From Sally In Our Alley 1902, and recorded by Marie Cahill on 29th May 1917.
[Victor Recording: Matrix Number B-20004; Date: 5/29/1917; Under The Bamboo Tree; Marie Cahill - female vocal solo with male vocal chorus, with orchestra]
This song was a popular favourite for generations, even though the lyric (authored by African Americans) may be found offensive today.
Songwriters Cole and Johnson originally introduced the tune in their popular vaudeville act.
It was interpolated in the Broadway musical Sally in Our Alley (1902), where it was introduced by Marie Cahill. The song went over so well that she had to reprise it in her next show, Nancy Brown (1903).
Many will recognize this as the song and dance duet shared by Judy Garland and Margaret O'Brien in Meet Me in St. Louis (1944).
Many of the most popular female vocalists combined contralto voices with a mastery of the newly popular raggy rhythms. Sophie Tucker, Marie Cahill, Belle Baker and others commissioned songs from the African-American songwriters, such as Shelton Brooks and Chris Smith, or from Irving Berlin and those of his younger generation. They often brought their vaudeville specialties with them for Broadway appearances.
Marie Cahill interpolated Smith's "He's a Cousin of Mine" into Marrying Mary, where it acted as an anti-After the Ball. Each time her character was caught kissing another man, she sang "he's a cousin of mine." When she returned to vaudeville, she commissioned a follow-up song "He's My Cousin (if she's your niece), which continued "What's good for the gander is good for the geese."
Marie Cahill (February 7th 1870 August 23rd 1933) was a singer and comedienne.
This popular stage artiste came from a strict Irish Catholic family that disapproved of her theatrical ambitions. Cahill learned her craft in amateur productions and touring companies
The tiny, plump, feisty performer made her debut in her hometown, Brooklyn, in Kathleen Mavourneen, then made her Manhattan debut in 1888 in C. O. D.
After appearing briefly in McKenna's Flirtation and a revival of A Tin Soldier in 1889, she left for Europe, where she spent the next several seasons in Paris and London.
When Cahill returned, she went on to appear in over twenty Broadway musicals.
She earned remarkable notices as Lady Patty Larceny, forever seeking the perfect mate, in Victor Herbert's short‐lived The Gold Bug (1896), in which she stopped the show singing When I First Began to Marry, Years Ago.
After several other supporting roles, she won widespread attention introducing Nancy Brown in The Wild Rose (1902).
Her most famous song was Under the Bamboo Tree, which she first sang while playing the title role in Sally in Our Alley (1902).
Star parts followed in Nancy Brown (1903), It Happened in Nordland (1904), Moonshine (1905), Marrying Mary (1906), The Boys and Betty (1908), Judy Forgot (1910), The Opera Ball (1912), and Ninety in the Shade (1915).
In 1903, she married her manager, Daniel V. Arthur (c. 1867 1939).
She made a few silent films; Judy Forgot (1915), Gladys Day Dreams (1917), When Betty Bets (1917), Patsys Partner (1917) and "The Palace" (1919).
Thereafter her Musical Comedy career began to falter.
She made her vaudeville debut at The Palace in 1919, and remained a big-time circuit favourite for years afterward.
Audiences delighted in her telephone skits and renditions of "It's Right Here For You" and "Under the Bamboo Tree."
Her last appearances were in the revue Merry‐Go‐Round (1927) and Cole Porter's The New Yorkers - as the gigolo‐seeking Park Avenue matron Mrs. Wentworth - (1930) marked Cahill's final Broadway appearance.
During her career, the strong‐willed actress often won notoriety by insisting on inserting her own interpolations, her battles sometimes costing her important roles.
Miss Cahill was buried with her husband in Olive Square Section, Range D, Graves 1 & 2 at Holy Cross Cemetery, Brooklyn, Kings County, New York, USA. The grave is currently unmarked.