Mudcat Café message #3024483 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #17805   Message #3024483
Posted By: Jim Carroll
05-Nov-10 - 03:02 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Burke and Hare (ballads about)
Subject: Lyr Add: BURKE AND HARE
This one?
Jim Carroll


1. William Burke it is my name.
I stand condemned alone.
I left my native Ireland
In the county of Tyrone;
And o'er to Scotland I did sail,
Employment for to find.
No thought of cruel murder
Was then into my mind.

2. At Edinburgh trade was slack.
No work there could I find;
And so I took the road again,
To Glasgow was inclined;
But stopping at the West-port
To find refreshment there,
O cursed be the evil hour
I met with William Hare!

3. With flattering words he greeted me
And said good fortune smiled.
He treated me to food and drink
And I was soon beguiled.
He said: “There’s riches to be had,
And fortune's to be made,
For atomists have need of us,
So join me in that trade.

4. Hare he kept a lodging-house.
Therein a man had died.
His death went unreported
And of burial was denied.
We put the dead man in a cart
And through the streets did ride,
And Robert Knox, the atomist,
The dead man he did buy.

5. To rob the new dug graves by night
It was not our intent.
To be taken by the nightwatch
Or by spies was not our bent.
The plan belonged to William Hare
And so the plot was laid.
He said that "murder's safer
Than the resurrection trade."

6. Two women they were in the plot:
The wife of William Hare,
The other called McDougal,
And travellers they did snare.
They lured them to the lodging house,
And when they'd drunken deep,
Hare and me, we smothered them
As they lay fast asleep.

7. At first in fear and dread I was,
But later grew more bold.
In nine short months we killed fifteen
And then their bodies sold.
The doctors did not question us,
But quickly paid our fee.
The price they paid, it prospered us,
Both William Hare and me.

8. But soon our crimes they were found out.
In jail we were confined,
And cruel guilt it tore my heart
And much despairs my mind;
And Hare, who first ensnared me
And led me far astray,
Has turned King's evidence on me
And sworn my life away.