A Song by Tom Lehrer, in which he has a go at folk songs for their interminable duration, grisly topics, and padding-out with nonsense lyrics. It also incorporates a dig at Irish accents and a last-minute swipe at religious morality.

About a maid I'll sing a song
Sing rickety-tickety-tin
About a maid I'll sing a song
Who didn't have her family long
Not only did she do them wrong
She did ev'ryone of them in,
them in
She did ev'ryone of them in

One morning in a fit of pique
Sing rickety-tickety-tin
One morning in a fit of pique
She drowned her father in the creek
The water tasted bad for a week
And we had to make do with gin,
with gin
We had to make do with gin

Her mother she could never stand
Sing rickety-tickety-tin
Her mother she cold never stand
And so a cyanide soup she planned
The mother died with a spoon in her hand
And her face in a hideous grin,
a grin
Her face in a hideous grin

She set her sister's hair on fire
Rickety-tickety-tin
She set her sister's hair on fire
And as the smoke and flame rose high'r
Danced around the funeral pyre
Playin' a violin,
-olin
Playin' a violin

She weighted her brother down with stones
Rickety-tickety-tin
She weighted her brother down with stones
And sent him off to Davy Jones
All they ever found were some bones
And occasional pieces of skin,
of skin
Occasional pieces of skin

One day when she had nothing to do
Rickety-tickety-tin
One day when she had nothing to do
She cut her baby brother in two
And served him up as an Irish stew
And invited the neighbours in,
-bours in
Invited the neighbours in

And when at last the police came by
Rickety-tickety-tin
And when at last the police came by
Her little pranks she did not deny
To do so she would have had to lie
And lying, she knew, was a sin,
a sin
Lying, she knew, was a sin

My tragic tale, I won't prolong
Rickety-tickety-tin
My tragic tale I won't prolong
And if you do not enjoy my song
You've yourselves to blame if it's too long
You should never have let me begin,
begin
You should never have let me begin

© Tom Lehrer; Appears on Songs by Tom Lehrer (1953). Lyrics appear with his written permission. CST Approved.

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