To celebrate Irish-American Heritage Month and Saint Patrick’s Day, the Special Collections’ Featured Item for March 2013 is sheet music from the Lois Root Collection of music scores: Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral : That’s an Irish Lullaby, with words and music by J.R. Shannon.
The song was popularized in Going My Way, a 1944 American musical comedy-drama film directed by Leo McCarey and starring Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald. Based on a story by Leo McCarey, the film is about a new young priest taking over a parish from an established old veteran. Crosby sings five songs in the film, including Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral. Going My Way was the highest-grossing picture of 1944, and was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, winning 7, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor, and made Crosby the biggest box-office draw of the year,a record he would hold for the remainder of the 1940s. After World War II, Bing Crosby and Leo McCarey presented a copy of the motion picture to Pope Pius XII at the Vatican.