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Dita Body-Snatching Songs (13) RE: Body-Snatching Songs 19 Nov 02


Burke's Confession

William Burke it is my name
In Ireland I was born
My place and habitation
I'm forced to leave with scorn
And o'er to Scotland I did go
Employment for to find
Thoughts of cruel murder
Were very far from mind.

Now Edinburgh trade being dull
No work there could be found
I started on my travels
For Glasgow I was bound
I fetched up at the West Port
To seek refreshment there
I now repent the evil hour
I met with William Hare.

Being a stranger in the place
I thought him very kind
And little knew the hard thoughts
That Hare had in his mind
He showed me to his lodging house
It was upon the way
This man he kept poor lodgers
and stole their lives away

To join these cruel murders
At first I was afraid
But soon my mind got hardened
I joined in their trade
I kept a loging house myself
To fortify this man
For the price the Doctors gave us
We murdered many a one

But soon we were discovered
And both led into jail
I knew that I was guilty
My heart began to fail
Twas him that first ensnared me
And led me first astray
Against me turned King's evidence
And swore my life away

William Burke it is my name
In Ireland I was born.

Five versions of this can be found in Greig-Duncan Vol 2 (song 192)
The above version is not any of them but is either a composite or from another source.

From the singing of Avril Cleland (At least V.1,2,4&5 are)

love, john


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