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GUEST,Brian Grayson PermaThread: Songs of Johnny Burke, 1851-1930 (8) RE: PermaThread: Songs of Johnny Burke, 1851-1930 04 Apr 12


I have a recording of a very old (50s-early 60s?) BBC radio feature about James Joyce, on which is sung, among other pieces, a fragment of a song entitled 'Miss Houlihan's Christmas Cake':

As I sat in me window one evening
A letterman came unto me
With a nice little neat invitation
Saying, "Won't you come over to tea?"
I knew it was Houlihan sent it
I went for old friendship's sake
But the first thing they gave me to tackle
Was a slice of Miss Houlihan's cake

Chorus:

There was plums, and prunes, and cherries
Raisins, and currants, and cinnamon too
There was nuts, and cloves, and berries
But the crust it was nailed on with glue
There were caraway seeds in abundance
'Twould give you a fine headache
'Twould kill any man twice
To be eating a slice
Of Miss Houlihan's Christmas cake

Miss Mulligan wanted to taste it
But really, it was all no use
She worked at it over an hour
But couldn't get any of it loose
Then Houlihan went for a hatchet,
And Kelly came in with a saw
That cake was enough, by the Power
To paralyse any man's jaw

There was plums, and prunes, and cherries
Raisins, and currants, and cinnamon too
There was nuts, and cloves, and berries
But the crust it was nailed on with glue
There were caraway seeds in abundance
'Twould give you a fine headache
'Twould kill any man twice
To be eating a slice
Of Miss Houlihan's Christmas cake

Is this perhaps the precursor of 'The Trinity Cake'?


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