Me Name is MacNamara, and I dont lead a band

January 27, 2010

There is a very old song whose first line begins, “Me name is MacNamara..” and does not continue in quite the way you might anticipate. My Father taught it to me fifty years ago, and even then he had no idea from whence it came, except to suggest that it was probably a British Music Hall favorite. I have been searching for a source with no success. Here are the lyrics as he used to sing them to me.

Oh, me name is MacNamara

And me name is jolly well known

I live in the City of Glasgow

With a business of me own

I’ve got a little shop

With me name across the top

And they call me MacNamara

Of the old clothes shop.

One day a man comes into me

A suit he wanted to buy

I showed him one for twelve and six

“Try it on” says I

He tried it on, it fitted him well

Ready to walk away

When I tapped him on the shoulder

Saying the money he had to pay

He turned around and looked at me

And up his fists he drew

Knocked me in the corner

Saying, “That’s the place for you!”

“If you don’t stop that

I’ll call up the cop,

And there’ll be an execution

In the old clothes shop!”

My Father would sing this song to me in sequence with Patsy Atsy Orie Ay, Poor Little Johnny Lost in the Snow and Your Baby ‘as gone dahn the Plughole, as a sort of Saturday Bath Night Concert.  As he dried me vigorously enough to give me towel burn in front of the coke fire we would listen to Henry Hall’s Guest Night on the BBC Light Program.

As for MacNamara, you think a song like that would be easy to find, but elusive it remains, until someone else remembers it, and can provide more information. Is that you?

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3 Responses to “Me Name is MacNamara, and I dont lead a band”

  1. Paul said

    I’m fifty years of age and my dad used to sing “this song” to me as well around the late 1960s – we lived in Glasgow, Scotland. There were many songs (mostly bastardised?)/ditties that we would sing – the families living in the tenement buildings had a tradition of singing a wide range of street songs. Incidentally, with this song we used the name Inky Moses as opposed to MacNamara – the clothes shop owner was Jewish.

    • bobsterry said

      Thank you, Paul. I suspect then, that my Father picked the song up from his fellow squaddies during his time in the Artillery. Their depot was somewhere in the North of England and more than half his platoon were Scotsmen (he was a Geordie). It is fascinating how these songs travel. Just out of interest, how did you find my blog? Thanks again!

  2. Paul said

    Okay, back again. here is a link I found http://www.sghet.com/page73.html

    This song refers to Ikey Moses.

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