18/3/2024 12:52 am  #1

Alive, Alive, Oh!

It's St. Patrick's Day, so I guess it is the right day to ask my obscure question. I'm rather fond of the brief excepts of two verses of "Molly Malone" that Bing sings in his TV special "A Little Bit of Irish". I have a DVD of the TV special, and the original full 28-track CD by the same title from George O'Reilly which includes the two excepts (I believe Buddy Bregman did the arrangements). The excerpts feature a chorus coming in after Bing and then fading out. So, my question is, did Bing record one contiguous track of the two verses (or possibly even including the missing 3rd verse) which was then edited to use for the show, or did he just record the two verses as separate segments? If the former, it sure would be nice to have the full recording, and if the later, perhaps the two segments could be merged to make a single recording of the song.

Although brief, I think it's a really nice performance, and I believe the only song in the special that Bing did not otherwise record (except a very different version on "That Travelin' Two Beat" with Rosemary Clooney). 

I don't know who could answer my question, except perhaps George O'Reilly (and I'm not sure whether he is still around, if he is he would be nearing 100). For the CD, I assume he just took the tracks from the existing soundtrack. But is it possible the full recording exists somewhere? If anyone has any clue, or any leads on how I might find out, let me know.



24/3/2024 7:05 pm  #2

Re: Alive, Alive, Oh!

Hi Jim,

I never thought much about those two versions of Molly Malone. I'll have to dig into that. I always liked Molly Malone by The Andrews Sisters, and just this weekend I listened to a version by Gray Gordon and His Tic-Toc Rhythm!


24/3/2024 10:17 pm  #3

Re: Alive, Alive, Oh!


The Andrews sisters version is cute, turns it into a love song. The same is true of "The Daughter of Molly Malone" with Bing and Rosemary Clooney from "That Travelin' Two-Beat".

The original song is rather melancholy. Wikipedia says it is probably a music hall song, possibly with folk origins, done in a tragicomic style popular in the day (1800s).

Bing's solo version captures some of the wistfulness. It's a nice version with a nice arrangement, and a shame, I feel, that all we have are the first two verses separately.

Another version I found that I like, which might not be to everyone's taste, is Sinead O'Connor's. She definitely captures the sadness.


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