Saturday, 7 January 2012

Miss Aileen Mac Carthy

I've chosen this card for this week's Sepia Saturday entry on the basis of the picture of a young woman/girl and an animal.

As you may be able to see, there is a quote from the song "Phil the Fluter's Ball": Miss Aileen Mac Carthy and her private ass and cart.  In fact it isn't a direct quote because the song makes reference to the beautiful Miss Bradys in a private ass and cart so I've no idea where Miss Aileen Mac Carthy came from.  I wonder if she's the model.

The card appears to date from somewhere between 1902 and 1907.  It allowed a message to be written on the back "except to the United States, Japan and Spain".  The regulations to allow it changed for British cards in 1902 and for US cards in 1907.

The writer of the song was Percy French (1954-1920) who was a successful entertainer in Ireland and elsewhere.  I remember many of his songs from my youth in Ireland:  "The Mountains of Mourne", "Come Back Paddy Reilly, to Ballyjamesduff", and my father's constant favourite used on many occasions, "Are ye right there, Michael, are ye right?".

But I'll leave you with the chorus from "Phil the Fluter's Ball"
With the toot of the flute, and the twiddle of the fiddle-O!
Hopping in the middle, like a herrin' on the griddle-O!
Up! down, hands around, crossing to the wall!
Hadn't we the gaiety at Phil the Fluter's Ball.
And I'll be singing it for the rest of today.

Updated to add some links to the song:
Ronnie Drew (most authentic to my ear)
The Bachelors (with words)
The High Kings (modern arrangement)

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  1. As will the rest of us I's quite a catchy tune...and this card is so precious!

  2. That card has very nice composition and coloring. I had no idea that "Phil the Fluter's Ball" was a song until I read your post.

  3. Beautiful card. It's a few years since I heard an Irish group singing Phil the Fluters Ball. In an Irish pub atmosphere it was unforgetable.

  4. I guess I will go look for an online version of Phil the Fluters Ball so it can rumble around in my head too.

  5. I'm sure I've never seen the words private and ass juxtaposed before.

  6. The picture is striking and fun to look at. This is the first time I had heard of that song.

  7. I seem to remember Val Doonican singing it - now we all will be. I’ve just found out about earworms, and I think this may become one :) I love donkeys and any pictures of them, although this one is labelled as an ass I see.

  8. I hope she is a gentle woman...that doesn't kick ass. :)

  9. Beautiful card. I've not heard Phil and the Flutters Ball. But, you have reminded me of the songs my mother used to sing. I will have 'When Irish Eyes are Smiling' playing through my head for the rest of the day. Thanks for the memories!

  10. I'm not familiar with the tune, but I have enjoyed the post, the lovely card, and the comments before mine.

  11. Yes, another wonderful post with a song built into it. If nothing else it will serve to get Run Rabbit Run out of my mind, but it has been replaced with a toot on the flute and a twiddle on the fiddle. A most enjoyable post.

  12. I'd like to be there to hear you sing, Sheila!!!

  13. The scene and music fit right into a book I'm reading that takes place in Ireland. I love the lively song.


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