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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Joe Richman Origins: Moses Ri-Tooral-I-Ay (59* d) Origins: Moses Ri-Tooral-I-Ay 24 Jun 04

I have been doing a series on songs using the tune "Villikens & His Dinah" at a mothly folk circle I attend. I found this one on the "cat", but I'm not satisfied with the explanation of what its origins are. Briscoe was Lord mayor of Dublin in the 50s and 60s, long after British suppression of Gaelic had ended. In fact there was a push in Eire to use as much Gaelic as possible in those days. The song may have some relationship to the fact that relatively few Dubliners were really fluent in Gaelic, but Gaelic isn't even mentioned once in the lyrics. Briscoe was I believe in Fianna Fail (if that was Eamon De Valera's party), and his son also became Lord Mayor. So this song may have to do with Dublin politics. An old thread on the "Cat" mentioned the possibility of anti-semitism, but I can't see it in this one at all, since the Jewish Moses Ri-Tooral-I-Ay isn't portrayed as anything but a sort of odd Irishman who turns out to be Jewish also. Plus the cop is portrayed as a jerk trying to advance at the expense of others. Briscoe was a hero of the rebellion against the British, and was associated with Michael Collins, according to my research.


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