Kelligrews Soiree, The

DESCRIPTION: "You may talk of... anything you choose, But it couldn't hold a snuff-box to the spree at Kelligrews." A thoroughly exaggerated account: "There was birch rine, tar twine, cherry wine, and turpentine," and so forth, ad nauseum.
AUTHOR: John Burke
EARLIEST DATE: 1938 (Doyle)
KEYWORDS: humorous nonballad party dancing
FOUND IN: Canada(Newf)
REFERENCES (11 citations):
Fowke/Johnston, pp. 110-112, "The Kelligrews Soiree" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fowke/MacMillan 35, "The Kelligrews Soiree" (1 text, 1 tune)
Blondahl, pp. 25-26, "The Kelligrews Soiree" (1 text, 1 tune)
Doyle2, pp. 16-17, "The Kelligrew's Soiree" (1 text, 1 tune)
Doyle3, pp. 36-37, "The Kelligrew's Soiree" (1 text, 1 tune)
Doyle4, pp. 32-33, "The Kelligrew's Soiree" (1 text, 1 tune)
Doyle5, pp. 46-47, "The Kelligrew's Soiree" (1 text, 1 tune)
Mills, pp. 11-13, "Kelligrew's Soiree" (1 text, 1 tune)
English-Newfoundland, pp. 56-57, "The Kelligrew's Soiree" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT, KSOIREE
ADDITIONAL: Johnny Burke (William J. Kirwin, editor), _John White's Collection of Johnny Burke Songs_, Harry Cuff Publications, St. John's, 1981, #19, pp. 34-35, "The Kelligrews Soiree" (1 text)

Roud #4430
RECORDINGS:
Omar Blondahl, "The Kelligrews Soiree" (on NFOBlondahl01)
Clare O'Driscoll, "Kelligrew's Soiree" (on MUNFLA/Leach)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Irish Jubilee"
cf. "Finnegan's Wake" [Laws Q17]
SAME TUNE:
The Teapots at the Fire (File: Blon027)
Mary Joe Slip on Your Bloomers for the Blueberries Now Are Ripe (by Johnny Burke) (Johnny Burke (William J. Kirwin, editor), _John White's Collection of Johnny Burke Songs_, Harry Cuff Publications, St. John's, 1981, #49, pp. 78-79)
Lindbergh's Flight ("Oh, from Roosevelt's field last Friday morn A plucky Yankee boy") (by Johnny Burke) (Johnny Burke (William J. Kirwin, editor), _John White's Collection of Johnny Burke Songs_, Harry Cuff Publications, St. John's, 1981, #49, pp. 78-79)
NOTES [250 words]: Kelligrews is a small village southwest of St. John's, Newfoundland. - RBW
Is this a cleaned-up version of "The Ball at Kerrimuir"? -PJS
Based on form, it is not. (It's not all that cleaned up, either; while there are no explicit sexual references, there are all sorts of hints, plus references to drunkenness, sodden clergy, and the like.) Fowke and Johnston believe it to be based on "The Irish Jubilee," and the stanzaic form implies they are right. Of course, there are all sorts of songs on the theme of the Ultimate Uproarious Party.
At least some of this is based on real people. According to Paul O'Neill, The Oldest City: The Story of St. John's, Newfoundland, Press Procepic, 1975, p. 375, "Caroline Bowdin was never seen in public but that he was covered from head to toe in bows of bright-coloured ribbons. She married a fellow of her own mental stature named Flipper Smith, and the two were immortalized by Johnny Burke in a verse of his famous song 'The Kelligrew's Soiree:' Jim Brine, Din Ryan, Flipper Smith and Caroline, I tell you boys we had a time...."
Johnny Burke wrote another piece, "The Wedding Cake at Betsy's Marriage in Fogo," that seems like a combination of, or practice for, "Trinity Cake" and "The Kelligrew's Soiree"; it's about a wedding cake, but the list of improbable ingredients is very like "Kelligrew's Soiree." - RBW
While Doyle3 reports the song was sung in New York in 1938, GEST Songs of Newfoundland and Labrador site shows that the author died in 1930. - BS
Last updated in version 4.3
File: FJ110

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