In 1939 Bing Crosby first recorded the classic Irish folk standard When Irish Eyes Are Smiling. The song was published in 1912, and written by vaudeville composer Ernest R. Ball and lyricists George Graff Junior and Chauncey Olcott. In 1913, Olcott performed the song in the unsuccessful play The Isle O' Dreams. The play set in Ireland in 1799 opened at New York City's Grand Opera House and shut down in less then a month. In 1923, during World War I, the song was recorded by Irish tenor John McCormack, but it wasn't until Bing Crosby's 1939 recording that the song gained widespread popularity. In April 1943 When Irish Eyes Are Smiling was the subject of a copyright dispute that was settled by The Supreme Court of the United States. In 1949, Bing Crosby performed the now popular song with actress Ann Blyth in the film Top O' The Morning. The song is now in the public domain. Smiling with your eyes has come to be known as a Smize - a neologism that has gained popularity the past couple years as people have had their faces covered with masks.
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