Song Lyric Sunday: “Who Threw The Overalls In Mrs. Murphy’s Chowder?”

Our theme this week is clothing, or more precisely “Clothing/Hat/Pants/Scarf/Shirt/Shoes/Tie.” I picked a song that I doubt anyone else will.

There used to be a pizza joint not far from Loyola, and the jukebox had a rather eclectic list of songs on it. One of the songs was Bing Crosby singing “Who Threw The Overalls In Mrs. Murphy’s Chowder?” We used to play it whenever we went in, because it’s just the kind of crazy song that we liked. It was written around the turn of the century by George L. Geifer and recorded on a wax cylinder by Edward M. Favor in 1901. Bing, being a loyal Son of Erin, recorded it for his 1945 album St. Patrick’s Day, never thinking that some thirty years later a bunch of rowdy college students would play it while eating pizza and drinking beer on Saturday night.

The lyrics, from Lyrics.com:

Oh, who threw the overalls in Mrs Murphy’s chowder
Nobody spoke, so he shouted all the louder
It’s an Irish trick that’s true
I can lick the mick that threw
The overalls in Mrs Murphy’s chowder

Mrs. Murphy gave a party ’bout a week ago
Everything was plentiful, the Murphys they’re not slow
They treated us like gentlemen, we tried to act the same
But only for what happened, well it was an awful shame

Mrs. Murphy dished the chowder out and fainted on the spot
She found a pair of overalls in the bottom of the pot
Tim Nolan he got rippin’ mad, his eyes were bulgin’ out
He jumped up on the PI-A-NO and loudly he did shout

Who threw the overalls in Mrs Murphy’s chowder?
Nobody spoke, so he shouted all the louder
It’s an Irish trick that’s true
I can lick the mick that threw
The overalls in Mrs Murphy’s chowder

They dragged the pants from out the soup and laid them on the floor
Each man swore upon his life he’d ne’er seen them before
They were plastered up with mortar and were worn out at the knee
They’d had their many ups and downs as we could plainly see

when Mrs Murphy she came to she starts to cry and pout
She’d had them in the wash that day and forgot to take them out
Tim Nolan he excused himself for what he’d said that night
So we put music to the words and sang with all our might

Oh, who threw the overalls in Mrs Murphy’s chowder
Nobody spoke so we shouted all the louder
It’s an Irish trick that’s true
I can lick the mick that threw
The overalls in Mrs Murphy’s chowder

You’ll notice that “overalls” is pronounced “overhauls.” Just thought I’d mention it.

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday for September 22, 2019.

24 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday: “Who Threw The Overalls In Mrs. Murphy’s Chowder?”

  1. So in 1985 this was a fun song to play and have pizza – that is fun.
    and listening to it reminds me how far we have come with music – this today would be a children’s tune – am I right?

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    1. 1975 (actually ’76)… I ain’t that young… πŸ˜‰ One night the restaurant caught fire and never reopened. I wasn’t there that night, but my roommate and a couple of other guys were there and grabbed the remaining pizza (and I think the tray it was on) and got out before the Fire Department showed up.

      I think it’s being used as a kid’s tune, kind of like “McNamara’s Band,” though I’m not sure, given the ethnic slur and bellicose lyrics (i.e. “It’s an Irish trick, it’s true, I can lick the mick that threw the overalls in Mrs. Murphy’s chowder”). Being as Irish as Paddy’s pig myself, I like it: it’s a great song and a funny one besides.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. thanks for sharing that – and jukeboxes are such a rare thing to see or even read about in posts.
        in Canada in the 70s early 80s – as very young girl – I remember playing “:taking care if business” on the jukebox near the French Fry stand….
        there is a building there now – but that memory is etched –
        and laughing at how they grabbed the pizza – I mean rescued it

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        1. It’s a piece of equipment that is rapidly becoming obsolete, but when I was a kid everyplace had one. Nowadays everyone has their own stock of music they carry with them, and the jukebox has gone the way of all old electronics. It’s sad in a way. Alas, time marches on…

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          1. Yeah…. I remember when my sister n law griped about Spotify and not owning music- just a few years ago – but she now likes the premium streaming –
            So you are right – we have music carried with us and oh my goodness the options!
            Oh and did you see the closing espisode of sopranos? When tonny picks the journey song that made the song popular again – well it was on one of those table scrolling jukebox connected thing? Not sure what it was called

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            1. I didn’t see any of The Sopranos, but I do remember those table-side controllers.

              I have a lot of music that I ripped from CD’s and purchased later, but I almost never listen to it anymore. There’s no real reason to: it’s all on Spotify and iTunes is a dog, anyway.

              Liked by 1 person

                1. It means it’s slow, clumsy, and ugly. Not that dogs are necessarily any or all three, but that’s the expression. Apple says that with the next release of Mac OS they’re going to replace it and make it just a music player. I’ll be interested to see what that looks like.

                  Liked by 1 person

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