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Song Details
Rank this week: 36 (↑11)
Duration: 5:11 
Release Date: 1960  (DJ Particle) 
Lyrics By: Tom Lehrer (Stavro Arrgolus) 
Music By: Tom Lehrer (Stavro Arrgolus) 
Produced By:
Released By: Warner Bros./WEA (Stavro Arrgolus) 
Published By: Maelstrom Music (Stavro Arrgolus) 
Licensing: ASCAP  #390191943 (Stavro Arrgolus) 
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Song Lyrics:
The Irish Ballad (live)
by
Tom Lehrer

INTRO

One of the more important aspects of pubic folk singing is audience participation, and this happens to be a good song for group singing. So if any of you feel like joining in with me on this song, I'd appreciate it if you would just leave, right now.


About a maid I'll sing a song,
Sing rickety-tickety-tin,
About a maid I'll sing a song,
Who didn't have her fam'ly long.
Not only did she do them wrong,
She did ev'ryone of them in, them in,
She did ev'ryone of them in.

One morning in a fit of pique,
Sing rickety-tickety-tin,
One morning in a fit of pique,
She drowned her father in the creek.
The water tasted bad for a week,
And we had to make do with gin, with gin,
We had to make do with gin.

Her mother she could never stand,
Sing rickety-tickety-tin,
Her mother she could never stand,
And so a cyanide soup she planned.
The mother died with the spoon in her hand,
And her face in a hideous grin, a grin,
Her face in a hideous grin.

She set her sister's hair on fire,
a-Rickety-tickety-tin,
She set her sister's hair on fire,
And as the smoke and flame rose high'r,
Danced around the funeral pyre,
Playin' a violin, -olin,
Playin' a violin.

She weighted her brother down with stones,
Rickety-tickety-tin,
She weighted her brother down with stones,
And sent him off to Davy Jones.
All they ever found were some bones,
And occasional pieces of skin, of skin,
Occasional pieces of skin.

One day when she had nothing to do,
Sing rickety-tickety-tin,
One day when she had nothing to do,
She cut her baby brother in two,
And served him up as an Irish stew,
And invited the neighbors in, -bors in,
Invited the neighbors in.

And when at last the police came by,
Sing rickety-tickety-tin,
And when at last the police came by,
Her little pranks she did not deny.
To do so, she would have had to lie,
And lying, she knew, was a sin, a sin,
Lying, she knew, was a sin.

My tragic tale I won't prolong,
Rickety-tickety-tin,
My tragic tale I won't prolong,
And if you do not enjoy my song,
You've yourselves to blame if it's too long,
You should never have let me begin, begin,
You should never have let me begin.

(Marcus T)
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Current Rating 10.0 (3 votes)
Song Images:
Messages about the song: "The Irish Ballad (live)"
 
 
  Offline  -   -  04-11-05 11:04 PM  -  16 years ago
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This song spent a month at the top of my GregWorld Top 10 in late February early March, 1979. It was on the Jan. 14, 1979 show that I first heard of this tune - or Tom Lehrer, for that matter. I was just a kid but I thought this was the funniest tune I've ever heard. It's also really, really dark, which made it even more creepy for me at the time. Since I was young, though, I had no idea how to find anything by this artist, but in 1985 I found an LP by him. From that record, two more singles, National Brotherhood Week and Vatican Rag both topped the GregWorld charts.
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