Thursday, April 03, 2008

From Savin Rock Park to Lighthouse

Don't ask me why, but this morning, while taking a shower, I started singing "From Savin Rock Park to Lighthouse." If you're not from Connecticut, or you're under the age of 85, I don't expect you to know this song. It's about the trolley ride from West Haven's Savin Rock Amusement Park (razed in the mid-1960's) and Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven. The song's origins are unknown, but I believe it was written in the early 1900's. It was taught to me by "Dick," my mother's gentleman friend, when I was but a youngster. He'd sit me on his knee (after one too many cocktails) and say "repeat after me":

(*Sung in an oompah-calliope style. Kind of like singing along to a merry-go-round.)

From Savin Rock Park

To Lighthouse

All for a dime

From Park Avenue

To Morris Cove too

Oh boy what a time

When we were kissin'

The motor was hissin'

Oh boy what a time

If you want a good trip

That's really a pip

Take the George Street Line

Down to Dinty Moore's

We go there because

There's corned beef and cabbage

And old Irish Stew

We sing the old songs

As well as the new

That's where I met

Sweet Rosie O'Grady

Down at Dinty Moore's

A few years back, someone wrote The New Haven Register and asked if anyone remembered the lyrics to this song. Me and a few 90-years olds were the only ones who did. Surprisingly, it seems there are a few variations to the lyrics. The trolley line (in my song, George Street) depended on what route the singer lived on. Also, not everyone remembered the protagonist's girlfriend as "Sweet Rosie O'Grady" or meeting her at Dinty Moore's (a restaurant, I presume.) This may have been a cultural lyric, possibly directed at New Haven's Irish community.

I'm not sure why Dick thought it important that I learn this song and I like to think that it was more than just the booze talking. Maybe he was psychic and knew that someday I'd have a blog and transcribe the lyrics for posterity sake.

If you remember this song or its history, I invite you to leave a comment in the section below.


Anonymous said...

What, still no comments?


Could it possibly be that those 90 year olds who do remember this song have no clue how to use a computer and/or have absolutely no idea what a "blog" is?

LOL - just kidding!

Tony Alva said...

I've not heard it, but I will now undertake a search for a recording of it. I'll let you know how irt goes...

Bobby said...

I always found it interesting that this song's restaurant, "Dinty Moore's" shared its name with Hormel's Beef Stew. I did some research and found that both names can be traced back to the old comic strip, "Bringing up Father" by George McManus. One of the characters was bartender Dinty Moore The inspiration for Dinty came from McManus's friend and restaunt owner, James Moore.
James decided to capitalize on the comic strip and changed the name of his restaurant to Dinty Moore's. Later Hormel used this name for its Beef Stew. Read it about it here:

Anonymous said...

Love old style amusement parks & would have been nice to save something other then just memories of Savin Rock. Great Blog and glad you remembered the jingle.