An Irish Ballad --- Tom Lehrer



A-[Em]bout a maid Iíll sing a song, sing [Am]rickety-tickety-[Em]tin.

A-[Am]bout a maid Iíll [Em]sing a song, who [D]did not have her [Em]family long.

Not [Am]only did she [Em]do them [Am]wrong,

She [Em]did every [D]one of them [Em]in, them [D]in.

She [Em]did every [D]one of them [Em]in.


One [Em]morning in a fit of pique sing [Am]rickety-tickety-[Em]tin.

One [Am]morning in a [Em]fit of pique, she [D]drowned her father [Em]in the creek.

The [Am]water tasted [Em]bad for a [Am]week,

And we [Em]had to make [D]do with [Em]gin, with [D]gin.

We [Em]had to make [D]do with [Em]gin.


Her [Em]mother she could never stand, sing [Am]rickety-tickety-[Em]tin.

Her [Am]mother she could [Em]never stand, and [D]so a cyanide [Em]soup she planned.

Her [Am]mother died with the [Em]spoon in her [Am]hand,

And her [Em]face in a [D]hideous [Em]grin, a [D]grin.

Her [Em]face in a [D]hideous [Em]grin.


She [Em] set her sisterís hair on fire, sing [Am]rickety-tickety-[Em]tin.

She [Am] set her sisterís [Em]hair on fire, and [D] as the smoke and [Em]flame rose higher,

She [Am] danced around the [Em] funeral [Am] pyre.

[Em] Playiní a [D] vio-[Em]lin, o-[D]lin.

[Em] Playiní a [D]vio-[Em]lin.


She [Em]weighted her brother down with stones, sing [Am]rickety-tickety-[Em]tin.

She [Am]weighted her brother [Em]down with stones, and [D]sent him off to [Em]Davy Jones.

[Am]All they ever [Em]found were some [Am]bones,

And oc-[Em]casional [D]pieces of [Em]skin, of [D]skin.

Oc-[Em]casional [D]pieces of [Em]skin.


One [Em]day when she had nothiing to do, sing [Am]rickety-tickety-[Em]tin.

One [Am]day when she had [Em]nothing to do, she [D]cut her baby [Em]brother in two,

And [Am]served him up as an [Em]Irish [Am]stew.

And in-[Em]vited the [D]neighbours [Em]in, -bours [D]in.

In-[Em]vited the neigh-[D]bours [Em]in.


And [Em]when at last the police came by, sing [Am]rickety-tickety-[Em]tin.

And [Am]when at last the [Em]police came by, her [D]little pranks she [Em]did not deny.

To [Am]do so she would have [Em]had to [Am]lie.

And [Em]lying she [D]knew was a [Em]sin, a [D]sin.

[Em]Lying she [D]knew was a [Em]sin.


My [Em]tragic tale I wonít prolong, sing [Am]rickety-tickety-[Em]tin.

My [Am]tragic tale I [Em]wonít prolong, and [D]if you do not en-[Em]joy my song,

Youíve your-[Am]selves to blame if [Em]itís too [Am]long.

You should [Em]never have [D]let me be-[Em]gin, be-[D]gin.

You should [Em]never have [D]let me be-[Em]gin.


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