James Royce Shannon

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James Royce Shannon
James Royce

(1881-05-13)May 13, 1881
DiedMay 19, 1946(1946-05-19) (aged 65)
Cause of deathSuicide[2]
OccupationComposer and lyricist
Notable work
The Missouri Waltz
Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral
ChildrenDael Royce[3]
Parent(s)Eliza Shannon[2]

James Royce Shannon (May 13, 1881 - May 19, 1946), born James Royce, was a nationally prominent Irish-American composer and lyricist. He was active at the time Tin Pan Alley.


He was born in Port Huron, Michigan. He is known chiefly for writing the lyrics to "The Missouri Waltz" (the state song of Missouri) and for composing the song "Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral" ("Irish Lullaby").[1][2][4]

He began his musical writing career in collaboration with his mother, Eliza Shannon. His first significant composition was "Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral" which was one of the songs composed by Shannon for Chauncey Olcott's musical Shameen Dhu that successfully debuted in New York City in February 1914.[5] The "Irish Lullaby" became more famous decades later when it was included in the movie Going My Way. It reached # 4 on the Billboard charts, sold over a million copies, and was included in one of Bing Crosby's albums.[4]

Residing primarily in Detroit during his career, he owned and operated a theatrical company that toured both in the U.S. and in Europe. He was the manager for a chain of music stores in Michigan, the assistant manager for Detroit's Majestic Theatre, and served as a drama critic for the Detroit Free Press.[1]

Selected works[edit]

  • Shannon, J. R. Dixie Lou. Detroit: Grinnell Bros. Music Pub, 1913. OCLC 25403236
  • Shannon, J. R., and Frederic Knight Logan. Hush-a-Bye, Ma Baby: The Missouri Waltz. Chicago: Forster Music, 1916. OCLC 9022193
  • Shannon, J. R., and Charles L. Johnson. I'll Be Waiting for You. Chicago: F.J.A. Forster, 1915. OCLC 499142067
  • Shannon, J. R., and Fred Ziemer. There's a Red Bordered Flag in the Window. Vandersloot Music Pub. Co., 1918. OCLC 71781357
  • Shannon, J. R. Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral: That's an Irish Lullaby: Sung by Bing Crosby in the Paramount Picture Going My Way. New York: Witmark, 1944. OCLC 20120848
  • Shannon, J. R. Where That Ragtime River Flows. Detroit: Grinnell Bros, 1912. OCLC 63188226
  • Shannon, J. R., and Fred Ziemer. Yankee Boy. Williamsport, Pa: Vandersloot Music Pub. Co, 1918. OCLC 31223093


  1. ^ a b c "'Irish Lullaby' Has Special Lilt In Adrian". The Blade. Toledo, Ohio. March 17, 1983. p. 31.The Blade, p. 14, at Google Books
  2. ^ a b c d "Noted Lyricist Is Killed Under Freight Train". Berkley Daily Gazette. Berkley, California. UP-Pontiac. May 20, 1946. p. 1.Berkley Daily Gazette, p. 16, at Google Books
  3. ^ Local Woman Won't Contest Tax Charge, p. 2, at Google Books
  4. ^ a b History of Ireland, p. PA21, at Google Books
  5. ^ "SHAMEEN DHU [musical show]:Bibliographic Record Description". Performing Arts Encyclopedia. Library of Congress. Retrieved 2014-12-18.

External links[edit]