The Life of Riley

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The meaning and origin of the expression: The life of Riley

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Goto Qn. Where does the saying "Life of Riley" come from?

Stew54 Answer has 4 votes. Stew54 16 year member replies Answer has 4 votes. Currently voted the best answer.

Vote for this answer. Reputedly from a popular song in the s called, "Is that Mr.

phrases, sayings, proverbs and idioms at

The song apparently contained lyrics such as "a hundred a day would be my pay", and other speculation about what "Mr. Reilly" would do if he were to become wealthy.

Lightning Seeds - The Life Of Riley

However, the only source I have for this is one website, which is good enough for Government decisions on things like going to war but not usually definitive enough for AFT. I have also found a reference to a song.

live the life of Riley

Riley originally spelt "Reilly" referred to the character that appeared in a song written by Pat Rooney in However it is possible it was an American poet by the name of James Whitcomb Riley who gave rise to this idiom. Is that Mister Reilly, can anyone tell? Is that Mister Reilly that owns the hotel?

The Life of Riley () - IMDb

Written in by Pat Rooney, a well-known vaudeville comedian, singer and Irish impersonator. The lyric was quoted in The New York Times on 29 January as a sarcastic comment about how difficult it was to find out the extent to which the city registrar, John Reilly, had profited from his office.

In December the same year the Philadelphia Record used it in referring to a New York police captain, also with the same surname, who was supposedly and surprisingly untouched by a city financial scandal. Other musical compositions have been suggested.

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It has been said that there was one of performed by the well-known burlesque performers Edward Harrigan and Tony Hart. Reilly They Speak of So Highly. Is This Mr.


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  • Reilly That Keeps the Hotel? British publishers in search of the rights, it reported, were surprised to discover that it was actually American. How it got into the trenches of northern France one can only guess. The first known examples of the phrase are American and strongly suggest that it started life in the US Army around the time America entered the First World War in Small-town newspapers frequently published letters sent home by soldiers from training camps in the US and from active service in France.

    Lowell Sun , Massachusetts, 16 January The best time we had was the morning after when we occupied cities formerly held by the Huns.