Digital Tradition Mirror

Pat Malone Forgot that He Was Dead

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Pat Malone Forgot that He Was Dead

Times were hard in Irish town; everything was going down,
Pat Malone was pushed for ready cash.
He'd the life insurance spent; all his money, too, had went
And all of his affairs had gone to smash.
His wife spoke up and said, "Now, dear Pat, if you were dead
This twenty thousand dollars we could take."
And so Pat laid down and tried to make out that he had died
Until he smelled the whiskey at the wake.
  Then Pat Malone forgot that he was dead.
  He raised himself in the bed and what he said,
  "If this wake goes on a minute, to be sure the corpse is in it
  You'll have to keep me drunk to keep me dead,  "

So they gave the corpse a cup, and afterward they filled it up
And laid him down again upon the bed.
And before the morning grey, everybody felt so gay
They forgot that Pat was only playing dead.
So they loaded him from the bunk, still alive but awful drunk
And put him in the coffin with a prayer.
And the driver of the cart said, "Be God, I'll never start
Until I see that someone pays the fare."
  Then Pat Malone forgot that he was dead.
  He raised himself in the coffin, while he said,
  "If you fairly doubt my credit, you'll be sorry that you said it
  You drive on or else the corpse will break your head.

So the funeral started out on the cemetery route,
And the neighbors tried the widow to console.
'Til they got beside the base of Malone's last resting place
And gently lowered Patrick in the hole.
Then Pat began to see, just as plain as one could see
That he'd forgot to reckon on the end.
And as clods began to drop he broke loose the coffin top
And quickly to the earth he did ascend.
  Then Pat Malone forgot that he was dead,
  And from the cemetery quickly fled.
  He came nearly going under, it's a lucky thing, by thunder,
  That Pat Malone forgot that he was dead.*

Note: as collected, last line read " That Pat Malone forgot that he's not
     dead". i CHANGED IT, FOR SENSE. RG
from Folk Songs Out of Wisconsin, Peters
Collected from Robert Walker, Crandon, WI 1941
DT #529
Laws Q18

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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