“How Paddy Stole the Rope”


Paddy and Mick rob a church. They need rope to bind the loot. Paddy climbs the bell rope to the top, cuts the rope above himself and falls. Mick climbs up, cuts the rope beneath himself and can't get down. The boys are caught and thrown in jail

Supplemental text

How Paddy Stole the Rope
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Hazel Felleman, ed., The Best Loved Poems of the American
People (1936), pp. 474-475. Presumably from some other printed

There was once two Irish labouring men; to England they came over;
They tramped about in search of work from Liverpool to Dover.
Says Pat to Mick, "I'm tired of this; we're both left in the lurch;
And if we don't get work, bedad, I'll go and rob a church."
"What, rob a church!" says Mick to Pat; "How dare you be so vile?
There's something sure to happen as you're treading down the aisle.
But if you go I go with you;we'll get out safe, I hope;"
So, if you listen, I'll tell you here how Paddy stole the rope.

(4 additional stanzas)


  • Bodleian, Harding B 20(65), "How Paddy Stole the Rope," unknown, n.d.


  1. O'Conor, pp. 68-69, "How Paddy Stole the Rope" (1 text)
  2. McBride 57, "Paddy Stole the Rope" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. ADDITIONAL: Hazel Felleman, Best Loved Poems of the American People, p. 474, "How Paddy Stole the Rope" (1 text)
  4. ST OCon068 (Partial)
  5. BI, OCon068


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1901 (O'Conor)
Found in: Ireland