The Night That Paddy Murphy Died

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From: Going for Brogue: Irish Pub Songs and Sea Shanties with an Accent

words and music Johnny Burke

Oh the night that Paddy Murphy died, is a night I'll never forget
Some of the lads got roarin roarin' drunk, some still not sober yet.
As long as a bottle was passed around everyone was feelin' gay
Then O'Leary came with the bagpipes, some music for to play

And that's how they showed their respect for Paddy Murphy
That's how they showed their honor and their pride
They said it was a sin and shame and winked at one another
Every drink in the place was full, the night Pat Murphy died

Mrs. Murphy sat in the corner, pourin' out her grief
When Kelly and his friends, came roaring down the street
They crept into an empty room and a bottle of whiskey stole
They placed that bottle on the corpse to keep the liquor cold

At three o'clock in the morning, some dirty blue-eyed scamp
He wrote upon the coffin lid, "Herein lies a tramp,"
They stopped the clock so Mrs. Murphy couldn't tell the time
And at a quarter after three, Sure they argued it was nine.

And everyone got merry, they didn't care for prayer
Mrs. Murphy said she'd wait 'til all the gang were there
Of all the sights I've ever seen that made me shiver with fear
They took the ice right off the corpse, just for to chill the beer

Now everything was doin' fine, there was no ill at all
'Til Finnegan told Callaghan, "You've got an awful gall."
I thought that that might start a row, and sure enough it did
For Callaghan had carved his name upon the coffin lid

Then the fight got fierce & strong, everyone was in
Someone knocked the whiskers off poor old Darby Flynn
And Dirty Andy Burke was there, now whadda ya think he done?
He placed the corpse upon its head, in the corner just for fun

Someone hollered for the cops; they busted down the door
They jumped upon ol' Paddy's back and they laid him on the floor
They knocked him twice behind the ears and they kicked him on the head
When they jumped up from his back, sure they found out he was dead

Now Mrs. Murphy started in, battled with them cops
She chased 'em, every one of them; she chased 'em several blocks
A lovely time was had by all, eighteen in court were tried
For having caused a riot on the night Pat Murphy died

At eight o'clock in the morning, the procession left the house
And everyone but poor ol' Mrs. Murphy was out soused
They stopped on the way to the churchyard at the old Red Door Saloon
They staggered in at nine o'clock and didn't come out 'til noon

Someone asked ol' Finnegan if anyone had died
"Lou," says he, "I'm not quite sure, I just came for the ride."
They started out for the graveyard, all holy and sublime,
But found out when they got there, they'd left the corpse behind.

Chords: KEY


Background: Morbid comical song from Newfoundland folk song written by Johnny Burke (1851-1930), a popular St. John's balladeer.



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