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Dicey Riley
Last updated: 04.05.20
I had never heard of this song until I came across it in Soodlum's 100 Irish Ballads Volume 1 and loved it immediately. Soodlums only gives two verses so I used to improvise in stretching it out with home-made verses to sing it as long as possible on account of the rollicking chorus. When I was in New Zealand I heard, for the first time, an Irish band giving it a real thrashing with loads of instrumentals and additional verses. On my return to Germany I then tracked down further verses on Internet.
In July 2013, I came across Ireland Sings by Dominic Behan where I found that Behan's version has 2 very Irish racy verses. He mentions a trio of whores (Mary Oblong, Becky Cooper and Maggie Mary Wong) who were no comparison to Dicey Riley. He remarks:

Joyce's "Nightgown" sequence in "Ulysses" deals with quite a few of the ladies mentioned in this song. My aunt sings a version about Biddy Riley. What the hell, Biddy, Maggie, or what have you. Some unfortunate now past her labour and ready to give her back a rest. .
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     Title Performer
     
youtube15.jpg Dicey Riley (6:07) The Dubliners