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happy? - July 25 (Miss Bailey)


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(origins) Origins: Unfortunate Miss Bailey (30)
Folklore: Ratafee (strong drink) (20)

Abby Sale 25 Jul 05 - 07:14 AM
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Subject: happy? - July 25
From: Abby Sale
Date: 25 Jul 05 - 07:14 AM

George Colman's Love laughs at locksmiths (a comic opera, in two acts) premiered on July 25, 1803 at the Haymarket Theatre, London and then in New York in 1807. The play was translated (1802) word-for-word from the French, Une Folie with the single addition, at the very end, of one new song (written by someone only identified as "Risk"). The tune was traditional but based on "Ally Croker" by Larry Grogan, c.1725. It became a pop hit in London and also, four years later in New York. It went immediately into tradition in both countries and is recognized as the tune for the battle of New Orleans song, "The Hunters of Kentucky." The anonymous last verse was added sometime later and is not given in any of the "official" printings. It is hand written on a contemporary printing of the play.

        A captain bold in Halifax,
        That dwelt in Country quarters,
        Seduc'd a maid who hang'd herself
        One morning in her garters,
        His wicked conscience smited him,
        He lost his stomach daily,
        He took to drinking ratafia
        And thought upon Miƒs Bailey.

                "Unfortunate Miƒs Bailey"

(Ratafia: A sweet cordial flavored with fruit kernels or almonds.)

Copyright © 2005, Abby Sale - all rights reserved
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