MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada

When Paddy Stole The Rope

J. Molloy NFLD 2 Tape 16 Track 8
St. Shott's Audio:
Comic Song

LEACH: All right Now let her go.

It was two Irish naval boys to ‘Mericay they came over
They tramped [?] on search of work from New York to the Dover
Said Paddy to Mick, "I’m tired of this. We’re both stuck in the lurch
And if we don't get work, bedad, we'll go and rob the church."

"What! Rob the church!" said Paddy to Mick, "How could you be so vile?
Sure something bad will happen to you, when in that sacred aisle
Or if you do, I’ll go with you, we'll get out safe I hope."
Come, listen, and I’ll tell you true how Paddy stole the rope."

They tramped about mud and mire __________________________
_______________ they did come to a church where nobody was minding.
They _____ together all they could on that ___________ slope
When Mickey say, "Hold on now, Paddy, what shall we do for rope?

"We've got no bag to hold our swag, before we go outside
With something stout and strong, my lad, the bundle must be tied."
Just then they spied a church bell rope, as sweet as an antelope.
He scrambled up on the belfry high to go and steal the rope.

When he reached the belfry rope, "Be jeepers," said he, "stop.
To get a piece that's long enough, l must go to the top."
So like a sailor up he went, when near the end, said he,
"I think the piece that's underneath quite long enough will be.

Holding by one arm and leg, he pulled his vast might out
And right above his _______ hand he cut the rope so stout
He quite forgot what held him up, so by alone by hope(?)
Down to the bottom of the church fell Paddy and the rope.

Said Mick to Paddy, "Come out of that," as on the floor, he lay groaning
Is that the way to steal a rope? No wonder now you're moaning
I’ll show you how to cut a rope, so just give me your knife
"Ah, Mick, be careful," says Paddy, "Or else you'll lose your life."

Mick bounded up the rope just like an apple thief(?)
Instead of cutting it above he cut it underneath
The piece fell down and he was left to hang up there and mope
"Bad luck," says he, "unto the day when we came stealing rope."

There was Paddy, groaning on the floor, and Mick hung up on high.
Come out of that for if I drop I’ll die
_____________ the preacher and the sexton and the police.
They said they'd set poor Mickey free and ______ got no __________ .

They took em to the station, their conduct now to rue
And if they had no work before, they got plenty now to do
And for their ingenuity, they have a larger scope(?)
Then when they broke into the church to go and steal the rope.


Text: A comical song about two men who intend to rob the church.   Once inside, they realize they have no rope with which to tie their bundle.   Paddy climbs up one belfry rope and cuts it above him, falling to the floor.   Mick then climbs the other rope and cuts from below, which leaves him stranded and hanging.   The commotion attracts the police and they are arrested.

Tune: The text is through composed and the melody repeats with each verse. The last few words are spoken.   Speaking, instead of singing, a final word or phrase is generally thought to indicate Irish influence on the singer or song. The meter is 4/4.   The key is D major with a range of a minor 9th from C# to D.

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