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Lyr Req: The Sidewalks of New York: 'East side...'

McGrath of Harlow 13 Nov 02 - 08:56 PM
Mr Happy 13 Nov 02 - 09:10 PM
Joe Offer 13 Nov 02 - 09:12 PM
Mr Happy 13 Nov 02 - 09:13 PM
Joe Offer 13 Nov 02 - 09:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Nov 02 - 09:40 PM
masato sakurai 14 Nov 02 - 10:32 AM
Declan 14 Nov 02 - 11:20 AM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Nov 02 - 05:10 PM
GUEST,colwyn dane 16 Nov 02 - 06:33 PM
GUEST,colwyn dane 16 Nov 02 - 06:40 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Nov 02 - 08:19 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 16 Nov 02 - 11:08 PM
mmb 17 Nov 02 - 02:48 PM
GUEST,Q 17 Nov 02 - 03:28 PM
GUEST,Q 17 Nov 02 - 03:33 PM
Sorcha 17 Nov 02 - 03:39 PM
GUEST,Q 17 Nov 02 - 03:50 PM
mmb 17 Nov 02 - 03:54 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Nov 02 - 03:58 PM
GUEST,Q 17 Nov 02 - 04:48 PM
mmb 17 Nov 02 - 05:01 PM
GUEST,Q 17 Nov 02 - 05:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Nov 02 - 05:29 PM
mmb 17 Nov 02 - 05:32 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Nov 02 - 06:36 PM
GUEST,Q 17 Nov 02 - 07:09 PM
mmb 17 Nov 02 - 07:26 PM
Jim Dixon 21 Nov 02 - 09:35 PM
pattyClink 22 Nov 02 - 03:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Nov 02 - 03:52 PM
GUEST,Peggy 04 Jun 10 - 07:21 PM
Reiver 2 05 Jun 10 - 12:02 AM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Jun 10 - 06:36 PM
GUEST 01 Jul 13 - 05:43 PM
Thompson 20 Sep 14 - 05:22 AM
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Subject: East side, West side
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Nov 02 - 08:56 PM

East side, West Side, all around the town,
The bums sing ring-around-rosie, London Bridge is falling down
Some of them are sober, while others can't see where they walk
And they bounce their heads every evening
on the sidewalks of New York


That's all I recall of an old 78 that we used to have, handed down from someone, with this rewrite of a kids song. The singer? I've a feeling he might have been called Bowery Bill or something like that, and it would have been recorded I imagine sometime in the late 20s.

Does it ring a bell with anyone? Any more words? Any more songs or details? I believe there were a sort of vogue for these "singing bums" and "singing hoboes" - but my impression is generally they'd have been rural, and this one is very urbam.


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Subject: RE: East side, West side
From: Mr Happy
Date: 13 Nov 02 - 09:10 PM

james cagney sang it in an old b/w flim.


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Subject: RE: East side, West side
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Nov 02 - 09:12 PM

Hi, Kevin -

I puppose you're interested in a parody, but I thought I oughta post a fascinating article I found at this page from the New York Daily News
-Joe Offer-

New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com
Mamie O'Rourke
By DAVID HINCKLEY
Tuesday, September 10th, 2002

Perhaps she expected to stay for only one dance. A quick waltz and she would be gone, having escaped for only a stolen moment from the grinding life of the 19th century immigrant.

But by chance two men caught a snapshot of her step, a snapshot in song. And that's why, a century later,

Mamie O'Rourke is still dancing.

East Side, West Side,
All around the town
The tots sang "Ring-a-Rosie,"
"London Bridge is falling down."
Boys and girls together,
Me and Mamie O'Rourke
Tripped the light fantastic
On the sidewalks of New York.

Seldom have those well-trod sidewalks been cast in more romantic light, and though some might argue that Mamie owes her spot in history primarily to the fact her surname rhymes with "New York," she was exactly the girl who would have been waltzing along E. 18th St. in the summer of 1894.

That's the year a composer and second-tier vaudeville actor named Charles Lawlor walked into John Goldring's East Side hat shop, whistling a catchy tune he had composed, he allowed, during a spell of intoxication. Tending the counter was James Blake, who happened to write lyrics. Lawlor whistled, Blake wrote and somewhere between a half-hour and three days later, depending on when Blake told the story, they finished "The Sidewalks of New York."

In an age that felt no degree of sentimental melodrama to be excessive in its popular music, Blake and Lawlor had a winner: Their ode to the bright old days sold more sheet music than any other song in America in early 1895, and they sold its rights for $5,000, a small fortune in the short term.

But that was a small fraction of its ultimate value. The songsmiths had no way of knowing in the summer of '94 that Al Smith would one day ride into the governor's mansion to the tune of "Sidewalks," or that Mamie's song would someday signal race time at Belmont Park, or that the New York Mets would appropriate her melody for a fight song.

So she has gotten around, Mamie O'Rourke, though we know nothing more about her than that she tripped a mean light fantastic.

Did she have dark hair? Red hair? Blue eyes? What did she wear to a sidewalk waltz on a summer evening? Wide hoop skirts? Muttonchop sleeves? Blake said later that all the characters in the song - pretty Nellie Shannon, little Jimmy Crowe, Jakey Krause the baker - were modeled after his own E. 18th St. neighbors. But there is no record of anyone coming forward to claim a real-life role, and so we are left with shadows, of which Mamie may be the most intriguing simply because she alone is cited by name in the chorus.

We are not even certain of her age. Perhaps she was as young as 10 or 12. She probably wasn't over 20, for then she might well have been married. She was most likely a teenager, old enough to waltz but young enough to still want to come out and play.

Down in front of Casey's
Old brown wooden stoop
On a summer's evening
We formed a merry group.
Boys and girls together,
We would sing and waltz,
While the "ginnie" played the organ
On the sidewalks of New York.

Inelegant as a street organ might sound, it could crank out a perfectly serviceable waltz. Blake would complain 30 years later that with all the foolishness of the Roaring Twenties, jazz and all, no one knew real dancing anymore, certainly not like they did in Mamie's day.

We do know that Mamie O'Rourke very likely enjoyed a level of respectability not accorded to her mother or even older siblings, because the New York Irish of the mid-1890s were not the Irish of the 1850s.

For starters, they were no longer seen primarily as the criminal class. Not only were three-quarters of the police Irish, the percentage of violent crimes committed by the Irish had dipped from 60% in the 1850s to less than 10% - in part because they now had less need to commit crimes. New York's first Irish mayor, William Grace, was elected in 1880, and that opened the usual number of doors, particularly in civil service. At the same time, reformers like Dagger John Hughes, a clergyman who founded the Society to Protect Destitute Catholic Children, had helped to take an estimated 60,000 Irish kids off the streets and raise the literacy rate among the Irish to 90%.

Mamie's people, almost certainly including Mamie's family, if not Mamie herself, began landing on New York's shores in the late 1840s, driven from their homeland by starvation and finding only slightly less misery here. By 40 years later, the city's population had tripled, from half a million to 1.5 million, and 30% of these people were Irish. But by 1890 they were no longer on the bottom rung of the social ladder. That position was now occupied by Italians and, to a lesser extent, Russian Jews.

While Italians constituted only 8% of the city's population, they were widely regarded as, at best, an untidy presence. The Irish had moved up - a status Blake pointedly reinforces with his casual reference to the one Italian on his sidewalks as "the ginnie," which then, as now, was not a compliment.

Blake later spread his ethnic references around, reteaming with Lawlor to write a tune called "The Mick Who Threw the Brick." Still, in most modern renditions of "Sidewalks," the organ grinder has become "Tony."

Whoever composed Mamie's merry group, it soon became evident that, among music lovers, the sheer exhilaration of the light fantastic crossed all ethnic lines.

Despite all the happy sing-along parlor songs they left us, the 1890s were more grim than gay for most Americans. Of the 12 million families in the country in 1890, 11 million had an annual income below $1,200, and the average in that group was $380. If Mamie O'Rourke was over age 9, she very likely had a job, in a shop or a rich lady's home or a garment factory, helping to feed and clothe the other O'Rourkes.

So a chance to head down to the sidewalk for a waltz was not an incidental social obligation for Mamie O'Rourke, but a rare moment of carefree delight.

Things have changed since those times
Some are up in "G,"
Others, they are wand'rers,
But they all feel just like me.
They'd part with all they've got
Could they but once more walk
With their best girl and have a twirl
On the sidewalks of New York.


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Subject: RE: East side, West side
From: Mr Happy
Date: 13 Nov 02 - 09:13 PM

he also did yanky doodle in the same film- but i can't rember the title.


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Subject: RE: East side, West side
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Nov 02 - 09:25 PM

Here is the information from the entry at the Levy Sheet Music Site.

Title: Chas. B. Lawlor's Great Sidewalks. The Sidewalks of New York. Song and Chorus.
Composer, Lyricist, Arranger: Words and Music by Chas. B. Lawlor and James W. Blake.
James W. Blake Publication: New York: Howley, Haviland & Co., 4 East 20th Street, 1894.
Form of Composition: strophic with chorus
Instrumentation: piano and voice
First Line: Down in front of Casey's, Old brown wooden stoop
First Line of Chorus: East side, West side, all around the town
Dedicatee: Dedicated to Little Dollie Golding.

Lyrics, of course, are in that renowned musical resource, The Digital Tradition. No tune, though.

But, Joe, what does that have to do with the parody Kevin requested?
I dunno. Just wanted to be complete.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: East side, West side
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Nov 02 - 09:40 PM

Thanks Joe - I've never seen those later verses of the song, and I'd always assumed that it was a street/playground song rather than a written one.

I think Jimmy Cagney would have been singing the original song in the film. I'm hoping more about that parody and about whoever recorded it comes up.

That record might have had Hallellujah I'm a Bum on the other side, or some version of it anyway.

I'm sure that Pete St John must have "East Side West Side" in his mind when he wrote "Dublin in the Rare Old Times" - the fall of the verses and the tune have a family resemblance. And the story has as well. (And of course that's no kind of criticism - good songs need to have roots, I strongly believe.)


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Subject: RE: East side, West side
From: masato sakurai
Date: 14 Nov 02 - 10:32 AM

MIDI from Public Domain Music: 19th Century American Popular Music (scroll down to "1894"; with original lyrics too).
~Masato


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Subject: RE: East side, West side
From: Declan
Date: 14 Nov 02 - 11:20 AM

The name of the film in which James Cagney sang Yankee Doodle Dandy was (surprisingly) Yankee Doodle Dandy. It was the story of George M Cohan the Broadway entertainer. Sorry for continuing the thread creep.


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Subject: RE: East side, West side
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 05:10 PM

I notice the Ring around Rosie thread has been revived, which bears a relation to this one.

So maybe someone might still come up with a pointer to this parody and this singer.


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Subject: RE: East side, West side
From: GUEST,colwyn dane
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 06:33 PM


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Subject: RE: East side, West side
From: GUEST,colwyn dane
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 06:40 PM

Ooops-a-daisy.

J Cagney also reprised the Cohan role in the Bob Hope film, 'The 7 Little Foys'.

Bob Hope also appeared in a biopic of Mayor James Walker of New York 'Beau James' - I believe the song featured in that work.

CD.


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Subject: RE: East side, West side
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 08:19 PM

What I like about the tune is that it seems to have a tentative and melancholy sound to it, a bit like some musical boxes tend to have.


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Subject: RE: East side, West side
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 11:08 PM

THANK YOU JOE!!!! I like it!!!

Now THIS is what I love about the MudCat....every so often....there is real gem of a contribution which adds to the communal pot of knowledge.

THANX again,

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: East side, West side
From: mmb
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 02:48 PM

Mudcat is truly dangerous! Whatever I planned to do this afternoon, I'm now off on a search for John Wilcox's song "The Bowry," which I can't find in the MC database.
    The first line is "If you ever take a walk down the Bowry streets where broken glass litters the way . . ."   It muses on the "Why's" behind some of the broken-down individuals with their brown paper bags, bottles, and cardboard shelters on The Sidewalks of New York.
    "The Bowry's" melody is reminiscent of East Side, West Side, and ends with an instrumental interlude of the original song's melody.
    I will post the lyrics here when I find it. M.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: East side, West side
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 03:28 PM

"The Bowery, the Bowery, I'll never go there any more."
The song by Percy Gaunt was included in Hoyt's "A Trip to Chinatown,' a revue, 1892. A couple of the other songs were also hits at the time.

American Memory, Historic sheet music, box 1, 1890-1899. "Bowery." It is on p. 4 ff. of the sheet music book.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: East side, West side
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 03:33 PM

The song IS in the DT, "The Bowery. I found it by putting bowery in the Lyrics and knowledge search box.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: East side, West side
From: Sorcha
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 03:39 PM

The Bowery in the DT, but there is nothing about broken glass.....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: East side, West side
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 03:50 PM

There is nothing about broken glass in the original song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: East side, West side
From: mmb
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 03:54 PM

The DT song is a different song. John Wilcox wrote and recorded his song in the 1970's.
    Some of the US musicians may recall that he was traveling with a group doing an eclectic assortment of songs from bluegrass to a capella hymns about ten years or so ago. I can't recall whether it was the group, or their tape (or both?) that bore the name "Marley's Ghost."
    Off to finish household duties, then to search through my old tapes and songbooks. . .    M.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: East side, West side
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 03:58 PM

Sound as though it's different song. The same way John Wilcox sounds like a different name from Percy Gaunt. It also sounds as if it'd be worth finding.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: East side, West side
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 04:48 PM

I posted the Hoyt and Gaunt words in the thread "The Bowery." The DT version is incomplete.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: East side, West side
From: mmb
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 05:01 PM

Curiouser and curiouser . . .

Sandy Paton, Help, Please!

The artist whose name appears on the Marley's Ghost albums is, indeed, the one who wrote and recorded the Bowery Song I remember - on Folk Legacy, no less, in 1972. Except that then his name was spelled "John Wilcox," and on the Marley's Ghost albums it appears as "Jon Wilcox."
    In addition, when I went to the Folk Legacy Catalog page to look up John/Jon's album "Stages of My Life," there is only a title but no catalog number ( was it C 45?) or photo icon. Does this mean it is out of print, and my 33-1/3 record up in Albany is the only chance I will have of hearing it again?
    I'm not likely to get up to Albany any time soon, so if there's no reason why it can't, or shouldn't, be done, would you please post the lyrics, Sandy? Now I've got the tune and the feeling haunting me, but only snippets of the words will come back.
    Thanks.   M. : )


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: East side, West side
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 05:25 PM

Ten cds and one DVD of Jon Wilson (Marleys Ghost) seem to be listed currently. None of the tracks on these mention the Bowery.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: East side, West side
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 05:29 PM

And they are both the same song? They certainly don't read that way:

"Wilcox":

If you ever take a walk down the Bowry streets
where broken glass litters the way . .


Gaunt:

Oh! The night that I struck New York
I went out for a quiet walk...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: East side, West side
From: mmb
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 05:32 PM

It may not be 100% accurate, but most of the first verse has oozed to the surface as I've been searching:

If you ever take a walk down the Bowry streets
Where broken glass litters the way,
And broken-down men with nowhere to go
Will greet you at all times of day,
With their eyes held down and their hands held out,
And there's nothing that you can say.
You can't look in their eye, so you pass on by,
And you wonder what makes a man stay. . .

    Someone posted in the "Happy Birthday Folk Legacy" thread that John/Jon Wilcox and Jim Ringer were among the writer's favorite Folk Legacy artists. This song has the same empathy with the Down-and-Out as Jim Ringer's "Waitin' for the Hard Times to Go." - - And rightfully so, since they were contemporaneous with the recession of the '70's and Reaganomics . . . but I won't go there.
    I will find the remainder of the song somewhere, if Sandy or someone else doesn't come up with it first.    M.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: East side, West side
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 06:36 PM

That reminds me of a great song by Enda Kenny (the Australian singer, not the Irish politician), The Barman Says (on his Twelve Songs CD - and that link has a couple of sound files, but not this one):

Here's a taster:

In every second doorway
The cardboard box is down
There's children on the street tonight
With nowhere else to go
And the pity is that noone wants to know

Noone stops to talk to them
For fear they'd rob you blind
It's best to keep pn walking,
Outa sight is out of mind
Have you got no homes to go to
Was the barman's final cry
And he thinks, there but for God's grace go I.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: East side, West side
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 07:09 PM

The album "Close to Home" with Jon Wilcox is listed in Folk-Legacy notes. Briar BR 4210 LP. No track listings.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: East side, West side
From: mmb
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 07:26 PM

GUEST,Q, The Folk Legacy catalog does list the 1972 "Stages of My Life" with no catalog number, but it is listed between C44 and C46, so my deduction is that it is there for historical purposes, but is out of print. I should PM Sandy, since there is no compelling reason for him to open this thread. I'm sure he will enlighten us.

McGrath, if you visit the "Search for the Saddest Song Ever" thread at http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=53388#822990, you may be interested in the song I posted there, which is based on a true incident.    M.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SIDEWALKS OF NEW YORK (Lawlor & Blake
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 21 Nov 02 - 09:35 PM

Here are the lyrics transcribed from the sheet music at the Levy site:

THE SIDEWALKS OF NEW YORK
(Words and music by Charles B. Lawlor and James W. Blake, 1894.)

VERSE 1: Down in front of Casey's old brown wooden stoop,
On a summers evening, we formed a merry group.
Boys and girls together, we would sing and waltz,
While the "Ginnie" played the organ on the sidewalks of New York.

CHORUS: East Side, West Side, all around the town,
The tots sang "ring a rosie," "London Bridge is falling down."
Boys and girls together, me and Mamie Rorke (sic),
Tripped the light fantastic on the sidewalks of New York.

VERSE 2: That's where Johnny Casey and little Jimmy Crowe,
With Jakey Krause the baker, who always had the dough,
Pretty Nellie Shannon, with a dude as light as cork,
First picked up the waltz step on the sidewalks of New York. CHORUS

VERSE 3: Things have changed since those times. Some are up in "G."
Others they are on the hog, but they all feel just like me.
They would part with all they've got, could they but once more walk
With their best girl and have a twirl on the sidewalks of New York. CHORUS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: East side, West side
From: pattyClink
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 03:25 PM

David Hinckley is repeating an old myth about Irish Americans "began arriving in the late 1840's". I've seen estimates that about a third of the Continental Army were Irish born or Irish descent, and a similarly large chunk of the signers of the Declaration were, also.
Yes I know there was a huge wave of arrivals later, and they were 'different' than earlier waves, and they were despised. I'm just tired of hearing this 'first the English settlers started the USA (the Germans, Dutch, Irish, French, etc. didn't exist), then came all these pesky immigrants from other countries. Tweren't so.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: East side, West side
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 03:52 PM

Still no sign of that parody about the Bowery Bums?

One odd thing about those original words - and I'm not disputing that they are the original words - that rhyme "waltz" and "York" in the first verse, when it would have been so easy to have had the rhyme word as "talk" or "walk" ("We would dance/waltz and walk", or "Dancing/waltzing while we talked" for example). Not that I've anything against a songwriter using an echo of a rhyme instead of a rhyme when they feel like it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: East side, West side
From: GUEST,Peggy
Date: 04 Jun 10 - 07:21 PM

The version I learned in the 1950s was:

East Side, West Side, all around the town
I'll have a Manhattan, and a Bronx to wash it down
Boys and girls together, why pull out the cork?
We'll break the neck of the bottle, On the sidewalks of New York.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: East side, West side
From: Reiver 2
Date: 05 Jun 10 - 12:02 AM

PattyClink is right. There were two distinct "waves" of Irish immigrants to the U.S. They were quite distinct from each other. The earlier Irish migration was mainly from Ulster and a large part of it were those who came to be known as the "Scotch-Irish." They were from the families of lowland Scottish Protestants who were encouraged to migrate to Ireland by England's King James I, who belonged to the Scottish Stewart dynasty. [King James VI of Scotland became King James I of England in 1603 upon the death of Queen Elizabeth who had no children.] It was from this "plantation" that lead to Ulster being heavily Protestant while the rest of Ireland was largely Catholic. Many of these Ulster Irish became dissatified with conditions and in the early 1700s many of them began moving to the English colonies in North America. It's estimated that between 1717 and the American revolution an estimated quarter of a million of these people immigrated to what was to be the U.S. Many settled in the Appalachian areas of the Carolinas, and gradually became referred to as the "Scotch-Irish. ["The Scotch-Irish," James G. Leyburn, 2962.]

The millions of Irish who emmigrated to the U.S. fleeing starvation resulting from the "Potato Famine" in the 1840s were mainly Catholics from the western counties of Ireland and most of them arrived and settled in northern U.S. cities, especially New York and Boston.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: East side, West side
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Jun 10 - 06:36 PM

The phrase 'trip the light fantastic' is an old one.

"This expression was originated by John Milton in L'Allegro (1632): "Come and trip it as ye go, On the light fantastick toe."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Sidewalks of New York: 'East side...'
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Jul 13 - 05:43 PM

From somewhere, can't remember where, I used to hear that second line as "The Bowery bums you can always see, shuffling up and down..."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Sidewalks of New York: 'East side...'
From: Thompson
Date: 20 Sep 14 - 05:22 AM

Is the tune of Sidewalks of New York related to other tunes?


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