Has Anybody Here Seen Kelly?

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"Has Anybody Here Seen Kelly?", music and lyrics by C.W. Murphy and Will Letters (1908), is a British music hall song, originally titled "Kelly From the Isle of Man". The song concerns a Manx woman looking for her boyfriend. It was adapted for American audiences by William McKenna in 1909 for the American musical The Jolly Bachelors.

In 1926, Max Fleischer produced an animated short in the DeForest Phonofilm sound-on-film process as part of his "Song Car-Tunes" series. In 1928, William Wyler directed a feature film starring Bessie Love with this title. In 1943, the song was performed in the film musical Hello, Frisco, Hello. An instrumental rendition can be heard throughout the 1949 film It Happens Every Spring. It functions like a theme song for the main character - a science professor who becomes a baseball star under the pseudonym 'King Kelly'. In 1978's Ziegfeld: The Man & His Women, Inga Swenson, as Nora Bayes, sings the song during the scene of the first Ziegfeld Follies in 1908.

A verse from an adaptation of the song was featured in the film Catch Me If You Can on a broadcast of the 1960s television program Sing Along With Mitch; in this adaptation, the lyrics were changed to describe Kelly as being from Ireland (e.g., "Kelly from the Em'rald Isle") in order to appeal to the large viewing/listening demographic of Americans of Irish descent. The original song was also referenced in a 1959 episode of television series Bachelor Father titled "Bentley, the Hero". The theme tune to Kelly Monteith's BBC TV series also used part of the song's music.

In 1917, the British composer Havergal Brian based much of the opening scene of his opera The Tigers around the song (or rather round the refrain), which runs beneath and through the action as policeman search for a missing person during a Bank Holiday carnival on Hampstead Heath. A few years later he extracted the music, without the vocal parts or transferring those parts to instruments, as an independent orchestral work, Symphonic Variations on 'Has Anybody Here Seen Kelly?'.

Lyrics[edit]

Kelly and his sweetheart wore a very pleasant smile,
And sent upon a holiday they went from Mona's Isle,
They landed safe in London but alas it's sad to say,
For Kelly lost his little girl up Piccadilly way.
She searched for him in vain and then of course began to fret,
And this is the appeal she made to everyone she met:

Has anybody here seen Kelly?
K-E-double-L-Y.
Has anybody here seen Kelly?
Find him if you can!
He's as bad as old Antonio,
Left me on my own-ee-o,
Has anybody here seen Kelly?
Kelly from the Isle of Man!

When it started raining she exclaimed, "What shall I do?"
For Kelly had her ticket and her spending money too,
She wandered over London like a hound upon the scent,
At last she found herself outside the Houses of Parliament.
She got among the suffragettes who chained her to the grille,
And soon they heard her shouting in a voice both loud and shrill:

Has anybody here seen Kelly?
K-E-double-L-Y.
Has anybody here seen Kelly?
Find him if you can!
He's as bad as old Antonio,
Left me on my own-ee-o,
Has anybody here seen Kelly?
Kelly from the Isle of Man!

External links[edit]