O’Donoghue’s Opera (St. Patty’s Roundup, Finale)

In the 1960s, some impoverished Irish musicians and folk singers decided to put together an Irish musical.  Based on the balled “The Night Before Larry Was Stretched,” attributed to “Hurlfoot Bill,”* the film, “O’Donoghue’s Opera,” starred Ronnie Drew, later incredibly famous for his work with The Dubliners.  The film, left uncompleted when the makers ran out of money, was found in 1997 in a junk shop in Galway.

Now you can enjoy the entire film on YouTube.  I can’t encourage you to power through the whole thing.  But I think you’ll have some fun around 2:44 of Part 1, where some winning girls sing an old IRA recruiting song.  Then hop to 7:51 to see Larry’s cat burglar costume and the temptation that proves his undoing.

The stirring conclusion I have TubeChopped for you.

It is quite moving, really, to see Ronnie get hung.  This really happened to people all the time.

A great shame that I never had the chance to discuss this film with fellow cinephile/Hibernophile SDB, who was seemingly designed by the Almighty to enjoy this picture.

Elvis Costello recorded “TNBLWS” but I prefer the version by The Wolfe Tones:

* Wikipedia has some stern words on the subject of attribution for this song. 


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