Judy MacCarthy of Fishamble Lane
DESCRIPTION: The singer goes to Fishamble Lane in search of sausages when he is stopped by the sight of "a fair one ... Judy MacCarthy ... "one eye was a swivel, Her nose it was smutty, her hands not too clean." She is broiling a devil which he detests. He leaves.
AUTHOR: Toleken (source: Croker-PopularSongs)
EARLIEST DATE: 1839 (Croker-PopularSongs)
KEYWORDS: food humorous parody cook
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Croker-PopularSongs, pp. 159-160, "Judy MacCarthy of Fishamble Lane" (1 text)
NOTES: Fishamble Lane (Liberty Street) is in Cork "where salmon, drisheens, and beefsteaks are cooked best" (quoted from "Cork's Own Town" by Croker-PopularSongs). In this case, I assume a "devil" to be some highly seasoned meat. - BS
Partridge's A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English (fifth edition, 1961) offers as the #5 meaning of "devil" "A grilled chop or steak seasoned with mustard and occ. with cayenne.... Grose, 2nd ed., defines it as a broiled turkey-gizzard duly seasoned and adds, 'From being hot in the mouth'."
Mr. Toleken (which seems to be the only name recorded for him) is also co-author of the somewhat better-known "Saint Patrick Was a Gentleman."
I must say that it sounds as if the singer here might be intended to be English: he evidently looks down on the Irish and doesn't like spicy food. If that isn't a nineteenth century Englishman, what is? - RBW
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