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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Joe Richman Origins: Moses Ri-Tooral-I-Ay (59* d) RE: Origins: Moses Ri-Tooral-I-Ay 25 Jun 04

Joe Offer:

The explanation you posted:

"At one time the Irish language, Gaelic, was forbidden by British law. This is a song about a Jewish merchant who arrived in a small town and opened a store, over which he put his name in Hebrew. A very ambitious British policeman came along, took one look at the Hebrew, assumed it was Gaelic, and dragged the Jew into court. That's the gist of it. It wasn't written so much to show the great love between the Irish and the Jews as to show the stupidity of the British."

This explanation falls apart under the following facts:

1) The Jew is selling on the street, and his name is on his case not his shop.

2) Briscoe was Lord mayor of Dublin, not a small town, and he is mentioned in the song.

3) Briscoe was the Jewish mayor of Dublin of Yogi Berra's famous quip "Only in America!", and was mayor during Yogi's stay with the NY Yankees. Long after British rule in Dublin had ended.

4) No mention of gaelic in the song. In fact there is a question of what exactly Moses is, and gael is never mentioned.

5) There may have been some rules REQUIRING gaelic in the 1950s, not banning it.

If that explanation is the origin of this song, then the song has drifted far off subject. I frankly don't understand the connection with the earlier incident in the 19th century (when the British laws against symbols, etc. were being enforced).


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