Maurice Kelly (Greenleaf & Mansfield)
(Kelly And The Ghost)

Maurice Kelly, one night when about three parts loaded,
Was making for home after twelve in the night;
At the foot of the lane where for rest he remained,
A figure appeared there clothed all in white.

"Good night, sir," said Kelly, but got back no answer,
The figure remained just as still as a post;
"You look like a boxer that's rusted for fighting,"
But never a word got he from the ghost.

He hauled off his coat and he turned up his shirt-sleeves:
"Come on, now, me bruiser," he spoke up quite clear,
When the figure in white drove his head through a shutter,
With a left-handed smack to the butt of the ear.

"One for you!," cried out Kelly,
half stunned with the tumble,
He then made a butt and his head struck a post;
His lower and top teeth tumbled out on the street,
With the wonderful dart that he got from the ghost.

By this time old Kelly was feeling half sober,
The ghost left and right his two can-hooks did fly;
He fell down on his knees, with his face like soft cheese:
"Will ye call off the fight while I look for me eyes?"

When the figure moved off and the fight it was ended,
Old Kelly, half stunned, put his hat on his head;
He crawled to the door and did humbly implore
For his wife to assist him upstairs to his bed.

He then told his wife how he fought with a stranger,
So strong as a bull, yet a girl almost;
She then told her husband his wonderful danger:
She says, "Maurice, me man,
you've been fighting a ghost!"

'Twas Kelly's wife dressed up in white
to keep him from drinking,
She gave him a beating and left him for dead;
And he got such a fright he won't stir after night,
But right after supper goes -
Spoken: [Where do you guess?]
Straight off to bed.

####.... Author unknown. Original Newfoundland song ....####
Sung in 1929 by Philip Major [1908-1958] of Sally's Cove, NL, and Capt John Gullage of the SS Sagona, and published as #78 on pp.160-161 in Ballads And Sea Songs Of Newfoundland by Elisabeth Bristol Greenleaf and Grace Yarrow Mansfield (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1933; Folklore Associates, Hatboro, PA, 1968).

A variant was also collected by MacEdward Leach and published as #122, Kelly And The Ghost, in Folk Ballads And Songs Of The Lower Labrador Coast by The National Museum of Canada (Ottawa, 1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.


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