Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bless us and save us..."Mrs O'Davis"???

Graham from the UK wrote to me to ask me a question.
I would like to pose a question to Past Elder, and I suspect it is far too peripheral [???] to be of interest to those who follow your blog... Past Elder's most common "catchphrase", perhaps, is "Bless us and save us Mrs O'Davis", and he refers to this, once or twice, as deriving from "from pre-conciliar Catholic culture". I'm intrigued by this. Is "Mrs O'Davis" some sort of oblique reference to the Virgin Mary? A puzzle, and puzzles irritate me.
Seems that Graham has been discussing this on an online forum at


At Thursday, January 22, 2009 7:45:00 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, I think it's a reference (real or apocryphal) to the great Chicago Fire of 1871. I have a recollection of my own grandmother reciting a doggeral verse that began "Fire, fire said Mrs. O'Dwyer/where, where, said Mrs. O'Hare/God bless us and save us, said Mrs. O' Davis ..." and no doubt further, although this is all that I can recall after nearly 45 years.

William Tighe

At Thursday, January 22, 2009 11:42:00 pm , Anonymous matthias said...

Pity the cow is not here to kick the great grandson or his boss-Rupert "was an aussie' Murdoch

At Friday, January 23, 2009 1:41:00 pm , Anonymous Grahamgomeldon said...

Ah, to be sure, I had you down as being of Irish extraction - as I am partly myself. I think it may be that little bit of Irish blood which keeps me ever from fully settling - as Yeats had it: "Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy."

A quadrivial question would be a natural progression. And then a "real" question after that. But, in the old days, it was six years studying the trivium and the quadrivium, and only then were you considered well enough grounded to study theology. So you must be patient!

Thanks again for your good-natured help.


At Friday, January 23, 2009 4:36:00 pm , Anonymous Grahamgomeldon said...

Well, Douglas Clutterham, I think there's a danger we might be abusing David's hospitality if we carry on like this. This is not even about Mrs O'Davis any more. But, if you want to dig into your family history - and it might be interesting to see if one Stanley Clutterham of Chicago (born 1947) is a relation - contact me on - I may be able to help.

Best Regards



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home