That Irish Cowboy Western Song by the Guy Who Wrote Got My Mojo Working

That would be  Two Shillelagh O’Sullivan sung by Bing Crosby and written by Perry Botkin and Preston Foster. Botkin was a session musician who played with, well, everybody, from Al  Jolson to Roy Rogers to Spike Jones, and then was Bing’s music director for many years.

Preston Foster, born in New Jersey, was an actor on Broadway and in Hollywood (he had roles in Annie Oakley and The Informer, among many others). He also was a singer and songwriter. In 1952, he and Botkin wrote about the fantastical O’Sullivan, “This bronco-busting Irishman from the sod of Erin’s Isle” who didn’t need a six gun, because he always had his two shillelaghs (“the Tipperary rifle, you never have to reload it”).

Inspired, no doubt, by the tall tales of Pecos Bill and Paul Bunyan, O’Sullivan could lick them both. In fact,

“He was so strong… He could put his right hand in his own left pocket, and hold himself out at arm’s length. ”

“No man could do that!”

“It’s O’Sullivan I’m talking about!”

“Oh, well he could.”

Just four years later, Foster would write another song: Got my Mojo Working. Originally sung by Ann Cole, it was recorded by Blues great Muddy Waters in 1957, who made it famous.

Listen to Bing sing about O’Sullivan here:

 

 

And here’s Muddy singing about his mojo at Newport:

Rock and Roll Christmas Songs

Here’s the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s list of 20 “essential” rock and roll holiday songs. The somewhat random list includes Brenda Lee (no, not that song), Elvis (of course), Ray Stevens (what?), Louis Armstrong (a rock and roller?) and more. Listen to all of them here.