Digital Tradition Mirror

Muldoon, the Solid Man

[GIF Score]

(This score available as ABC, SongWright, PostScript, PNG, or PMW, or a MIDI file)
Pennywhistle notation and Dulcimer tab for this song is also available

Muldoon, the Solid Man

 I am a man of great influence
 And I'm educated to a high degree
 I came when small from Donegal
 On the Daniel Webster across the sea
 In the 14th Ward [(or) Jersey City] I was situated
 In a tenement with my brother Dan
 By perserverance I elevated
 And I rose to the front like a solid man.

 CHO:     Then come with me and I'll treat you decent
     I will get you drunk and I'll fill your can
     And on the street every friend I meet
     Says there goes Muldoon; he's a solid man.

 To every party and every raffle
 I always go, an invited guest
 As conspicuous as General Grant, me boys
 I wear a rosebud all on my breast
 I'm called upon to address the meeting
 Without regard to clique or clan
 I show the constitution with elocution
 Because you see, I'm a solid man.

 Repeat CHORUS

 Lisa Null found it in the singing of a Gaelic singer named Nioclas Toibin (Nich
olas Tobin) from the Rinn district of Waterford.  This was one of only a couple
of English songs in his repertoire. It can also be found in Philip American Labo
r Songs of the Nineteenth Century by Philip S. Foner might be available from the
 University of Illinois Press.
 There's a web-page:

But Mick Moloney has recorded it at least a couple of times--on Uncommon Bonds w
 Eugene O'Donnell (Green Linnet #1053, 1980), and on Long Journey Home (Unispher
 Records (BMG), 1998). Lisa believes he sings an additional verse, at least on t
he Green Linnet

This song seems to beg a parody about the former Canadian prime minister Brian M
 nicknamed Muldoon, considered by many Canadians to have lead the most corrupt g
 since we became a nation.

I've found out more about the history of "Muldoon, the Solid Man": an article in
 the programme
 of the 1998 Washington Irish Folk Festival by Don Meade (pp. 47-53) which concl
udes with
 the note that a longer version of the article origically appeared in New York I
rish History, the
 journal of the New York Irish History Roundtable.   In the article, Don Meade t
races the history of the song from its origins: it was written by Edward Harriga
n and its first performance was probably in March, 1874, in conjunction with a v
ariety sketch called "Who Owns the [Clothes] Line." It became very popular and w
as covered by many other performers. It is alluded to in a short story by Rudyar
d Kipling and in James Joyce's Finnegan Wake. It probably was spread to Ireland
itself through the music-hall singing of William J. Ashcroft. A 78-rpm recording
 by Sam Carson also helped to spread the song through Ireland. The tune is proba
bly traditional Irish; an 1874 songster directs that it be sung to the tune of C
olleen Rhue (Red-haired girl). Other similar melodies include "Youghal Harbour,"
 "Boulavogue," "Omagh Town," and perhaps some three percent of all Irish folk so

It's in the Levy Sheet Music Collection (Mudcat's Links), box 72, item 69,
 but it's simplest just to put 'Muldoon' in the bibliographic search box. I had
looked the for "I'm a man youse don't meet everyday with no luck

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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