Thursday, March 08, 2007

College Drinking Song- Let Nellie Sleep Under the Bar

We were driving home on a very cold night and this old ditty from college days popped into my head. Where are all these old words stored? Do they fill up one's brain?

Twas a cold winter evening
The guests were all leaving
O’Leary was closing the bar
When he turned and he said
To the Lady in Red
Get out you can’t stay here no more.

She wept a sad tear
In her bottle of beer
As she thought of the cold night ahead,
When a gentleman dapper
Stepped out of the crapper,
And these are the words that he said.

Her mother never told her
The things a young girl should know
About the ways of college men
And how they come and go (mostly go).

Now age has taken her beauty
And sin has left its sad scar.
So remember your mothers and sisters, boys,
Let Nellie sleep under the bar.

12 comments:

  1. Anonymous7:18 PM

    My Great Grandmother, who played piano in an Irish Pub I am told, taught it to me this way:

    Twas a cold winter's evening
    The guests were all leaving
    O’Leary was closing the bar
    When he turned and he said
    To the Lady in Red
    Get out you can’t stay where you are. (notice how this rhymes)

    OOOOooooh, She wept a big tear
    In her bucket of beer
    As she thought of the cold night ahead,
    When a gentleman dapper
    Stepped out of the... (pause for dramatic effect) phoneboth, (no rhyme. kinda a gotcha line)
    And these are the words that he said.

    Her mother never told her
    The things a young girl should know
    About the ways of college lads
    And how they come and go (mostly go).

    Age has faded her beauty
    Pain has left its scar.
    So have a heart dear brother, And
    Let her sleep under the bar.
    (Under the baaaaar)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anybody have the chords?

    ReplyDelete
  3. neillecho8:27 AM

    Bob: this is posted over three years past your inquiry of the chords to "Let Nellie sleep..."


    C 'Twas a cold
    C The guests
    C O'Leary F closing C bar
    G7 When he C turned
    C To the lady
    Get G7 out F are C
    C+7 Oooh she C wept
    C In her bucket
    C As she thought F cold night C a- head
    G7 When a C gentleman
    C Stepped
    and G7 these are the words

    C Her mother F never C7 her
    The F things C know C7
    C About the ways F lads
    and D7(E) how C7 go
    C Now age G7 faded C beauty C7
    And F sin has left C sad scar
    C7 So F Remember your F6 mother
    and C sisters Faug boys
    And D7(E) let her sleep B7 un - G7 der the C bar

    ReplyDelete
  4. this was a song that my dad sang when ever we were on a family trip. If I remember correctly, he first heard it at Pat O'Brien's in New Orleans way back in the day. Here is how I remember him singing it (added chords as well for those who like to play as well as sing like me): O’Leary’s Bar – Misc – Tavern Song

    Intro
    Slowly strum G7

    'Twas a [C]cold winters evening
    The [F]guests were all leaving
    O'[C]Leary was [F]closing [G]bar
    When he [C]turned and he said
    To the [F]lady in red
    Get [C]out you can’t [F]stay where you [C]are [G7]
    Sheeee [C]shed a sad tear
    In her [F]bucket of beer
    As she [C]thought of the [F]cold night a[C]head [G7]
    When a [C]gentleman handsome
    Stepped [F]over the transom
    and [C]these are the [F]words that he [C]said [G7]

    Her [C]mother [F]never told [C]her
    The [F]things a young girl should [C]know
    A[C]bout the [F]ways bar[C]men
    and [D7]how they come and [G]go mostly [G7]go
    Now [C]age has [F]faded her [C]beauty
    And [F]sin has left it’s sweet [E7]scar
    Sooooo Re[F]member your mother
    and [C]daughters [F]boys
    And [D7]let ‘em sleep [G]under the [C]bar

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is the version my Father sang to me.

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  5. Thanks for the chords. The words seem to vary a bit, but not substantially. It's a fun song, and can be sung in mixed company.

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  6. My army company was the 1783rd Engineers. This was our song which we sang in France until May, 1945; then in Okinawa till after the very end of WWll.Slott

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  7. We used to sing this at the Little Creek Officers Club in Little Creek, Virginia in the early '70s. Almost didn't graduate from college because of the time I spent in that Officers Club! I still have the sing-along book from there!

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  8. Yea! I found the words. . . we sang this in the 50's in New England ivy League-type
    fraternity parties . . . .now I play piano in retirement/nursing home venues - in Pacific
    NW. I play by ear in the key of "F" - they love the "old ones" (40's-50's) lets see if
    they know this one! I have discovered that WHERE we sang & partied - as well as what decade
    we belong to -determines which music we sang. Nancy

    ReplyDelete
  9. I used this as a lullaby for my children until my three year old son sang it to his pre-kindergarten. I HEARD ABOUT THIS !!!

    When my daughters had their children, I WAS FORBIDDEN from using it as a lullaby.

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  10. This is so funny. I can just see the teacher's face. And the poor child wondering what he did wrong. Who would ever think the child would remember the lyric and sing them.
    Precious story.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Rhobin,

    I heard this song at Rice University back in the day. I always thought i was funny and a little sad. Was surprissed so many people knew it and the different versions.
    Thanks for the comment.

    ReplyDelete

Your comments are always welcome!