Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral

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The original sheet music

"Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral (That's an Irish Lullaby)" is a classic Irish-American song originally written in 1913 by composer James Royce Shannon (1881–1946) for the Tin Pan Alley musical Shameen Du. The original recording of the song, by Chauncey Olcott, peaked at #1 on the music charts. The song was brought back to prominence by Bing Crosby's performance in 1944's Going My Way. Crosby's single sold over a million copies and spent 100 weeks on the Billboard music charts, where it peaked at #4.


Released in 1913, the song was a #1 hit for Chauncey Olcott.

"Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral (That's an Irish Lullaby)" was written by lyricist and actor Shannon in 1913 for the play Shameen Du ("Black-Haired Jimmy" or "Dark Jimmy").[1][2][3][4][5] Prior to the play's debut, singer Chauncey Olcott took it into the studio to record it on July 30, 1913.[6] Popular, his single peaked at #1 on the music charts in December 1913.[6][7][8]

In 1944, Crosby released a version of the song which brought it to public attention again. First performed in the film Going My Way, it was subsequently released as a single that sold over a million copies and spent 100 weeks on the Billboard music charts, where it peaked at #4.[1] In 1945, the Crosby version of the song was also featured in the film Nob Hill.[8] Crosby released the song on his 1950 album Don't Fence Me In.[9]

Other versions[edit]

In 1976, Richard Manuel and Van Morrison sang the song, as "Tura Lura Lural (That's An Irish Lullaby)", during The Band's farewell concert The Last Waltz. "Come On, Eileen," a #1 U.K. chart single from the English band Dexys Midnight Runners, includes a chorus with the lines "Too-Ra-Loo-Ra Too-Ra-Loo-Rye, Ay / And you'll hum this tune forever." The song appeared on their 1982 album titled Too-Rye-Ay.

Others who have recorded the song include Bobby Darin, Connie Francis, Perry Como, The Ames Brothers, Regis Philbin, Jessi Colter, Slim Whitman, Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin, The Irish Tenors, Rosemary Clooney, Kate Smith, Gene Autry, Frances Faye and Piccolo Coro Mariele Ventre dell'Antoniano.

Original lyrics[edit]

These are the original lyrics of the song as published in 1913 by Shannon through M. Witmark & Sons.[4]

[Verse 1]
Over in Killarney, many years ago
Me Mither sang a song to me in tones so sweet and low,
Just a simple little ditty, in her good ould Irish way,
And I'd give the world if she could sing That song to me this day.

Hush now don't you cry!
That's an Irish lullaby.

[Verse 2]
Oft, in dreams I wander To that cot again,
I feel her arms a huggin' me As when she held me then.
And I hear her voice a hummin' To me as in days of yore,
When she used to rock me fast asleep Outside the cabin door.

[Repeat refrain]


  1. ^ a b Keating, Geoffrey; O'Laughlin, Michael C. (1983). History of Ireland. Irish Roots Cafe. pp. 20–22. ISBN 978-0-940134-47-8. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b Shannon, Royce. "Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral (That's an Irish Lullabye)", 1913. M. Witmark & Sons.
  5. ^ "SHAMEEN DHU [musical show]:Bibliographic Record Description". Performing Arts Encyclopedia. Library of Congress. Retrieved 2014-12-18. 
  6. ^ a b Ruhlmann, William (2 August 2004). Breaking Records: 100 Years of Hits. Routledge. p. 28. ISBN 978-1-135-94719-4. 
  7. ^ Dean, Maury (1 January 2003). Rock and Roll: Gold Rush. Algora Publishing. p. 330. ISBN 978-0-87586-227-9. 
  8. ^ a b Tyler, Don (2 April 2007). Hit Songs, 1900-1955: American Popular Music of the Pre-Rock Era. McFarland. p. 71. ISBN 978-0-7864-2946-2. 
  9. ^ "Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral". AMG. Retrieved 1 September 2014.