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Album: Ziegfeld FolliesReleased: 1913
This popular Irish-American song was written by American songwriters Alfred Bryan and Fred Fisher and originally featured in the 1913 musical Ziegfeld Follies. Among the first recordings of the song were ones by American tenor ballad singers Charles W. Harrison, Walter Van Brunt and Canadian vocalist Henry Burr. Since then, the most notable version was by the American harmonica-based group, Jerry Murad's Harmonicats, whose 1947 recording sold over one million copies within three years, reaching #1 on the US Billboard chart.
Amongst versions that have cropped up on TV is a recording by Max Harris and his Novelty Trio, based on Jerry Murad's Harmonicats version, which was used as the theme of the 1986 BBC miniseries The Singing Detective. Also episode 4 season 1 of the ITV drama Downtown Abbey features the second footman William playing the song on the piano in the servants' hall.
Celtic punk band Dropkick Murphys
covered the song on their 2011 album, Going Out in Style
. Their version features a guest appearance by Bruce Springsteen. Singer/bassist Ken Casey told Billboard
magazine the Springsteen/Dropkick connection began when the Boss attended one of his band's shows in New York. From there, the band performed with Springsteen at one his shows, then felt that "Peg O' My Heart" was their chance to collaborate in the studio. "Mainly [the song] struck us sound-wise as something you could hear the E Street Band doing when they pull something out of their hat, so that was part of the inspiration," explained Casey. "I still can't believe he actually sang on our record -- it's pretty great. But that's just how he is; he's down to earth. For every minute you want to pinch yourself because he's on your record, the next part of you that knows him says, 'Well, why wouldn't he?' because he's just a regular guy."