Duncan’s Ledger: Pat’s Troubles

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, a story about an Irishman with a love for the bottle, which made him a little shortsighted.


Pat’s Troubles


Times were getting hard down in Irishtown

And Pat Malone was pushed for ready cash.

His life insurance spent all his money to a cent

And all of his affairs had gone to smash.

Then his wife spoke up and said: “Now Pat if you was dead,

This twenty thousand dollars we could take”.

Then old Pat layed down and tried to make out that he had died,

Until he smelled the whiskey at the wake.


Then Pat Malone forgot that he was dead,

And he raised up in his bunk and he said;

“If this thing holds on a minute, the corpse it will be in it,

You will have to make me drunk to keep me dead.”


Oh, they gave the corpse a sup,

In other words they filled him up,

And they laid him in the coffin with a prayer;

And the driver of the cast

Says, “bedad I’ll never start

Until I see that someone pays the fare.”


Then Pat Malone forgot that he was dead,

And raised up in his coffin and he said:

“You dare to doubt my credit, you’ll be sorry that you said it,

Drive on, or else the corpse will break your head.”


Then the driver, he pulled out on the cemetery route,

And the neighbors tried the widow to console;

They arrived face to face with Malone’s last resting place,

And they quickly shoved old Patrick in the hole.

Then Pat began to see as plain as one, two, three,

Where he had failed to reckon on the end;

When the clods began to drop, Pat kicked off the coffin top,

And quickly to the earth he did ascend.


Then Pat Malone forgot that he was dead,

As he quickly from the cemetery fled,

And its well he did by thunder, for he came darn near going under,

Pat Malone was only playing off for dead.



Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

5 Responses to Duncan’s Ledger: Pat’s Troubles

  1. Dave says:

    Ha! A good story Sandra. – Dave

  2. Linda says:

    As always with stories from Duncan’s Ledger, I enjoyed this one. I wonder if Duncan committed these stories to memory as he committed them to the ledger. If so, I’ll bet he was a lot of fun to be around, with a story for every occasion.

  3. Sandra says:

    Thanks, Dave. When I started looking through the ledger for an Irish story I had no expectation of actually finding one. So this one was a pleasant surprise. I love old stories like this. Glad you enjoyed it too. 🙂

    Linda — I don’t picture him as out-going enough to want to entertain people with stories he knew, but then I didn’t know him until he was in his 80’s. I was just 7 when he died. But, now that I think about it, my mom loved to memorize stories and recite them, so maybe she got that talent from him! 🙂

  4. Hilary says:

    What a wonderful poem. This ledger is a gem.. as was Duncan. Seems it must be a family trait.

  5. Sandra says:

    Thanks, Hilary. I was pleasantly surprised when I found this in time to use it for St. Pat’s Day. 🙂

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