poor Dan, dacent man! How the neighbors they did roar!
But wid whiskey they got frisky, and their legs began to shake.
Then a jolly fight till broad daylight they had at Mulligan's wake.

2. Sweet widdy Dunn joined in the fun and smoked her old "dhudeen."
It's well she knew her neighbor Dan. His friend she long had been.
She danc'd a jig with Patsy Flynn just for true friendship's sake;
Then to lament she did begin, and wept at Mulligan's wake.

3. McSweeny jumped upon the floor and said he wanted fight.
Maloney said to mash a head 'twould give him great delight.
The ladies then began to scream. With fear they all did quake.
They thought the house would tumble down at Daniel Mulligan's wake.

[dhudeen = pipe]

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Subject: Lyr Add: RAFFERTY'S PARTY
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 11:11 PM

From an undated song sheet (broadside) at The Library of Congress American Memory Collection:

Air: Tim Finegan's Wake.

Tim Rafferty lived in Mulberry Street,
A gentleman born in Limerick bog;
He'd a brogue on his tongue that was a treat,
And a loving heart; for, he loved his grog.
One night he gave a grand party and spree,
At the house of a friend, Biddy Mulvay;
A great big forty-foot cellar, in Avenue B:
If I rightly guess, 'twas Patrick's Day.

CHORUS: Whack! blood an ouns, the boys were frisky,
The girls so free, light, and hearty;
Making love, and drinking whiskey,
Plenty of fun at Rafferty's party.

There was Murphy Boyle and Paddy McCastor,
Shoughnessy's brother, from sweet Antrim:
With a postage stamp on his eye for a plaster,
Hagerty, the fiddler, and Timothy Flynn;
The women (God bless 'em) there was Peg Smith,
Sweet Judy Malone and Moll McCarthy,
Paddy Dougherty's wife, a neat tidy bit,
And piper McCann, to make up the party.

After talking over the events of the day,
Praising the beauties of Mother Nature:
Pipes and tobacco, of course, by the way,
And drinking a noggin of the creature;
The floor was cleared, the fiddle began--
In a jig they soon were prancing;
By the "powers of Moll Kelly," 'twas rare fun,
To see a room full of tailors dancing.

Upon the table was laid a grand supper,
Real Irish turkey, caught in the sea;
Corn beef and cabbage, skellians and butter,
And sturabout with new milk and whey;
"Blood and thunder and turf," says Pat McCastor,
With such grub, who couldn't be hearty?
It would water the eyes of John Jacob Astor,
"Hould yer whist," says Boyle, 'tis Rafferty's party.

About two in the morn, the party was over;
Rafferty lay asleep on a trunk;
Sure, divil a one of them! all was sober,
But piper McCann, who was blind drunk;
Tim Mulkeaghy was carried home, on a shutter,
By Mick Malone and Pat McCafferty;
And every inch of the way, he would mutter:
We'll make a Brigadier private of Tim Rafferty.

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From: Jim Dixon
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 11:44 PM

From The Library of Congress American Memory Collection:

(Words, G. Cooper. Music, T. B. Harms. 1884.)

1. Oh, say did ye hear of the party so gay,
And all of the quality there?
Sure never was seen such a lovely display
Of ladies so genteel and fair.
Bedalia McCann and her nice young man,
And widow Delaney so hearty,
Met Felix McGee and Cordelia O'Dee
At Maguinnes' birthday party.

CHORUS: At Maguinnes' birthday party
Oh, we danced and we dined so hearty.
You never did see such an elegant spree
As Maguinnes' birthday party.

2. And then came the supper so nate and so grand,
Wid whiskey and ice cream galore.
Maguinnes got up wid his glass in his hand,
But soon he fell down on the floor.
His health to propose, McFaddin arose,
Which gave some offense to McCarty.
He gave him a rap on his potato trap
At Maguinnes' birthday party.

3. The row then began, and the glasses they flew.
The table fell on fat Muldoon.
The ladies they scream'd and turn'd yellow and blue,
And chairs flew 'round like a simoom.
Policemen came in to settle the din,
And just saved the life of Fogarty.
They put out the light, and that settled the fight
At Maguinnes' birthday party.

[simoom = dry hot dusty wind of deserts]

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Subject: Lyr Add: REGAN'S PARTY (William Carroll, 1881)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 09:04 AM

The Library of Congress American Memory Collection:

Words and music by William Carroll, 1881.

1. It was over at old Regan's house we had a jolly time.
There was lots of fun and dancing too. I tell you it was fine.
Oh, the boys and girls enjoyed themselves, for they came far and near,
And all the lads assembled there to try old Regan's beer.
Old Regan he felt lively from the time,
And a happier man I don't think could be found.
He told us that the house was ours, to do just as we liked,
So then we had a drink of beer all round.

CHORUS: Oh, such singing and such dancing, 'pon my word 'twas really grand,
And the music sounded just as well as if it was a band.
While Murphy play'd the fiddle, they danc'd up and down the middle,
And we never left old Regan till the morn.

2. There was Mary Jones and Jerry Flynn got up to dance a jig,
Along with Michael Cronin's wife who look'd like Murphy's pig.
The floor they welted beautiful and went round hand in hand,
But Cronin's wife she danced so much that she could hardly stand.
Then James O'Brian he got up to sing a song,
But they did not seem to relish it one bit.
They yank'd him out so gently that he thought his time had come,
And the poor old fellow fell into a fit.

3. They danced away till daylight broke. The sun broke in the sky,
But McCarty's wife was so fatigued she thought she'd really die.
McGuinness he got overpower'd on wine and lager beer.
He felt so good he tried to do a pirouette on his ear,
And poor old Jerry Dolan was found sleeping
With a vice-like grip upon a china cup,
And when they danced the last quadrille, the fiddler fell asleep,
And that's what wound old Regan's party up.

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From: Jim Dixon
Date: 01 Jul 04 - 12:08 AM

From The Library of Congress American Memory Collection :

Words and music by J. E. Murphy, of "Murphy and Mack."

1. Dan McCarthy he's a man
From dear old Paddy's Land,
A fellow that is full of jollity;
And where he does reside
Is over on the East Side
In a tenement house away up in Avenue C.
One night he took a notion;
His ideas he put in motion.
Says he, "I'll have a jolly spree."
His friends he invited all—
Sure they were tall and small—
To shake a leg at Dan McCarthy's party.

CHORUS: McCarthy, so hearty, jump'd onto the floor.
He excited all the tenants in the tenement with a roar.
Then O'Grady with his lady he got up to sing.
McCarthy leapt upon his neck and done a Highland fling.

2. When the table it was set,
Young Dacey made a bet
That he could fall upon it and not disturb a thing.
No sooner said than done!
Oh! You never saw such fun
To see him fall and make the dishes ring.
McCarthy got so excited,
And young Dacey he invited
To come outside and have a round or two.
Some fellow shouted "Mick!"
Dacey threw a brick.
Which laid McCarthy out upon the floor.

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From: Jim Dixon
Date: 04 Jul 04 - 11:07 AM

From The Library of Congress American Memory Collection -

Words, Dan McCarty. Music, T. F. Kerrigan. 1880.

1. Oh, I'll tell ye of a party, boys,
I attended here last night.
It was down to Casey's in the old sixth ward.
Now it was an elegant sight.
There was singing, yes, and dancing,
And whiskey there galore,
And the boys would smile and the girls put on style
As they danc'd and welt the floor.

CHORUS: Wid me fa-did-ne-ah did-ne-ah oh,
Wid me thah-sha-shin-go-mis-ka joe,
And around on their toes they danc'd just so
At Casey's ball last night.

2. Oh, we kept the ball a-rolling, boys,
Till the hour of twelve drew nigh.
Casey took some whiskey, swallowed glass and all.
With the laughing I nearly died.
Then we all flew for the kitchen,
Put the turkey out of sight.
Little Widow Dunn by the whole crowd was sung,
And they kept it up all night.

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Subject: Lyr Add: CLARA NOLAN'S BALL (Mitchell, 1885)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Jul 04 - 06:48 PM

This song is mentioned in KELLIGREW'S SOIREE.

From The Library of Congress American Memory Collection -

J. F. Mitchell, 1885

1. You're all invited and the band engaged and we're going to have some fun,
For Clara Nolan gives a ball; this day she's twenty-one.
We've borrowed knives and tablecloths from all about the town,
And ev'ry man must bring a chair if he wants to sit down.

CHORUS: Will you come? Will you come?
And you never will forget it if you come,
Where the bells are ringing and the girls are singing
And the fiddles and the harp go rum, tum, tum,
With teasing and pleasing and squeezing free for all,
And courting in the corners at Miss Clara Nolan's ball.

2. Old Casey's coming with his Irish pipes, and fiddler Neary too.
They'll play you the Maria Waltz and likewise Peekaboo.
Of course, it's not the Hoffman House; just walk inside the door.
If there's no place to hang your hats, just hang them on the floor.

3. The dance commences when the clock strikes ten, and we'll keep it up till day.
There will be no collection the expenses to defray.
We've bourbon, rye and lager beer, and Philadelphia ale,
And if the keg gets empty, we'll go out and fill the pail.

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Subject: Lyr Add: THE FINNEGAN CALICO BALL (Cohan, 1881)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Jul 04 - 06:50 PM

From The Library of Congress American Memory Collection

Words by J. Cohan. Arr'd by Robert Recker, 1881.

1. "Bismarck Finnegan, Esquire," that's my cognomen in full,
Statesman by occupation, a Democrat dyed in wool.
Gay, grand, high-ton'd and dacent are all the Finnegans bright.
Come one and all to the calico ball at the Finnegan mansion tonight.

CHORUS 1: Finnegan's great, and Finnegan's grand.
Hear the sweet music of the Finnegan band.
Josies, Jennies and Bridgets dress'd in their calicos all,
Ate, drink, laugh and be merry at the Finnegan calico ball.

2. Roses, nosegays and posies fragrantly filling the room,
Smelt by Irish pug-noses on faces wid pleasure's bloom,
Music wafting with laughter rippling from lips all aglow,
Teeth like pearls of the first water, the Finnegan beauties show.

CHORUS 2: Finnegan's common, and Finnegan's grand.
Finnegan music from Finnegan's band.
Patsies, Katies and Arthurs, Julias, Dans, Marys and all,
Wealth, style, beauty and brains at the Finnegan calico ball.

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Subject: Lyr Add: FOGARTY'S FANCY BALL (Scott, Cohen, 1885)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Jul 04 - 06:56 PM

From The Library of Congress American Memory Collection -

Words, Frank R. Scott. Music, Leopold B. Cohen. 1885.

1. Oh, Fogarty gave a fancy ball.
You bet I was on hand.
We cavorted at the fiddler's call
To music of the band.
I rigged myself up in my best
Like any gintleman,
In a pea-green coat and low-cut vest
On the deckcolletty plan.

CHORUS: I was there, dressed wid care, the best garments in the store.
In the whirl, my best girl took a tumble upon the floor;
Dancing round, up and down, till I thought I'd surely fall.
Oh, what style! I should smile when at Fogarty's fancy ball.

2. Miss Kelly went as Buttercup
She'd seen in Pinafore.
A big nagur tripped the creature up
And spilt her on the floor.
Long Mike and little skinny Tim
Were two Siamese twins.
They were so awful thin and slim,
They looked like two clothespins.

3. You can bet there was a scrumptious spread
That took us by surprise.
We never thought at all of bed
Till sun was in the sky.
Timmy Riley made a rattlin' speech.
Maloney sang a song.
It sounded like a peacock's screech
Or a smashed-up Chinese gong.

4. When first I came into the hall,
It took my breath away,
An' me frinds I couldn't tell at all,
They'd dressed in such a way.
Maloney as Othello went
Wid blacking on his face.
His pants were big, wid rooms to rent.
For a hotel there was place.

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Subject: Lyr Add: HOGAN'S TIN WEDDING (Rossiter, Smith)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 07 Jul 04 - 11:59 PM

From The Library of Congress American Memory Collection -

(Words, Phil Rossiter. Music, H. Forrest Smith, Jr. 1885)

1. 'Twas to Hogan's tin wedding party
Which he gave to his friends in the town
That Mickey and Judy McCarty
Came with others of lesser renown.
There was Ennis that came from Kildare,
And the Gormans way down in Tralee,
The McSweeneys from County of Clare,
And the Burkes that took whiskey in tea.
Pat Foy and the Macs from Killarney,
They mix'd with tony society.
They all kiss'd the stone call'd the Blarney,
And were great boys for variety.
Barney Toole was there dress'd in his frieze,
Della Regan along with her beau,
And Mullarkey whose pup took a prize
At the great international show.

CHORUS: They had ice cream, chow-chow, and sardines,
Caramels and pig's feet and scrapple,
Figs, bananas, new hash, and baked beans,
Two half-decayed pears and an apple.
They also had coffee and peanuts,
And whiskey right neat mix'd with brandy.
The gents were all smoking cigar butts,
The ladies all licking their candy.

2. Each visitor then show'd the present
That to good Mister Hogan he'd brought,
But oh! it was mightily pleasant
To see all the fine things that were bought.
The Mint set six splendid tin dollars
As a token of their great esteem.
Six cast-iron plated tin collars
Came from Toole with a tin can for cream.
Ennis brought a pair of tin glasses
And the Macs six imported tin hats.
Pat Foy a tin pot for molasses
And the Gormans a dozen tin bats. (?)
Mullarkey brought a pair of tin boots,
Della Regan six shining tin spoons,
The McSweeneys two homemade tin flutes
To play all the grand opera tunes.

3. Now when Hogan got up for a speech,
There was suddenly started a fight.
Nancy Hogan let out a great screech
Like a rooster that crows in the night.
Barney Toole began licking the Macs
While Phil Burke tried to part the great foes.
Old Ennis got some terrible whacks
That broke down a big lump on his nose.
The Gormans were pounding Mullarkey,
Both ambitious to conquer or die.
McSweeney was bold as a darkey
Till Pat Foy gave him one in the eye.
Old Judy McCarty was yowling
And Regan big tin tears was shedding,
Till twelve color'd cops came in howling
And shut down on Hogan's tin wedding.

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From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 Jul 04 - 09:35 PM

From a song sheet (broadside) at The Library of Congress American Memory Collection:

Air: Lannegans' Ball

Pay attention a while, and I'll sing you a ditty
About the grand wedding of Larry Magee,
Who dwelt, in a fashionable part of the city,
An illigant fine mansion in Avenue D,
And the great time we had at the wedding.
Where whiskey and fun flew around so free,
And dancing and singing set the room ringing,
At the grand wedding of Larry Magee.

There was Con Donohoe with his old fiddle,
McGinnis, the fishman, and Jerry McShane--
O'Brien, O'Calligan, and Timothy Widdle,
Who brought to the weddin' his bran new Corjano,
With big Andy Fagan, the great whiskey-drinker,
Barney Fitzgibbons, and Dennis Farlee:
McClusky, the butcher, and old Doyle, the tinker,
Were all at the wedding of Larry Magee.

The guests of both sexes all ate very hearty,
And crammed themselves up to the very windpipe:
When an accident happened to Molly McCarty:
She half chocked herself with a large piece of tripe--
If you were to see Riley sail into the mutton,
While all of the ladies did titter with glee!
He fasted two days, the dirty ould glutton,
To make room for the supper of Larry Magee.

When the supper was over, the Corjane and fiddle
Struck up the grand Weddin' of Ballyporeen;
Then the bride made a call upon Timothy Widdle,
Who sang "The Night Larry Was Stretched on the Green."
McGinnis, the fishman, sang "The Croppy Boy" gaily,
And Tim Hooligan gave us "The Boys of Tralee"
While Miss Kitty Baily sang the "Sprig of Shelalah"
At the grand weddin' of Larry Magee.

We danced and sung for two hours and a quarter,
And we drank whiskey until we were sick:
When big Andy Fagan swore the whiskey was water,
And Flaherty leveled him out with a stick;
The women they roared out: "blue murder and blazes!"
Roach broke the old fiddle on the back of Farlee;
Doyle seized a dumplin' (God bless us and save us!)
Which he flung at the head of Larry Magee.

Larry saw that his friends were full of the liquor,
And knew very well to some harm 'twould come;
So, he told them 'twas twelve o'clock by the ticker,
And to take a good bumper, before starting home.
They filled up their glasses to the toast of Pat Daily,
Who hoped, before long, a young Larry to see,
While the bride neat and gaily, smiled so gentaly!..
And so ended the wedding of Larry Magee.

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From: Jim Dixon
Date: 16 Jul 04 - 10:42 PM

From The Library of Congress American Memory Collection -

J. W. Wheeler, 1885

1. I've called to invite ye, my own Katy Kirby,
To go to a soirée in Mulligan Street.
Put on your fine laces. You'll see the old faces,
And then there will be such an ilegant treat.
They've took up the carpets and moved out the stove,
And prepared for all hands a most beautiful spread,
And last night I heard from a man of his word,
They have hired an artist to paint the house red.

CHORUS: Then little Kate Kirby, my own Katy Kirby,
I'll be after calling tonight, don't ye see?
Then put on your derby and don't ye disturb me,
But get on your jersey and come out with me.

2. While Dennis presides at the pianoforty,
We'll take a few steps at an eight-handed reel,
And sure Teddy Flynn will be there with his fiddle,
For Teddy, you know, never misses a meal.
The boys will wear button bouquets in their vests,
And the girls will be rigged in their jewels so bright,
But Katy my love, you will outshine the gang
When we waltz down to supper at Casey's tonight.

3. I'll send a coupé to the house if ye say,
And we'll drive there in style like a fine millionaire,
And after the party, you'll not take a step,
For I'll charter a berdic (?) across in the square.
Then give me your hand, and a sweet little kiss,
And accept the invite, faith, and I'll guarantee
To make the boys jealous and you'll make the gals.
Of our splendid appearance at Casey's soirée.

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Subject: Lyr Add: MCCARTHY'S FANCY BALL (C. Frank Horn)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 18 Jul 04 - 06:31 PM

From The Library of Congress American Memory Collection -

C. Frank Horn, 1884.

1. Of all the friends I vally, McCarthy has the floor.
He lives on Castle Alley forninst Pat Grogan's store.
A message he indited to me and Tom McCaull,
In which we were invited to attend his fancy ball.
Rutherford McCann, Belinda Jane Forgarty,
Alonzo Hoolahan, and Florence McAnall
Were in a get-together. They were the pride of all.
They danc'd the glide and racquet at McCarthy's fancy ball.

CHORUS 1. While McCarthy so gay kept smilin' away:
"Welcome, gintlemen all, to the party.
Clarence Milton, my dear, bring a can full of beer
For the guests of the Castle McCarthy."

2. The supper was the finest that ever I did see,
And to it I escorted Miss Ines Maud McGee.
We had macaroni fritters and lobster fricasseed,
With toast on ice and pickles. It was a glorious feed.
Ham and lemon pie, fried beans and floating island,
With champagne extra dry, we gormandiz'd them all.
When I was full to bursting, they laid me in the hall.
I nearly got dyspepsia at McCarthy's fancy ball.

CHORUS 2: While McCarthy so sound boss'd the servants around:
"Will ye's hurry and wait on the party?
Grace Louisa, I say, bring some potpie this way
For the guests of the Castle McCarthy."

3. The punch went round quite freely. The fun was loud and high,
Till Grogan stuck his finger in Colonel Deely's eye.
This caus'd a great disturbance. The ladies lost their wits,
And Agnes Rose McNally went into gastric fits.
Dooly hit McHugh while I walk'd into Fagan,
Then Peter McAdoo just paralyzed them all.
We put it on McCarthy and sent him to the wall.
'Twas quite a royal picnic at McCarthy's fancy ball.

CHORUS 3: While McCarthy did cry as he pick'd up his eye:
"Arrah, gintlemen, plaze lave the party!
Douglass Tracy, I say, call a cop right away.
There's a scrape at the castle McCarthy."

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From: Jim Dixon
Date: 19 Jul 04 - 10:48 PM

From The Library of Congress American Memory Collection -

Words, J. F. Mitchell. Music, J. Egghard. 1885.

1. Five and twenty years ago, McCarthy took a wife,
And bets were made that in a year she'd tire him of his life.
His silver wedding came last night, and he was still alive,
And ev'rybody came to wish another twenty-five.
Such a sight was never seen and never will again.
Lumps of lovely womanhood were laying for the men.
The house was hardly big enough to hold them all with ease.
The women seem'd to like it, for they never mind a squeeze.

CHORUS: There was flirting in the kitchen, kissing on the stairs.
All about the house you'd fall on couples unawares.
People that were old enough to stop it on the spot
Were struck with fits of foolishness and worse than all the lot.

2. When the supper was removed, 'twas then the fun began,
For ev'ry woman took her part just like a little man;
And hairpins were in great request, and bangs were out of curl,
And ancient mother Flanagan behaved just like a girl.
Nothing else would suit her but to dance the Boston dip.
Like a two-year old, about the parlor she did skip.
She fell and pulled a dozen down. We found her underneath;
And in the scuffle, she had lost her brand-new set of teeth. CHORUS

3. Someone then got up to toast McCarthy and his wife,
And wish them tons of happiness the balance of his life,
With lots of little Bridgets mixed with Michaels or with Pats.
His speech was full of poetry till someone hollered, "Rats!"
Speeches were too dry for them, for they were there for sport.
Once again the old and young began to dance and court.
The fiddler greased his elbow, and we danced and sung away
In honor of McCarthy and his silver wedding day. CHORUS

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Subject: Lyr Add: MISS MALONY'S BALL
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 21 Jul 04 - 12:19 AM

From The Library of Congress American Memory Collection

J. P. Skelly, 1876

1. Malony was a tinker and he lived in Dublin town.
As a singer and a dancer he was known for miles around.
He had a daughter Judy and he asked me for to call.
"There's going to be some fun," says he, "at Miss Malony's ball."
And there we had such great delight
With now and then a jolly fight.
Such ructions and destructions, faith, it was a sight to see.
The Flanagans and Fogartys were there to join the spree.
Oh the punches and the lunches! Sure they never stopped at all.
I thought the house would tumble down at Miss Malony's ball.

2. I dressed up like a daisy and I took my little stick,
And up to ould Malony's home, I traveled mighty quick.
I met some girls upon the road and in with them did fall.
They came to exercise themselves at Miss Malony's ball.
Young Rooney with his impudence
Attempted to advance
And ask the sweet Miss Flanagan to join him in the dance.
Sure then I got excited and I knocked him through the wall.
They brought him home with broken bone from Miss Malony's ball.
They brought him home with broken bone from Miss Malony's ball.

3. Mulcahy got so tipsy, he went sprawling on the floor,
And when we got him to his feet, he tumbled through the door.
He shouted "melia murther" and the girls began to squall,
Which brought the neighbors running in to Miss Malony's ball.
[There seems to be something missing here.]
The whiskey made us lively and the dust began to fly.
Malony's daughter fainted and we thought she'd surely die.
We picked her up and brought her to when loudly she did call,
"Long life to all the decent boys!" at Miss Malony's ball.

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From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 09:23 AM

This one isn't meant to be funny, apparently.

From The Library of Congress American Memory Collection

Words, Edward C. Dobson. Music, Louisa Dewhurst. 1884.

1. The dashing boys and girls so sweet came trooping by the score,
And ev'rybody looked so neat upon the shining floor;
The girls were dress'd all in their best—the fat, the short, the tall—
To dance their fill in each quadrille at Miss McCarthy's ball.

CHORUS: Miss McCarthy led the dance. Then came MacNamara.
Miss O'Shea and Dan O'Day came after Miss O'Hara.
Ev'rybody gaily tripp'd as lively as a sparrow.
With rare delight, they pass'd the night at Miss McCarthy's ball.

2. The boys and girls in corners sat between the dancers gay.
In merriment and jolly chat, they passed the time away.
Then whiskey punch they had for lunch with appetite not small,
And hand all round, the floor they'd pound at Miss McCarthy's ball.

3. The dancing it broke up at four and homeward all withdrew.
With sweetest kisses at the door, each bade his girl adieu.
Such lots of fun had every one, no thought of sleep at all,
And many a heart and hand was won at Miss McCarthy's ball.

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From: Jim Dixon
Date: 24 Jul 04 - 05:13 PM

From The Library of Congress American Memory Collection -

By The Rankins. 1880.

1. We're going to have a party down at Concordia Hall.
We'll have lots of fun and dancing, for we give a darling ball.
When the band begins their music, the Micks will never stop
Till they show their great ability at Mrs. Driscoll's hop.

CHORUS: With winging and singing, without fear of any cop,
We'll do the pivoter slide down at Mrs. Droscoll's hop. REPEAT

2. You can easily imagine, when you look upon us here,
That we're gentlemen of nobility and hail from County Clare.
The lady now in question's not broke at all, at all,
But so very near to busted that we're giving her this ball.

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Subject: Lyr Add: MULDOON'S PICNIC PARTY (C. R. Dockstader)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 26 Jul 04 - 06:38 AM

From The Library of Congress American Memory Collection -

C. R. Dockstader, 1882.

1. One week ago this very day a man of noble station
Was kind enough to write and send us all an invitation
To join him and his family, McCormick and McCarthy,
And pass the day in great display at Muldoon's picnic party.

CHORUS: May and Tessie, Nell and Jessie, Kate and Mary Ryan,
Blue-eyed Josie, pretty Rosie, Mister Dan O'Brien,
Mulcahy and his family, McCue and old McCarty,
Will dance upon the green today at Muldoon's picnic party.

2. Muldoon will bring the donkey and the little old green cart.
The donkey and Mulcahy in a three-mile race will start.
We'll waltz and dance the racquet, Tim McCormick and McCarthy,
We'll hang Mulcahy on the fence at Muldoon's picnic party.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Irish songs about balls, wakes, soirees
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 Jul 04 - 09:56 PM


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE OLD COUNTRY PARTY (Harry M. Palmer)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 28 Jul 04 - 08:02 PM

From The Library of Congress American Memory Collection -

Words, Harry M. Palmer. Air: Irishman's Shanty

Say, did ye iver go till an ould country party,
Where the boys are so gay and the girls dress so smartly,
While around the turf fire the ould folks take their aise,
And a drap of the crater whiniver they please.

CHORUS: Arrah! me jewel! oh! Ireland's the country for me.

The first one I wint to, before I left home,
Was give be me Uncle that lived at Athlone.
He sint word for me to be there without fail,
So I wint in the stagecoach that carried the mail. CHORUS

Whin I opened the door, what a sight met my eyes!
Hot bacon and praties, wid herrin and pies,
While up on the closet by way of a lunch,
Was a five-gallon bowl full of hot whisky punch. CHORUS

There was Dolan the blacksmith, the cooper McFail,
Wid schoolmaster Casey, and Father O'Neal,
O'Brian the butcher, wid a great many more,
And the McEvoy Brothers, who came from Bondore. CHORUS

Thin Biddy McGurn and the brothers O'Neal,
Stood up in the floor for a three-handed reel.
While perched on the table blind piper McGill,
Played a tune called "The Little House under the Hill." CHORUS

"The Connaught Man's Rambles" the pipes thin did play,
While ould folks and young kept dancing away;
But the music stopped short, for the bottle was dry,
And under the table the piper did lie. CHORUS

Thin Biddy McClosky sung "Kitty Astore,"
And Pat MacEvoy giv us "Rory O'More;"
Wid the "Tail of Me Coat" by my first cousin Tim,
And "The Life and Adventures of Bryan O'Linn." CHORUS

But now I'm away from the folks at Athlone,
As well as me father and mother at home;
Be the Powers, the tears rushes into me eyes,
Whin I think of the whisky, the girls, and the pies. CHORUS

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Subject: Lyr Add: OULD HIGGINS' BALL
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 28 Jul 04 - 11:09 PM

The Library of Congress American Memory Collection:

As sung by Tony Pastor and Fred May.
Air: The Wedding of Ballyporeen No. 2. or The Priest of the Parish.

Arrah! haven't ye heard of ould Higgins' ball,
Where Fashion's gay devotees they mustered all?
If not, and you'll listen now, I'll just describe
The joys of a trip to that musical tribe.
There was wealthy ould citizens there, as you see,
And the boys and the girls dressed as fine as could be,
And some out-and-out buffers, a dozen in all,
We made up our minds for a trip to the ball.

Now, whin ready to start, how the people did stare!
We had each of us got something patent and rare;
We made up our minds that the nation we'd stun,
And arrived just in time as the ball had begun.
There ould Higgins we saw, in his new, greasy boots,
Quite busy a-tuning the fiddles and flutes:
A group of musicians, all of the right sort
Whose scraping and noise filled the room full of sport.

Now, the time had arrived for the ball to begin,
And the music struck up such a terrible din!
Wid ould Mrs. H. at the top of the dance,
Each merry young couple did quickly advance:
Och! then, what with treading on each other's toes,
And knocking our heads against many a nose,
Kicking each other's ankles, and jigging in vain:
'Twas an illigant mixture of pleasure and pain!

Now, things went on well, till McGinniss, the snob,
From me my young woman was trying to rob:
Och! thin, such a terrible fight did ensue,
And the rest joining in, at each other they flew.
Peggy Rielly called Higgins an ould drunken sot,
Whin away at her head flew a big pewther pot;
My valor for Peggy it very soon shows,
Just by breaking the bridge of ould Higgins' nose.

Now, they left the place in such a terrible mess,
All covered with portions of bonnets and dress--
Until, quite exhausted, they all fell asleep,
And there, until morning, they lay in a heap.
Now, if ever they venture to go there again,
There's one thing I'll tell you, and that's very plain:
They'll not soon forget, faith! if ever at all.
The illigant fight we'd at ould Higgins' ball.

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From: Cluin
Date: 28 Jul 04 - 11:27 PM

The way we do "The Night Pat Murphy Died" (I rewrote it a bit to suit our performance).


The night that Paddy Murphy died is a night I'll ne'er forget
All the boys got roarin' drunk and some aren't sober yet
As long as the drink was goin' `round, there's not a tear was shed
Till O'Leary came with the bagpipes all for to wake the dead
   Missus Murphy sat in the corner, pourin' out her grief
   While Kelly and his pals, them dirty robbin' thieves
They crept into the anteroom and a bottle of whiskey stole
And laid the bottle on the corpse to keep the liquor cold

Well, that's how they showed respect for Paddy Murphy
That's how they showed their honour and their pride
They said it was a sin and a shame and they winked at one another
Everything in the wakehouse went the night Pat Murphy died

They sat up Paddy in his box and to make a proper job
They shoved a pint into his hand and a pipe into his gob
They stopped the clock so Missus Murphy couldn't tell the time
It was a quarter after three; they told her it was nine
   Now the whole damn gang got merry, they didn't care for prayer
   "The Devil take his own tonight!", I heard someone declare
But of all the sights I ever saw, it made me shiver with fear
When they raked the ice right off the corpse and placed it on the beer


But everything was goin' grand; no ruction to observe
Till Finnegan told Flannagan, "Ye've got an awful nerve"
For Flannagan told Finnegan, "Your state is a disgrace!"
Then Finnegan wound up and put his fist in Flanny's face
   Well, the battle did take hold then, and everybody in
   I saw O'Brian on top o' Ryan on top o' Flynn on top o' Quinn
And that crazy Andy Burke was there; now whaddaya think he done?
He flung the corpse right into the fight with a holler, just for fun


When the peelers came to pay respect, they battered down the door
They fell upon poor Paddy then and drove him to the floor
They knocked him twice behind the ears and once upon the head
And when they jumped back from their work, sure, they found out he was dead
   Missus Murphy joined the fray then; she lathered all them cops
   She ran off every one of them and chased 'em several blocks
A lovely time was had by all, eighteen in court were tried
For in-stee-gay-tin' riot on the night Pat Murphy died


(since we perform it fairly quickly in the key of A, we launch into a couple of rounds of "Devil's Dream" to wrap things up.)

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From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Jul 04 - 10:58 PM

From The Library of Congress American Memory Collection:

Jim O'Neil & Jack Conroy, 1880.

1. How are yous one and all?
Sure we tho't we'd make a call
And tell you all about the widow's party.
'Twas at Pythagoras Hall
We gave a breakdown ball
And invited all the young fellows gay and hearty.
There was handsome Paddy Grace.
Sure he's now on the police.
He was put there by a political party.
He came from County Cork
To the city of New York.
He jok'd and sang and made us laugh so hearty.

CHORUS: Ah, the charming Widow Clancy,
She was any man's fancy.
She was a fluent talker
And a rattling six-day walker;
And a Venus is the charming Widow Clancy.

2. McGinn sang "Pinafore"
Till his throat was very sore,
And "Little Dundeen" sang by Smith so sweetly.
Crosby sang a little ditty;
The girls all call'd him witty;
And McGuffin done an Irish jig so neatly.
Flynn sang "Dancing on the Green,"
Also "She's a Fairy Queen."
Flood sang "Hold the Fort, for We're the Strongest Party."
And Murphy and Tim Lang
Done "The Lackawanna Gang"
Down at the charming Widow Clancy's Party.

3. As it was growing late,
Sure we tho't 'twas time to ate.
We went in two by twos down to the supper.
We were hardly seated right
When there was a fearful fight,
For McGinnis swore the whiskey was all water.
All around 'twas hand to hand,
And they nearly kill'd the band,
When in step'd the famous boxer Mike McCarty.
He swore by pow'rs above
That he'd just put on the gloves
And clear out ev'ry sucker in the party.

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From: Jim Dixon
Date: 31 Jul 04 - 01:14 PM

From The Library of Congress American Memory Collection:

Air: Bryan O'Lynn.
H. De Marsan, Pub. 54 Chatham Street, N. Y. [n. d.]

Listen a while, and I'll sing you a ditty
About a grand party, in this famous city,
At a fine institution called Hibernian Hall,
Which surely knocked spots out of Lannigan's ball.

There was Tim Mulkeaghy and Bridget O'Nale,
Maguffin' McSweeny, and Paudeen McPhail:
And the Galleghers, and Murphys from sweet Donegal,
Came to shake their flat feet at Mulroony's ball.

There was lame Judy Burke, and McManus the big,
Who was transported from Ireland for stealing a pig:
With one-eyed McSweeny, and fat Micky Gerall,
Dancing their brains out at Mulroony's ball.

Next came Pat O'Flanigan with his big red nose,
Dressed up to kill in a new suit of clothes;
He no sooner came in, than on the floor he did fall,
Raising the first laugh at Mulroony's grand ball.

Pat Maguffin got up, and he swore by the rope:
No man should dance till he first paid the soap;
As 'twas to bring to this country the widdy so small,
They got up the grand shindig at Hibernian Hall.

The table was laid, he collected the tin,
The fiddle struck up, and the dancing begin;
For a breakdown, of course, Mulkeaghy did call:
Sure, there was nothing but breakdowns at Mulroony's ball.

After dancing a few jigs and a three-handed reel,
Casey called for a song from Timothy Freel,
Who sung: "Paddy's Wedding" to the delight of all;
For, they were all merry at Mulroony's ball.

The dance was kept up till the middle of the night,
When Cork got glorious, and Kerry got tight;
Tim Mulkeaghy struck out at poor Micky Gerall:
She began the blue murder at Mulroony's ball.

Eyes were knocked out, and noses battered in,
The table was upset, and down came the tin,
All in postage stamps (stickers,) both large and small,
Which stuck to the floor of the Hibernian Hall.

But the sport was soon stopped by a squad of police
Who arrested the rioters for breaking the peace,
And broke up the "you and your partner" ball
Of the Widdy Mulroony, at Hibernian Hall.

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From: Jim Dixon
Date: 01 Aug 04 - 11:44 PM

From The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music:

Words, Eugene F. Fox. Music, Otto M. Heinzman. 1892.

1. Last night, sure I attended to a high-toned masquerade.
'Twas given by a gentleman of wide renown and fame.
So, thinking I would show up strong, I dressed up in my best,
And being in a hurry, I forgot to don my vest.
I ordered up a carriage to take me to the ball.
I thought I'd be the finest man that attended to the ball.
So when the driver stopped his coach and said we had arrived,
I found I had no vest on, and I thought I'd nearly die.

CHORUS: For the ball was the finest ever given in the land.
I expected when I entered every one would clasp my hand.
But instead I was a laughing stock for all in the hall.
Oh! What a night at Kelley's masquerade ball!

2. I sat up on the balcony as if I were in a trance,
And up came pretty Miss McKeon and asked me down to dance.
Of course, I had no vest on, and her I did refuse.
She then sat down beside me until I asked to be excused.
Just then, the music started and the marching it began.
The sight that met my eyes just then was something very grand,
To see little Tommy Mulligan linked arms with Kitty Dunn,
While the band up in the balcony murdered "Johnny Get Your Gun."

3. The music made me feel good, and I got out on the floor,
For the height of my ambition was to dance with Bridgett Moore.
We danced a Berlin polka and a few more dances too,
And with our fancy step and moves, we easily got through.
Then the supper march was started ,and of course, I fell in line.
With dear Bridgett by my side then, we both went down to dine.
And when the supper it was o'er, I sat back for the rest,
And the crown around the tables shouted, "Casey, where's your vest?"

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From: Jim Dixon
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 12:50 AM

From The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music:

(A few words are doubtful, owing to the smallness of the print. Corrections are welcome.)

Words, Wal Pink. Music, Frank Aylmer.

1. At the neat little church of old Father McEmber,
One morn in September, 'tis well I remember,
'Twas close on a frost, cold enough for December,
    When Barney McGilligan's wedding took place.
The bride was the charming Patricia O'Brady,
A neat little lady, who turned up O'Thady,
Because a jackass of his ugly self made he,
    And joined the militia, bad scran to his face!
The parson was there and neighbors galore,
With Bridgett O'Moore and bridesmaids a score.
They had patent linoleum right up the floor
    To carry the thing out in style.
The scene in the vestry was over and done.
The two were made one. We laughed at the fun,
And for a salute, Kelly fired off his gun
    As slowly they came down the aisle.
'Twas nothing but kissing and laughing and crying.
The organ was playing. The boys were hurraying.
For good luck to both, Widow Brady was praying
    And tears big as eggs they were shedding.
They pelted the elegant couple with rice,
Old slippers and shoes. It was awfully nice.
Well, I wished I'd been married myself once or twice,
    In the church at McGilligan's wedding.

2. To breakfast we went after these ceremonies.
'Twas held at Maloney's, the worst of old cronies.
The joints were hog's trotters and pickled polonies,
    With bride cake and little boys naked on top.
Says I, "It is time now the cake to be carving."
Without more palavering, the bride commenced jarring.
O'Doyle took the first piece as if he was starving,
    When Barney McGilligan told him to stop.
He swore hard and fast if O'Doyle touched the cake,
Without any mistake, a fair ruction he'd make,
And nigh every bone in his body he'd break,
    And terrible things he would do.
But Mr. O'Doyle simply answered, "All right.
If you're so polite, I'm ready to fight!"
So they cleared all the tables and chairs out of sight,
    And then came a hullabaloo.
For each tried the other to give a good licking
With dodging and tricking, and scratching and kicking.
Their fingers in each other's eyes they were sticking,
    And gallons of gore they were shedding.
When right in the midst of the bother and scene,
Somehow or another, I got shoved in between,
And both took my head for a punching machine
    On the day of McGilligan's wedding.

3. Now when they had finished their noses (?) a-wringing,
They all commenced singing. The fiddler was stringing,
And on his old fiddle, pong-panging and pinging,
    To get it tuned up for the dancing all square.
Father McGee the flute was thumbing,
The piano strumming, a funny tune humming.
'Twixt "God Save the Queen" and "The Campbells Are Coming,"
    A conglomerated and mixed-up affair.
Then sweet Kitty Flynn for a partner I found,
A dancer renowned. We went skipping around.
Like any racehorse we got over the ground,
    Till I suddenly missed Kitty Flynn.
I searched through the place, went on every floor.
No kitty I saw. I raved and I swore,
But I found her at last with a round dozen more,
    Making love to a gallon of gin.
We kept up the singing and dancing and laughing,
All merrily chaffing, the pongelow (?) quaffing.
Some of 'em whiskeying, others four-halfing,
    Till I made allusion to bedding.
Then Mr. McGilligan ended the route.
Says he to his wife, "You are sleepy, no doubt."
So he opened the door and he slung us all out
    On the night of his glorious wedding.

4. Going home, Ted McMollow such queer songs did hollow,
That blackguards did follow. Says I to McMollow,
"Just come to my house and a thimbleful swallow,
    And wait till the rascals have gone out of sight."
He did, and we drank till we scarcely could waddle.
It got in my noddle. Says Ted, "I shall toddle."
I felt like a mousey (?) half-screwed molly-coddle,
    And scarcely could speak, but I murmured good-night,
Then rolled into bed. That they'd gone, I'd no doubt;
But when he went out, they set up a shout,
And gave him an elegant smack on the snout,
    And busted out laughing like mad.
I rushed to the door and there I found Ted,
Well, nearly half dead. "Who's done it?" I said,
When somebody dropped half a brick on my head,
    Which made me feel awfully bad.
The blackguards they gave me a kicking for nothing,
A thrashing and sloshing, a bashing and boshing. (?)
My bandages now form a tidy week's washing,
    While they on the "mill" are now treading.
Should McGilligan's wife die, I am very sure he
At his second wedding will never see me.
I will go to his funeral with pleasure and glee,
    But never again to his wedding.

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