Casey Taking The Census (Johnny Burke)

Sure they put me on the census
for to go and take the town,
And every street and every lane
I have to mark them down;
So I called on Ellen Butler,
and I saw old Nancy Brien,
I know she's over ninety
but she said she's twenty-nine.

I saw long Bill, George Gill
and Tommy Trout from Nagle's Hill,
Jim Dinn, Dan Frim and Mary Francis Brown;
Kate Page, Joe Sage and Fanny Jones
was in a rage,
The crowd I had to take them
when I went to do the town.

So I called on Betsy Shoestrings,
that's the woman lives next door,
I asked her about the family
and she told me twenty-four;
There is Fred and Ted and two that's dead,
Maria, Kate and May,
And Andy on the crusher
earning thirty cents a day.

It takes a man of iron nerve
to do this job at all,
For dodging cups and tommyhawks
at every house you call;
I asked if all were of sound mind,
when in a rage she flew,
Get out, said she, you damn old fool,
there's none as bad as you.

####.... Johnny Burke [1851-1930] of St John's, NL ....####
Published in Burke's Popular Songs, page 5, 1929, Long Brothers, printers, St John's, NL.

Also published in Burke's Ballads, p.22, c.1960, compiled by John White and archived at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Libraries, Centre For Newfoundland Studies - Digitized Books collection.

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