Thomas Moore, 1779-1852

May 28, 1779 – Birthdate of Thomas Moore.  Moore was an Irish poet, singer, songwriter, and entertainer, now best remembered for the lyrics of “The Minstrel Boy” and “The Last Rose of Summer”. He was responsible, with John Murray, for burning Lord Byron’s memoirs after his death. In his lifetime he was often referred to as Anacreon Moore.

Moore is often considered Ireland’s National Bard and is to Ireland what Robert Burns is to Scotland. Moore is commemorated in several places: by a plaque on the house where he was born, by busts at The Meetings and Central Park, New York, and by a bronze statue near Trinity College Dublin. There is a road in Walkinstown, Dublin, named Thomas Moore Road, in a series of roads named after famous composers, locally referred to as the Musical Roads.

Many composers have set the poems of Thomas Moore to music. They include Gaspare Spontini, Robert Schumann, Hector Berlioz, Charles Ives, William Bolcom, Lori Laitman, Benjamin Britten and Henri Duparc.

The song “Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms” is often used in a famous gag in a number of Warner Borthers cartoons, usually involving a piano or xylophone rigged to explode when a certain note is played. The hero, typically Bugs Bunny, tries to play the melody line of the song, but always misses the rigged note (C above middle C). The villain or rival, finally exasperated, pushes the hero aside and plays the song himself, striking the correct note and blowing himself up. In one instance, however, the protagonist plays the melody on a xylophone and, upon striking the rigged note, the antagonist explodes in an “old gag, new twist.”

Moore died being cared for by his wife at Sloperton on February 26, 1852. His remains are in a vault at St. Nicholas churchyard, Bromham, within view of his cottage-home, beside his daughter Anastasia.

Ireland issued a 2-1/2 penny stamp in 1945 honoring Thomas Moore:

thomas moore - ireland - 1945

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