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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Olde New York: Harrigan 'n Hart

Harrigan 'n Hart's The Mulligan Guard, c. 1875
no copyright infringement intended

Edward Harrigan (1844-1911) was born in New York and of Irish lineage. He made his first acting appearance in San Francisco in 1867, and soon afterwards formed a stage partnership with Tony Hart (1855–1891), whose real name was Anthony Cannon. As Harrigan and Hart, they had a great success on tour in the presentation of comic types of lower class characters drawn from everyday life on the streets of New York, especially the ethnic neighborhood militias. Beginning as simple vaudeville sketches, Harrigan gradually worked these up into plays, with occasional songs, set to popular music by David Braham. By 1878, with The Mulligan Guard Picnic, Harrigan and Hart settled down on Broadway and played in seventeen of their shows over the next seven years, until they split up.

McNally's Row of Flats ~ Mick Moloney
(originally performed by Harrigan 'n Hart)
scored by David Braham
video by WolfArden44

Down in Bottle Alley lived Timothy McNally
A wealthy politician and a gentleman at that
Beloved by the ladies, the garsoons, 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 -

 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 -

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 -

And here is another one:

Shannon Quartet - Maggie Murphy's Home
(originally performed by Harrigan 'n Hart)
scored by David Braham
video by pax41

Behind a grammar schoolhouse, in a double tenement,
I live with my old mother, and always pay the rent.
A bedroom and a parlor is all we call our own.
And you're welcome every evening at Maggie Murphy's home.

On Sunday night 'tis my delight and pleasure, don't you see,
Meeting all the girls and and the boys that work down town with me.
There's an organ in the parlor to give the house a tone,
And you're welcome every evening at Maggie Murphy's home.

Such dancing in the parlor, there's a waltz for you and I;
Such mashing in the Corner, and kisses on the sly.
Oh, blessed leisure hour! that working-people own,
And they're welcome every evening at Maggie Murphy's home.


It's from the open window, at the noontime of the day,
You'll see the neighbors' children so happy at their play.
There's Jimmie with his Nellie, together romp and roam.
And they gather in the school-yard near Maggie Murphy's home.


I walk through Hogan's alley at the closing of the day,
To greet my dear old mother; you'll hear the neighbors say:
"Oh! there goes little Maggie, I wish she were my own;
On, may blessings ever linger o'er Maggie Murphy's home!" 


(New York, New York)


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