(By Pat Rooney Based on the text in Dean)
Recording by Brian Miller:
Oh, me name it is O’Houlihan, I’m a man that’s influential.
I mind my business, stay at home, me wants are few and small.
But the other day a gang did come. They were filled with whisky, gin, and rum,
And they took me out in the boiling sun to play a game of ball.
They made me carry all the bats, I thought they’d set me crazy,
They put me out in center field, sure I paralyzed them all;
When I put up me hands to stop a fly, holy murther, it struck me in the eye,
And they laid me out by the fence to die on the day that I played baseball.
There was O’Shaughnessy of the second nine, he was throwing them underhanded,
He put a twirl upon them and I couldn’t strike them at all;
The umpire he called strikes on me; “What’s that?” says I; “You’re out,” says he.
Bad luck to you, O’Shaughnessy, and the way that you twirled the ball.
Then I went to bat and I knocked the ball I thought to San Francisco,
Around the bases three times three, by Heavens, I run them all.
When the gang set up a terrible howl, saying, “O’Houlihan, you struck a foul,”
And they rubbed me down with a Turkish towel on the day that I played baseball.
The catcher swore by the Jack of Trumps that he saw me stealing bases,
And fired me into a keg of beer, I loud for help did call;
I got roaring, slaving, stone-blind drunk, I fell in the gutter, I lost my spunk,
I had a head on me like an elephant’s trunk on the day that I played baseball.
The reporters begged to know my name and presented me with a medal,
They asked me for my photograph to hang upon the wall,
Saying, “O’Houlihan, you won the game,” though me head was sore and my shoulder lame,
And they sent me home on a cattle train the day that I played baseball.
I remember the line ‘And they laid me out by the fence to die’ etc. My grandfather sang as he worked in his yard while I was visiting in Maine. That was more than 50 years ago. I have been searching for the song with that line since then. Is there any way I can attain a copy of this song for my collection ?
Please and Thank You
If you’re looking for sheet music, I never managed to find a copy of the song myself. You can search eBay and Alibris Books and such, but they won’t come up very often.
M. C. Dean’s book, where I found the words, is being reprinted in an expanded form by Brian Miller, who made the recording for the Heritage Songbook. There are also copies of the book available from various print-on-demand outfits. For the music, I’d start looking in the Library of Congress American Memory site — they’re digitizing a lot of old sheet music.