Inner Circle Lampoon : Fireman, Hide My Drink

Saturday, March 05, 1949

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

At a formal event, past and present members of the press perform lampoons of current events, including Governor Dewey's presidential campaign, Frank Costello, and the suspension of Fire Chief Peter Loftus. Color commentary by Cowan. Introduction by Fred Curran: "Tonight the Inner Circle will do a little investigating of its own. We will tear apart the curtain and present to you problems of our city, problems of our state, problems of our nation."

Occasional Cowan commentary interrupts the performance.

Chorus of "firemen" sang (including Councilman Charles E. Keegan):
"We'll retreat to Great Jones Street.
Where plenty of lager flows
Curtain's down, you'll go to town
Where you laugh and joke 'stead of eating smoke
And they hand out some bottles and hose.
In a firehouse trimmin' with women and women
We're bound to click with some fancy chick
The fire bell can go to hell
It will be swell with bottle and hose."

And, later:
Drink, drink, drink,
Drink again to happy days.
Drink, drink, drink to O'Dwyer, Quale and Bayes.
They're a joke
Let the place go up in smoke
They'll be a hot time in the old town tonight."

"Rip Van Winkle Dewey" sang:
"How're they gonna keep me down on the farm
Or up in Alban-ee;
How're they gonna keep me out of the White House --
It's common talk, I'll win in a walk.
I'm much too big for that small time stuff."

To which President Truman replied:
"You're gonna go back, you're gonna go back,
You're gonna go back to your farm;
Far away from harm, with a milk pail on your arm.
Way up in Pawling, you'll find your calling --
A-calling in the cows."

Then the chorus, dressed in judicial gowns, sang:
"We're nine little judges who strayed one night,
Caught, caught, caught.
We were out for some fun and to see the sights,
Caught, caught, caught.
Racketeers, chiselers and punks we deplore
Giving us contracts on the Copa's dance floor."

Strange tableaux, "Jockeying for Position," is set in a classroom, where three students are asked what U.S.A., C.I.O., and S.O.B. mean -- they only know one. Cowan: "Everyone in the United States knew the answer to that one!"

Officers of the Inner Circle include: Fred Curran, of the New York Journal-American; James P. McCaffrey, of the New York Times; Howard Shiebler, of the Brooklyn Eagle; Thomas Pennell, of the Associated Press; and Frank J. MacMaster, Long Island Daily Press. Show directed by Shiebler, Richard F. Maher of the Associated Press, and Councilman Charles E. Keegan.

Information comes from a NY Times article, "Inner circle sings of year's foibles: political reporters lampoon 1948 campaign, firehouse party, and judicial feast," 1949-03-04.

[Poor Quality Original; Incomplete]

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 69981
Municipal archives id: LT931


Tommy Cowan, Fred Curran, Charles E. Keegan, Frank MacMaster, James McCaffrey, Thomas Pennell and Howard Shiebler


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About Miscellaneous

Programs ranging from the 1930s to the 1970s covering a variety of cultural and political topics.

From archival broadcasts of sewer plant openings to single surviving episodes of long-defunct series, "Miscellaneous" is a catch-all for the odds and ends transferred as part of the New York Public Radio Archives Department's massive NEH-funded digitization project, launched in 2010.

Buried in this show you will find all sorts of treasures, from the 1937 dedication of the WNYC Greenpoint transmitter to the 1939 lighting of the City Hall Christmas tree and the 1964 reception for Nobel Prize recipient Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

This collection includes some unique “slice-of-life” productions that provide a telling portrait of America from the 1940s through the 1950s, such as public service announcements regarding everything from water conservation to traffic safety and juvenile delinquency and radio dramas such as "The Trouble Makers" and "Hate, Incorporated."



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