Happy St. Patrick's Day! Or might we say Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit!!
We share with you the song “Darlin’ Eileen” from the original Broadway cast recording of the musical Wonderful Town, with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green.
Act II opens in Manhattan’s Christopher Street Station House, where Eileen Sherwood (recently arrested) has charmed the Irish precinct police to make butler’s announcements, retrieve newspapers and carry her suitcase and dresses.
The police are convinced that Eileen is Irish and has “brought a breath of the old country into the Station House” and the police have “been feelin’ twice as Irish since [Eileen} came into our lives”.
In a greatly exaggerated Irish brogue, Officer Lonigan sings:
“Take it from me
The mayor of Shannon
Would shoot off a cannon
And crown ye the queen
Darlin' Eileen, darlin' Eileen
Fairest colleen that iver [sic] I've seen
And it's oh I wish I were back
In the land of the green with my darlin' Eileen”
To which Eileen reponds:
“Listen my lads, I've something to tell you
I hope won't impel you to cry and to keen
Mother's a Swede and father's a Scot
And so Irish I'm not and I never have been”
All the police will hear none of this:
“Hush you, Eileen, hush you, Eileen
Fairest colleen that ever I've seen
Don't you hand us none of that blarney
You come from Kilarney, you're Irish Eileen”
A lusty jig dance resumes and ends in a “hats off” salute to the Irish girl of their dreams, Eileen.