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March 18, 2013


Seeing as how it’s a day to celebrate all things Irish and how I generally tend to have Oz on the brain, I thought of the song “Mister Dooley” from the original 1902 Wizard of Oz stage play. Now, when I say it’s from that play, that doesn’t mean it really has anything to do with Oz. Musicals in those days frequently contained unrelated songs that characters would stop the action to sing. In fact, “Mister Dooley” was originally written for a different play altogether, The Chinese Honeymoon. The song is sung in an Irish brogue about an Irishman who somehow seems to be present at every historical event. The character did not originate with the song, however, but rather in a newspaper column by Finley Peter Dunne.

In the late nineteenth century, Dunne began writing a column under the name of an Irish immigrant bartender in his own…

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