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Wolf Éirinn

McNally's Row of Flats ~ Mick Moloney

7,418 views 3 years ago
Some British sources credit London producer George Edwardes with creating the first musical comedies, but he did not begin presenting this form until 1893, and most of his Gaiety Theater productions were little more than Gilbert and Sullivan-style operettas with chorines in shortened skirts. The form we know as musical comedy was actually born on Broadway in a series of shows starring Edward (Ned) Harrigan and Tony Hart. Produced between 1878 and 1884, with book and lyrics by Harrigan and music by his father in law David Braham, these musical comedies featured characters and situations taken from the everyday life of New York's lower classes -- minus any sign of burlesque's showgirls. With these distinctly American musicals, Harrigan, Hart and Braham laid a path that Broadway would follow profitably for more than a century to come.

McNally's Row of Flats
Mick Moloney
Original Lyrics (Harrington and Hart)

Down in Bottle Alley lived Timothy McNally
A wealthy politician and a gentleman at that
Beloved by the ladies, the garsoons (boys), and the babies
That occupy the building called McNally's Row of Flats.

Chorus -
And it's Ireland and Italy, Jerusalem and Germany, Chinese and Africans
and a paradise for rats.
All Jumbled up together in the snow and rainy weather
They constitute the tenants in McNally's Row of flats.

That great conglomeration of men from every nation
The tower of Babylonium it couldn't equal that
A Peculiar institution where the brogues without dilution
They Rattled on together in McNally's Row of Flats.

Chorus-
And it's Ireland and Italy, Jerusalem and Germany, Chinese and Africans
and a paradise for rats.
All Jumbled up together in the snow and rainy weather
They constitute the tenants in McNally's Row of flats.

Music Solo

Bags of rags and papers, tramps and other sleepers,
Italian lazzaronies and lots of hungry cats
Lyin on the benches an dyin there by inches
From the open ventilation in McNally's Row of Flats

Chorus-
And it's Ireland and Italy, Jerusalem and Germany, Chinese and Africans
and a paradise for rats.
All Jumbled up together in the snow and rainy weather
They constitute the tenants in McNally's Row of flats.

It never was expected that the rent would be collected
They levied on the furniture, the bedding, and the slats
It's then you'd see the rally as they battled down the alley
Evicted from the building called McNally's Row of Flats.

Chorus X2 -
And it's Ireland and Italy, Jerusalem and Germany, Chinese and Africans
and a paradise for rats.
All Jumbled up together in the snow and rainy weather
They constitute the tenants in McNally's Row of flats.

This is a record dedicated to songs by Ed Harrigan and David Braham, who in the late 19th century were two of the driving forces behind what was to become Broadway. Braham's music and Harrigan's words were written for New York stages from the 1870s on to the 1890s, but they were also sung in bars and in homes. They were part of the popular music of the day, and in spite of being written in America they were very Irish.
Many of the songs have lived on, and some of them have crossed over to the folk circuit, being presented as traditional. Moloney has certainly done his research before going into the recording studio. Apart from 14 songs you get a booklet with the history of Harrigan and Braham, extensive notes on each song and the full lyrics.
The performances on the CD are probably as close as possible to how the songs were presented in the variety shows and plays they first appeared in. That means lots of piano and brass and wind instruments, together with vocal harmonies on the choruses. Think vaudeville and old-fashioned music hall to get the picture.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wik...

http://www.mickmoloney.com/...

http://www.nyu.edu/library/...

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