American Vaudeville Museum

All material © 1998-2012 American Museum of Vaudeville, Inc.  Page 32

Maggie Cline

(1857 — 1934)


“Now, ladies and gentlemen,” the Bowery Brunhilde said as she looked to the balcony and pretended to hitch up her trousers in the manner of a brawler readying for a fight, “I will sing the dainty and pathetic little ballad that drove me into this business:’

“T’row him down McCloskey,’ was to be the battle cry,

[a loud crash backstage made by stagehands punctuated the song]

‘T’row him down McCloskey, you can lick him if you try.

And future generations with wonder and delight

Will read in history’s pages of the great McCloskey fight.”

The song “T’row him down McCloskey,” written by J.W. Kelly, was forever associated with Maggie Cline, despite the popularity of her other numbers: “The Pitcher of Beer,” “How McNulty Carved The Duck,” “Nothing Too Good For The Irish” and “Choke Him, Casey, Choke Him.” For over 30 years she was as popular a performer as anyone of her day, and matured from a red-headed colleen singing sentimental ballads into a tall, hefty, leather lunged master of comic songs. Although she tried musicals, vaudeville provided her most accommodating stages. Audiences paid to see and hear Maggie not some character in a musical.