MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
The Burglar
Eddy Primroy NFLD 1 Tape 14A Track 3
Pouch Cove Audio:
Ballad / comic Mr. Primroy accompanies himself on guitar

I'll tell you of a burglar boy that went to rob a house
He opened the window then crept in as quiet as any mouse
Looked for a place to conceal himself while all went fast asleep
"And now," said he to the family, "I will take a quiet sneak"

Under the bed the burglar crept and he lay quite close to the wall
He never thought it was an old maid's room or he wouldn't've gone there at all
Thinking of the money he'd get as under the bed he lay
At nine o'clock he saw a sight that made his hair turn grey

At nine o'clock the old maid came in, "'Dear me I'm tired," she said
Sure thinking everything was alright she never looked under the bed
She took out her teeth and her big glass eye and her hair right off of her head
And this burglar he had seventeen fits as he lay there under the bed

From under the bed the burglar crept he looked a total wreck
The old maid she being wide awake she grabbed him by the neck
The old maid wasn't frightened at all she looked as cool as a clam
"How now," said she, "My prayers are heard: Thank God I've found my man."

The old maid drew a revolver out and to the burglar said
"It you don't consent to marry me I'll blow off the back of your head."
The burglar looked around the room to see where he could scoot,
He thought of her teeth and her big glass eye and he said, For God's sake, shoot!"


Sources: Laws H23 ("Old Maid and the Burglar"); Roud 658; for recordings, see list in


Text notes: Comic song. A burglar enters the room of an old maid who has removed her teeth, glass eye, and wig. When she sees him, she thinks her prayers for a man have been answered.

Tune notes: A major key melody in 6/8, with phrases that repeat in an abac pattern.

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