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
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography
The Ballad Index Copyright 2017 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.