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Lyr Req: The Old Maid and the Burglar

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OLD MAID AND THE BURGLAR
OLD MAID AND THE BURGLAR


Related threads:
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Lyr Req: burglar boy? / Old Maid & Burglar (12)
Lyr Req: The Old Maid and the Burglar^^ (7)
Folksongs and Minstrelsy (10)


20 May 97 - 12:44 AM
Karol 24 May 97 - 03:51 PM
Dale Rose 29 May 97 - 03:38 AM
GUEST,Shelda from Northern Missouri 29 Jul 08 - 01:40 PM
GUEST,snowflake 04 Feb 11 - 11:07 PM
Jim Dixon 07 Feb 11 - 12:29 PM
kendall 07 Feb 11 - 05:17 PM
GUEST,Guest 10 Feb 11 - 12:56 PM
tritoneman 10 Feb 11 - 02:31 PM
GUEST,Fantum 10 Feb 11 - 07:19 PM
GUEST,Guest: JannaRae 30 Apr 11 - 11:58 AM
GUEST,Grishka 01 May 11 - 07:04 AM
Jim Dixon 03 May 11 - 12:24 PM
Jim Dixon 03 May 11 - 01:11 PM
CapriUni 19 Sep 11 - 03:12 PM
GUEST,SteveG 20 Sep 11 - 01:09 PM
CapriUni 20 Sep 11 - 04:34 PM
GUEST,Steve Gardham 20 Sep 11 - 05:05 PM
CapriUni 20 Sep 11 - 05:21 PM
CapriUni 22 Sep 11 - 03:31 PM
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Subject: Looking for lyrics to the Old Maid and the Bu
From:
Date: 20 May 97 - 12:44 AM

My wife's mother used to sing a song about an old maid and a Buglar. A story I'll tell of a buglar Bold. Would like to pass it on to grandchildren if any one has the lyrics.

The Knights

knight@aepnet.com (server is case sensetive all lower case)


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Subject: ADD: The Old Maid and the Burglar^^^
From: Karol
Date: 24 May 97 - 03:51 PM

I don't know if this is the one, but my mom sang this
one to me:

I'll tell you the story of a burglar man
Who tried to rob a house.
He crept in the window and under the bed
As quiet as a mouse.

About twelve o'clock an old maid came.
"I am so tired," she said.
And she thinking all was well
Forgot to look under the bed.

She pulled out her teeth and her old glass eye,
And the hair fell off her head.
This burglar had about 99 fits
As he gazed from under the bed.

This burglar crept from under the bed.
He was a total wreck.
This old maid didn't hollar at all,
She just grabbed him around the neck.

She took a revolver in her hand
And to this burglar said,
"Young man if you don't marry me,
I'll blow off the top of your head."

This burglar looked all around the room-
He saw no place to scoot.
He thought of the teeth and the old glass eye,
And said, "Madam, for the Heaven sake SHOOT!"

^^^


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Subject: RE: Looking for lyrics to the Old Maid and the Bu
From: Dale Rose
Date: 29 May 97 - 03:38 AM

I found many versions of this song at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas. Some of the versions had as many as 40 lines, but the version collected locally by Dr. Bill McNeil had 32. The song was originally published in 1887 as "Old Maid's Last Hope" and credited to E. S. Thilp, of whom nothing else seems to be known. After a little more research, I will post a version or two.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE OLD MAID AND THE BURGLAR MAN
From: GUEST,Shelda from Northern Missouri
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 01:40 PM

I learned this version as a child 50 years ago. I had no idea it was an established song. I thought someone in my family had just made the song up. My family was always getting together on Saturday nights in the summer and singing the evening through. Anyway, here is my version of "THE OLD MAID AND THE BURGLAR MAN".

I'll sing you a song of a burglar man, who started to rob a house.
He crept in at the window, as silently as a mouse.

While thinking of all the treasures he'd get, while under the bed he lay;
About nine o'clock he saw a sight that would make your hair turn grey.

About nine o'clock an old maid came in, "I am so tired she said".
Thinking everything was fine and all right, she forgot to look under the bed.

She took out her teeth, her old glass eye, and the hair from the top of her head;
The burglar man had forty-one fits when came from under the bed.

She stood there quiet, she stood there still, she stood there meek as a lamb.
"Dear Lord, my prayers have been answered at last, for at least I have found me a man!"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the Old Maid and the Burglar
From: GUEST,snowflake
Date: 04 Feb 11 - 11:07 PM

thank you Karol May l997 I really thought my Mom made this up. After she died I couldn't remember the words. Thank you for giving this wonderful memory back to me.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the Old Maid and the Burglar
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 07 Feb 11 - 12:29 PM

Uncle Dave Macon recorded THE OLD MAID'S LAST HOPE on June 1, 1924, according to The Online [78 rpm] Discographical Project.

You can hear it at YouTube but the sound quality is very poor, and it will be difficult to transcribe. I might take a crack at it later if no one else does.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the Old Maid and the Burglar
From: kendall
Date: 07 Feb 11 - 05:17 PM

I used to sing this one to the tune of The Rambling wreck from Georgia Tech.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the Old Maid and the Burglar
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 10 Feb 11 - 12:56 PM

The Burglar Man - Lot's of renditions available on YouTube


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the Old Maid and the Burglar
From: tritoneman
Date: 10 Feb 11 - 02:31 PM

I used to enjoy listening to Malcilm Price singing the Burglar Man in the UK folk clubs in the 1960's. He backed it with some lovely flatpicking too.


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Subject: ADD Version: Old Maid and the Burglar
From: GUEST,Fantum
Date: 10 Feb 11 - 07:19 PM

This might be the one, sadly I have no more info about the piece.

Fantum

OLD MAID AND THE BURGLAR

One night last week a burglar bold
Tried to rob a house.
He crept up to the window
As quietly as a mouse.

Into the window, into the room,
And into a great big hall.
If he had known 'twas an old maid's home
He never would have paid the call.

About nine o'clock the old maid came.
"Oh, I'm so tired," she said.
Thinking that all was well that night,
She forgot to look under the bed.

She took out her teeth and a big glass eye
And the hair off the top of her head;
The burglar had about ninety-nine fits
As he looked from under the bed.

The old maid reached for her great big gun
And to the burglar said,
"young man, if you don't marry me,
I'll blow off the top of your head."

The burglar looked all around the room
And could find no place to scoot.
He looked at the teeth and the big glass eve
And said, "Woman, for the Lord's sake, shoot!"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the Old Maid and the Burglar
From: GUEST,Guest: JannaRae
Date: 30 Apr 11 - 11:58 AM

my dad sang a very similar sang, called The Burglar Beau.

I'll sing you a song of a burglar beau who came to rob a house,
He opened a window and then crept in as sly as a mouse.
He looked around for a place to hide when the people were all asleep,
And then said he with harmony, I'll take my gentle sneak.

So up-under the bed the burglar crept, he lay up close to the wall,
He did not know t'was the old maids' room, or he wouldn't have gone there at all.
He was thinking about the time he'd have, while under the bed he lay,
The clock stuck nine, he saw a sign, that turned his whiskers gray.

At nine o'clock the old maid came in, "Oh dear, how tired", she said.
She thought everything was alright, that night, but she never looked under the bed.
She took out her teeth, and her big glass eye, and the hair from off her head...
And the burglar he had seventeen fits, when he looked from under the bed.

From under the bed the burglar crept, he looked a total wreck,
And then the old maid, who was wide awake, had grabbed him around the neck.
She did not holler, or scream at all. She was just as cool as a clam.
"Thank heavens!", she said, "My prayers have been heard, and at last I have found me a man."

She drew a gun from her bureau drawer, unto this buglars' head...
"Promise to marry me now young man, or I'll blow of the top of your head."
The burglar, he looked around in alarm, and he saw no place to scoot...
He looked at her teeth and her big glass eye and he said, "For God's sake, shoot."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the Old Maid and the Burglar
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 01 May 11 - 07:04 AM

Obviously all the above posters are talking about the same song, folk-processed only in some details. JannaRae, your line "And then the old maid, who was wide awake..." suggests that the burglar had waited until he thought the lady slept. Still we are not told whether she had heard him and resolved to trap him, which I think would be the most logical explanation. Well, realism cannot be expected from such a song. Actually I don't think it is funny enough to be exempt from charges of invidiousness.

For scholarship's sake, here an ABC transcription from Wayne Erbsen, "Outlaw Ballads, Legends & Love":

X:1
T:The Old Maid's Last Hope
C:E. S. Thilp, 1887
K:G
L:1/16
M:2/4
Q:80
d2|B2 B A B B A A | B B A2 B3 A | G2 G2 A2 B2 | c4 z4 |
w:I'll tell you a sto-ry of a bur-g-lar man Who went to rob a house.
c c2 c A A A z | F F2 F D2 D D | d d d2 c2 A2 | B2G2 z2 |]
w:Went in the win-dow, crawled un-der the bed, Just as qui-et-ly as a mouse._

(ABC code can be entered at http://www.folkinfo.org/songs/abcconvert.php to obtain black dots or MIDI files.)


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE OLD MAID AND THE BURGLAR (E Stoneman)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 03 May 11 - 12:24 PM

Here's my transcription from a video at YouTube:


THE OLD MAID AND THE BURGLAR
As recorded by Ernest Stoneman in 1928, Edison 52369 et al.

I will sing you a song of a burglar man who started to rob a house.
He peeped in at the window and in he crept, just as quietly as a mouse.

Then thinking about the money he'd get, as under the bed he lay,
At nine o'clock he saw a sight that made his hair turn gray.

At nine o'clock an old maid came in. "I am so tired," she said.
Then thinking ev'rything was well, she forgot to look under the bed.

She pulled out her teeth and her big false eye, the hair right off of her head.
That burglar man had twenty-one fits and he came from under the bed.

She did not holler nor scream at all. She stood as meek as a lamb.
She said, "O Lord, my prayer is answered! At last I've got me a man!

"I've waited for forty-one years or more. You're the only chance I will get.
I'll buckle onto you, old boy. I'll not lose you, you bet."

Then from a drawer a revolver she drew. To this burglar said:
"Young man, if you don't marry me, I'll blow off the top o' your head."

He looked at her teeth and her big false eye. He found no way to scoot.
He looked at the old maid a-standing by, said, "Woman, for the Lord's sake, shoot!"


[Note: He uses the pronunciation "burg-a-lar" throughout, which somewhat improves the scansion, in my opinion.]


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Subject: Lyr Add: A BURGLAR'S EXPERIENCE WITH AN OLD MAID
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 03 May 11 - 01:11 PM

Here's another transcription of mine from a video at YouTube:


A BURGLAR'S EXPERIENCE WITH AN OLD MAID*
As recorded by John Ferrell on a Zonophone record, 1901.

I'll sing you a song of a burglar chap
    who went out to rob a house.
He lifted a window and then he crawled in,
    as quiet as a mouse.
He looked for a place for to hide himself,
    till all the folk were asleep,
And then says he, "With all the money I see,
    I'll take a quiet peep."
So under the bed the burglar crept
    and hid himself close to the wall.
He never once thought 'twas an old maid's room
    or he never would have had the gall.
He thought of all the money he'd get,
    as under the bed he lay.
About nine that night, oh, he saw such a sight!
    In an hour his hair turned gray.

It was just nine o'clock the old maiden came in.
    "Oh, dear! I'm so tired," she said,
And thinking that night of course all would be right,
    she never looked under the bed.
She pulled out her teeth and her big glass eye
    and all of the hair off her head.
The burglar had seventeen athletic fits
    as he looked out from under the bed.
He thought of a chance that he'd get away;
    ... was a total wreck.
The fussy old maid was wide awake
    and she collared this ... by the neck.
She never once hollered or screamed worth a cent,
    but stood there as cool as a clam
And murmured, "My prayer has been answered at last!
    Thank heavens! They've sent me a man!"

And the band played Annie Laurie, and Annie Rooney too,
And the band played anybody, for any old thing would do**.


[* Title as listed at YouTube. It is stamped onto the record as "A BURGULARS [sic] EXPERIENCE WITH AN OLD MAID".

[** Possibly a reference to a music-hall song sung by Harry Champion, ANY OLD THING WILL DO.]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Old Maid and the Burglar
From: CapriUni
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 03:12 PM

Jim Dixon -- I just found that video after clicking the link you provided above; thanks for the transcriptions, especially for the coda (and apparently, based on that ending, she did in fact marry him, instead of shooting him, if the implication is that the band was playing for the wedding).

--signed: an old maid (Who happens to be named "Annie"*)

*if you dare -- never did like that diminutive.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Old Maid and the Burglar
From: GUEST,SteveG
Date: 20 Sep 11 - 01:09 PM

The basic story was certainly being sung around 1900-1910. My grandparents used to sing a parody on the popular song 'My own Bluebell' c1904 in which each of the 3 independent verses tells a different joke based on something named 'Bluebell' In the first verse the language is bluer than Bluebell, in the second Bluebell is a racehorse, but in the last verse....well here it is...

One night I went out burgling,
I entered a house at dark,
And when I got to Bluebell's room
I fairly got a start;
For she had a loaded pistol
And placed it against my head,
She said, 'Marry me or I'll fire.'
So I looked at her face and said,
    'Goodbye old Bluebell,
    Farewell, adieu,
    I've seen better faces
    On the monkeys in the zoo.
    When I first saw you
    I thought you was a beaut,
    But if that's your face it's a darned disgrace,
    And for the Lord's sake shoot!'

Another feature of the song in question is the 'false-parts' theme in which the female takes off a whole catalogue of falsies. This dates back to at least the 17th century. I have about a dozen songs spanning the 3 cenuries plus that utilise the theme.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Old Maid and the Burglar
From: CapriUni
Date: 20 Sep 11 - 04:34 PM

SteveG:

Another feature of the song in question is the 'false-parts' theme in which the female takes off a whole catalogue of falsies. This dates back to at least the 17th century.

I am currently working on a blogging project (Plato's Nightmare / Aesop's Dream) focused on exploring the various images of disability as it appears in folklore and literature up until the start of World War 1 (which is where I set my own, arbitrary, beginning of "The modern world"). If this theme goes back 300 years, it certainly qualifies, and I would love to pick your brains on the theme and motifs around it. Do you have access to Mudcat PM (are you just sans cookie, at the moment)? Or is there some other way I can chat with you?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Old Maid and the Burglar
From: GUEST,Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Sep 11 - 05:05 PM

CU,
If you go to our website www.yorkshirefolksong.net you'll find my email address on the Home Page. If you're in the UK it gives my phone number as well.

But an article I have written on the theme appears in The Dungheap/Dungbeetle articles on the Mustrad website.

My cookie disappeared again and like many others I just couldn't be arsed to set it back up again. Why does this happen?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Old Maid and the Burglar
From: CapriUni
Date: 20 Sep 11 - 05:21 PM

Steve -- Thanks! I'll check out your article (I haven't discussed songs, yet, this particular song may be a good place to start that).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Old Maid and the Burglar
From: CapriUni
Date: 22 Sep 11 - 03:31 PM

Hey, Steve, I just read your article -- very interesting.

One of the developing themes of my folklore blog is how disability in general, and missing "parts" in particular, is linked to the idea of monsters, and evil. And in that 1660 ballad you quote, I note that it's when the woman starts unlacing her prosthetic leg that the man notes that he's been deceived by the devil.

With "The Old Maid and the Burglar," is this an instance when the human is under the bed, and the monster is snuggled comfy between the sheets? ;-)

And as for the version "Side by Side," if I were to write a final verse in defense of the bride, I'd note that her arms and legs and hair may be on the chair, but her heart was in the bed.


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