McGinty at the Living Pictures

Source: Joseph Flynn, ‘McGinty at the Living Pictures’ (1894), sung by Edward M. Favor, Victor 740, 1902

Dan McGinty went to the opera show
With his old wife Mary Ann,
And took a front seat, near the middle aisle,
Amongst the bald-headed clan.
But he wasn’t prepared for the sights he saw,
And he laughed with might and main
When the living pictures came to view,
Why he nearly went insane.

When he saw the Sleeping Beauty, why he got such a shock
You could hear his heart a-ticking like an eight-day clock.
Then he danced and he pranced, and says he, “I’ve been to France,
But that’s the finest sight I ever saw.”
Then his eyes bulged out, he began to shout.
The gallery boys they hollered, “Put that Zulu out.”
Then his wife grabbed his feet, pulled him under the seat.
So he couldn’t gaze upon the living pictures.

When the girl who posed as Venus, with her form so grand,
You could hear McGinty holler way above the band.
Then says he, “Mary Ann, you will lose your old man
If you don’t be quick and take me out entirely.”
When he saw the lady bathers, he jumped like a hare.
It took nine ushers for to hold him in his chair.
Then he whispered, with a grin, “Mary Ann, go take a swim
With the lady bathers in the living pictures.”

When he saw the other picture we thought sure he would die.
It was Adam and Eve gazing up to the sky.
Then he hollered, “Mary, dear, oh, why did you bring me here,
I can never love you now the way I used to.”
Then he looked at Mother Eve, and loudly he bawled,
Be golly, you’ll be chilly when the snow does fall.”
Then the ushers grabbed him nice, stuck his head in a pail of ice,
Just to keep him cool while at the living pictures.

Then he leaped and he creeped and he took another peep.
And the way he carried on made the audience weep,
Then his wife says. “Dan, do come home like a man.
If you must have living pictures, I will do them.”
But he didn’t hear her speak, he was off in a trance,
Standing on a chair, doing a “Hoochy-Coochy” dance.
When the last girl posed, why they had to turn the hose
On McGinty, when he saw the living pictures.

Comments: Joseph Flynn was an American composer of comic songs, some of which featured a stock Irish comic character, McGinty. The ‘living pictures’ McGinty sees in this song are not moving pictures but tableaux vivants i.e. posed scenes with live actors who did not move. The penultimate verse is given in the original sheet music but was omitted for this recording.