Burke and Hare

For the help o folk in Medical School
The word is pit aroond
That a body nae mair nor ten days old
Can fetch ye a guid ten pound.
O sad it is but true to say
In our wicked warld o greed
A man's worth nothing when alive
But plenty when he's deid.

CHORUS:  An its doon the close an up the stair
         But and ben with Burke and Hare
         Burke's the butcher, Hare's the thief,
         Knox is the man who buys the beef.

So in the dark o mony a nicht
When aw guid folk are sleepin
Alang the dyke and thro the kirk-yaird
There cam twa shadows creepin
And mony a man that's stark and cauld
And safely laid away
Niver thocht it was nae the last
He'd seen the licht o day.

But no content wi howkin deid -
A ploy that aye gets harder -
They cast their een on livin folk
And start committin murder.
And in the dark o the countryside
Creeps a fearsome pair:
Be ye man or wife or wean
You're no safe from Burke and Hare.

But noo Auld Reekie can sleep at last
These twa will trade nae mair
It's the gallows-tree for William Burke
And a pauper's grave for Hare.

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Copyright © 2001, Jack Campin