a desperado's brag

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Tue Jan 25 17:07:21 UTC 2005

I've seen on t-shirts a supposed "Irish" blessing, to the effect
that "may St. Peter welcome you into heaven a half hour before the
devil knows you're dead".


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much lately.

----- Original Message -----
From: Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM>
Date: Monday, January 24, 2005 9:46 pm
Subject: Re: a desperado's brag

> Grant,
> Vaguely comparable, from
> http://groups-
> "BTW, is it true that every Irish blessing has a corresponding curse?
> i.e. May you be a half hour in hell before God knows you're dead."
> Though I couldn't find it on the Net, I did once read or hear "in
> hell before God gets the news."
> JL
> Grant Barrett <gbarrett at WORLDNEWYORK.ORG> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------
> ------------
> Sender: American Dialect Society
> Poster: Grant Barrett
> Subject: Re: a desperado's brag
> -------------------------------------------------------------------
> ------------
> On Jan 24, 2005, at 16:02, George Thompson wrote:
> > 1866: Lane was a man of iron nerve; he seemed to think no more
> of the
> > hanging than a man would of eating his breakfast.
> That reminds me of another expression, supposedly said by men
> about to
> be hung. A year ago I found an item in a newspaper article posted
> to a
> genealogy email list for Wayne Co., Missouri, where my father's family
> is from. The article concerns two fellows are accused of murdering a
> man for $700. (I'm not related to any of them). The article (15 May
> 1902) ends thusly:
> > This is the blackest crime and darkest spot in the history of Wayne
> > County. Brown has as yet made no confession but is reported to have
> > said that if he is executed, he desires to be hanged 15 minutes
> before> 12 o?clock so as to get to hell in time for dinner.
> I liked the last remark, so I hit Google and found that Ruloff's
> Restaurant in Ithaca claims Edward Rulof said much the same thing.
> DickBailey (who published "Rogue Scholar," a book about the
> criminal and
> philologist Edward Ruloff, last year), says there's no record of
> Ruloffhaving said it. Then I found another link for a fellow in
> Wyoming who
> supposedly said it, too, 5 March 1886. So it's one of those fanciful
> pass-alongs, I guess.
> Grant Barrett
> gbarrett at worldnewyork.org
> ---------------------------------
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