This song reflects on the period when the Irish language was outlawed in Ireland; the inability of the police to speak, or even recognize the language presented enforcement problems. Briscoe was Dublin's mayor. He was Jewish. (As the story goes, "only in America".)
The policeman walked out, oh, so proud on his beat
When a vision came to him of stripes on his sleeve;
"Promotion," he whispered, "I'll try for today,
So its come with me Mister Ri-tooral-i-ay."
"Come tell me your name," says the limb of the law
To the little fat man selling wares on the straw.
"What's that, sir? Me name, sir? Why it's there on display
And it's Moses Ri-tooral-i-ooral-i-ay."
Now, the trial it came on and it lasted a week.
One judge said 'twas German; another, 'twas Greek-
"Prove you're lrish," said the policeman "and beyond it say nay;
And we'll sit on it, Moses Ri-tooral-i-ay."
Now the prisoner stepped up there as stiff as a crutch.
"Are you lrish or English or German or Dutch?"
"I'm a Jew, sir; I'm a Jew, sir," that came over to stay.
And my name it is Moses Ri-tooral-i-ay."
"We're two of a kind." said the judge to the Jew;
"You're a cousin of Briscoe and I am one too.
This numbskull has blundered and for it will pay."
"Wisha that's right," says Moses Ri-tooral-i-ay.
There's a garbage eollector who works down our street;
He once was a policeman, the pride of his beat.
And he moans all the night and he groans all the day,
Singing," Moses Ri-tootal-i-ooral-i-ay. "
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