The Irish Wake

Cat. #0196 (MFH #292) - As sung by Charley W. Igenthron, Walnut Shade, Missouri on July 17, 1958

Times was hard in Irish town
Everything was going down
An' Pat Malone was pushed for ready cash
He'd for life insurance spent
All his money, to a cent
And so, all of Pat's affairs had gone to smash

Then, his wife spoke up an' said,
Now, dear Pat, if you was dead
This fifty thousand dollars we could take
And so, Pat laid down and tried
To make out that he had died
Until he smelt th whiskey from th wake

Then Pat Malone
Fergot that he was dead
He raised himself an' shouted from th bed
If this work goes on a minute
Th corpse, he will be in it
And you'll have to get me drunk to keep me dead

O, they give th corpse a sup
And then from that they filled him up
And laid him out again upon th bed
But before th morning grew
Everybody felt so blue
The fergot that he had only played off dead

O, they raised him from th bunk
Still alive but awful drunk
And laid him in th coffin with a prayer
But th driver of th cart
Said, begosh, he'd never start
Until he saw that someone paid th fare

Then Pat Malone
Fergot that he was dead
He set up in th coffin while he said,
If you dare to doubt my credit
You'll be sorry that you said it
Drive on or else th corpse'll break your head

O, then they started out
On th cemetery route
Th neighbors tried th widow to console
Till they stopped beneath th base
Of Malones last resting place
And gently lowered Patrick in th hole

Then Malone began to see
Just as plain as one, two, three
That he'd forgot to reckon on the end
So, as th clods begin to drop
He broke off th coffin top
And on to the earth, he quickli did ascend

He came nearly going under
T'was a lucky thing by-thunder
That Pat Malone forgot that he was dead