(That's an Irish Lullaby)
By: J.R. Shannon (1881 - 1946)
Arr: Merv Rowley
James Royce (J. R.) Shannon, born James Royce in Adrian, MI, became one of America's more prominent actor- composer/lyricists of the Tin Pan Alley era. Royce added "Shannon" to his name to create a pseudonym for his writing efforts. He organized his own theatrical company and toured the U.S. and Europe. Shannon was also the drama critic for the Detroit Free Press for a number of years. His most famous song is
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, written in 1913 for the musical production,
Shameen Dhu, (Gaelic for "Black
staged in New York in 1914. He also wrote the lyrics to The Missouri Waltz in 1916. That song had originally been publishedd by the composer, Fredrich K. Logan in 1914 as a waltz without words. Shannon added the
lyrics, and the song has since
enjoyed the status of a lasting hit, as the State song of Missouri
and one often played by President Harry Truman.
Readers may recall that this song was popularized by Bing Crosby in the 1960's in the movie,
Going My Way, co-starring Barry Fitzgerald. Our attempts at finding a translation of the song's
title were fruitless. They are probably just soothing
"nonsense syllables" intended to lull a child
to sleep. The lyrics, like those of
Mother Machree, appear to be the words of an Irish son
with childhood memories of his mother.
Enjoy the music.
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