A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 11, 2012
“Here’s to a long life and a merry one…” (toast)

A popular anonymous “Irish toast” is:

“Here’s to a long life and a merry one.
A quick death and an easy one.
A pretty girl and an honest one.
A cold beer—and another one!”


The toast appears to have originated in America’s Clover Club, with clubs in cities such as Philadelphia, New York and Boston. A Clover Club toast from 1890 is:

“A long life and a merry one --
A quick death and a happy one --
A pretty girl and a true one—&
A cold bottle and another one.”


The modern version most notably replaces “cold bottle” with “cold beer,” but also changes “happy one” to “easy one” and “true one” to “honest one.” In 1891, the De Wolf Hopper Bouffe Opera Co. popularized the toast in its production of Castles in the Air. The toast was printed in several books from 1900-1910.


Brookston Beer Bulletin
Beer Quotations
“Here’s to a long life and a merry one.
A quick death and an easy one.
A pretty girl and an honest one.
A cold beer—and another one!”
— Irish Toast

The Quote Garden
Quotations about Alcohol
Here’s to a long life and a merry one
A quick death and an easy one
A pretty girl and an honest one
A cold beer and another one!
~Author Unknown

30 November 1890, The Daily Journal (Logansport, IN), pg. 4, col. 4:
We are all in harmony about pleasant men and pretty women the more of them there are the more there will be to drink that funny little toast of the Clover Club,

“A long life and a merry one --
A quick death and a happy one --
A pretty girl and a true one—&
A cold bottle and another one.”

That’s a good wish, and it comes from yours harmoniously.
BAB.

29 March 1891, Trenton (NJ) Sunday Advertiser, pg. 3, col. 2:
The De Wolf Hopper Bouffe Opera Co. introduces a very striking toast in the second act of “Castles in the Air,” which has become very popular in the circles where that organization has appeared. it is, “Here is to a long life and a merry one, a quick death and an easy one, a true girl and a pretty one, a cold bottle and another one.”

Google Books
The Banquet Book
By Cuyler Reynolds
New York, NY: G. P. Putnam’s Sons
1902
Pg. 309:
COLD BOTTLE AND ANOTHER ONE
Here ‘s to a long life and a merry one,
A quick death and a happy one,
A good girl and a pretty one,
A cold bottle and another one.
Clover Club.

28 June 1903, Boston (MA) Daily Globe, “Tin-Roof Vacation in Maine Wilds” by Penny Packer, pg. 35:
I offer you the toast to which I once drank as a Harvard senior and an invited guest at a banquet of the Clover club in Boston:

“Here’s to a long life and a merry one; a quick death and a happy one; a good girl and a pretty one; a cold bottle and another one.”

Google Books
Waes Hael, the Book of Toasts
Edited by Edithe Lea Chase and William Edward Pattison French
New York, NY: The Grafton press
1904
Pg. 168:
Here’s to a long life and a merry one,
A quick death and an easy one,
A pretty girl and a true one,
A cold bottle and another one.

Google Books
Toasts and Tributes:
A happy book of good cheer, good health, good speed devoted to the blessings and comforts of life south of the stars

Edited by Arthur Gray
New York, NY: Rohde and Haskins
1904
Pg. 231:
CLOVER CLUB’S TOAST
Here’s to a long life and a merry one,
A quick death and a happy one,
A good girl and a pretty one,
A cold bottle and another one.

Google Books
15 March 1904, The Bookseller, Newsdealer and Stationer, pg. 292, col. 1:
F. M. Schafuss & Co. have recently gotten out some aluminum toasts mounted on boards, stained to resemble Flemish oak, or the greenish finish of mission furniture. There are a dozen different styles, the decorations being in red or black ink. Two of the toasts are:

“Here’s to a long life and a merry one,
A quick death and a happy one,
A good girl and a pretty one,
A cold bottle and another one.” ...

Google Books
15 May 1905, The Mixer and Server, pg. 15, col. 2:
CLOVER CLUB’S TOAST.
Here’s to a long life and a merry one,
A quick death and a happy one,
A good girl and a pretty one,
A cold bottle and another one.

15 March 1984, Daily Herald (Chicago, IL), The Herald Neighbor, pg. 7D, col. 3 ad:
TOASTS TO THE IRISH!
(...)
Here’s to a long life and a merry one, a pretty girl and a loving one, a cold beer and another one.
(Lively Liquors—ed.)

Google Books
Toasts:
Over 1,500 Of the Best Toasts, Sentiments, Blessings, and Graces

By Paul Dickson
New York, NY: Crown Publishers, Inc.
1991
Pg. 188:
Here’s to a long life and a merry one,
A quick death and an easy one,
A pretty girl and a true one,
A cold bottle and another one.

Google Books
Ethical Dilemmas:
Crises in Faith and Modern Medicine

By John T. Chirban
Lanham, MD: University Press of America
1994
Pg. 20:
A bar in Denver, Colorado, “Duffy’s Shamrock,” once displayed a poem above its cabinets full of liquor and beer that offered the following toast:

Here’s to a long life
And a merry one
A quick death and an easy one
A pretty girl and a true one
A cold beer and another one.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Wednesday, July 11, 2012 • Permalink