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The Nellie Bly Song

In her first few articles for the Pittsburgh "Dispatch," Elizabeth Jane Cochran's byline read "Orphan Girl." The name worked well for these artices, but the paper's editor, after adding her to his staff, decided that she needed a name that was "neat and catchy." The men in the newsroom made suggestions and the name "Nelly Bly" was proffered. The name had been made famous by one of Pittsburgh's favorite sons, the great songwriter Stephen Foster. In his haste, though, Madden spelled the Nelly of the song as "Nellie." 

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Sheet music cover, 4th edition, 1850

"Nellie Bly" by Stephen Foster
Performed by Brett Kroeger

Nelly Bly! Nellie Bly! Bring de broom along,
We'll sweep the kitchen clean, my dear, and hab a little song.

Poke de wood, my lady lub, And make de fire burn,
And while I take de banjo down, Just gib de mush a turn.

Heigh! Nelly Ho! Nelly, listen, lub, to me,
I'll sing for you and play for you a dulcem melody.

Nelly Bly hab a voice like de turtle dove,
I hear it in de meadow and I hear it in de grove.

Nelly Bly hab a heart warm as it can be,
And bigger dan de sweet potato down in Tennessee.

Heigh! Nelly Ho! Nelly, listen, lub, to me,
I'll sing for you and play for you a dulcem melody.

Nelly Bly! Nelly Bly! Nebber, nebber sigh,
And nebber bring de tear drop to de corner ob your eye.

For pie is made ob punkins and de mush is made ob corn,
And der's corn and punkins plenty, lub, a lyin in de barn.

Heigh! Nelly Ho! Nelly! listen, lub, to me,
I'll sing for you and play for you a dulcem melody.

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