Burke and Hare   © Alan G Brydon, David J Chapman



They worked as Irish Navvies

On the Union Canal

And there they dreamed, and worked out schemes

Twae would-be business pals

Poor Donald was Hare’s lodger,

And to his god he went

Which left them feeling cheated

For he still owed four pounds rent



Through the close and doon the stair

Watch yer back for Burke and Hare

Run like hell frae the butcher’s men

They’ll sell ye cauld for seven and ten


Now they knew about grave robbing,

It’s a business they’d surveyed

Just take a box to Robert Knox,

And handsome you’ll be paid

But what’s the use of digging?

Sure we’ve had enough o’ picks

Let’s start with poor old Donald here

And soon we’ll both be rich




Daft Jamie was a well known lad

He wouldna harm a fly

He wandered through the streets at night

And havered tae the sky

But one dark night on cobble stones

Daft Jamie met his fate

He found the lair of Burke and Hare

Aside the Canongate




The cart wheels squeaked and clattered

On Auld Reekie’s cobble stanes

As through the smoggy closes

They delivered flesh and bane

But not by digging coffins up

As many folk have said

A pillow placed upon the face

Nae marks were on their dead




The city streets were safer

When butchers men were gone

Hare turned sides against his pal

And Burke was hanged at dawn

But a strange twist ensured that Burke

Would in oor midst reside

They gave his corpse to the surgeon school

And the students tanned his hide!


Chorus x 2