THE NIGHT PADDY MURPHY DIED

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs

THE NIGHT PADDY MURPHY DIED

 

“The Night Paddy Murphy Died” is a popular Newfoundland folk song regarding the death of a man and the antics of his friends as they engage in a traditional Irish wake. It is often attributed to Johnny Burke (1851–1930), a popular St. John’s balladeer, however, there is no record of Johnny Burke having written this song.

The song has been recorded by numerous artists, including Ryan’s Fancy on their 1973 album Newfoundland Drinking Songs, The Irish Brigade on their 1991 album Are You Ready For This?, Darby O’Gill on their 2002 album Waitin’ for a Ride, Drunk & Disorderly on their album Home By Way of the Gutter, Great Big Sea on their 1997 and 2000 albums Play and Road Rage, Fiddler’s Green on their 2007 album Drive Me Mad!, by the Washington Square Harp and Shamrock Orchestra on their 2011 album Since Maggie Dooley Learned the Hooley Hooley and by Paddy Murphy (Austria) on the 2012 Album Dog’s Dinner.

The Great Big Sea version of the song is sung by Russell Crowe in the 2009 movie State of Play.

 

Oh the night that Paddy Murphy died, is a night I’ll never forget

Some of the boys got loaded drunk, and they ain’t got sober yet;

As long as a bottle was passed around every man was feelin’ gay

O’Leary came with the bagpipes, some music for to play

 

[Chorus:]

 

That’s how they showed their respect for Paddy Murphy

That’s how they showed their honour and their pride;

They said it was a sin and shame and they winked at one another

And every drink in the place was full the night Pat Murphy died

 

As Mrs. Murphy sat in the corner pouring out her grief

Kelly and his gang came tearing down the street

They went into an empty room and a bottle of whiskey stole

They put the bottle with the corpse to keep that whiskey cold

 

[Chorus]

 

About two o’clock in the morning after empty’ing the jug

Doyle rolls up the ice box lid to see poor Paddy’s mug

We stopped the clock so Mrs. Murphy couldn’t tell the time

And at a quarter after two we argued it was nine

 

[Chorus]

 

They stopped the hearse on George Street outside Sundance Saloon

They all went in at half past eight and staggered out at noon

They went up to the graveyard, so holy and sublime

Found out when they got there, they’d left the corpse behind!

 

[Chorus]

 

Oh the night that Paddy Murphy died, is a night I’ll never forget

Some of the boys got loaded drunk and they ain’t been sober yet;

As long as a bottle was passed around every man was feelin’ gay

O’Leary came with the bagpipes, some music for to play

 

[Chorus]