Mama Lisa's World
International Music & Culture
Mrs. O'Leary's Cow
Advertisement
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 

(Pick A Letter to Choose a Rhyme!)

"Mrs. O'Leary's Cow" is also called "Old Mother Leary". This song is a parody of the old minstrel song "There'll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight".

The story behind the song: Mrs. Catherine O'Leary lived in Chicago, Illinois at the time of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. It was alleged that a fire started in her barn on the evening of October 8, 1871 and then spread to the whole city. It turns out that Michael Ahern, a Chicago Daily Tribune reporter, made up the tale to have a colorful story to tell in his newspaper.

In 1997, the Chicago City Council passed a resolution exonerating Mrs. O'Leary and her cow!

Mrs. O'Leary's Cow
Children's Song

Mrs. O'Leary's Cow - Mama Lisa's House of English Nursery Rhymes, Intro Image


Late one night, when we were all in bed,
Old Mother Leary left a lantern in the shed,
And when the cow kicked it over, she winked her eye and said,
"There'll be a HOT time on the old town tonight."
FIRE, FIRE, FIRE!

Notes

Here's a longer version of Mrs. O'Leary's Cow (Old Mother Leary)…

Five nights ago,
When we were all in bed,
Old Mrs. Leary left the lantern in the shed
And when the cow kicked it over,
She winked her eye and said
It'll be a hot time, in the old town, tonight!
FIRE, FIRE, FIRE!

Four nights ago,
When we were all in bed,
Old Mrs. Leary left the lantern in the shed
And when the cow kicked it over,
She winked her eye and said
It'll be a hot time, in the old town, tonight!
FIRE, FIRE, FIRE!

Three nights ago,
When we were all in bed,
Old Mrs. Leary left the lantern in the shed
And when the cow kicked it over,
She winked her eye and said
It'll be a hot time, in the old town, tonight!
FIRE, FIRE, FIRE!

Two nights ago,
When we were all in bed,
Old Mrs. Leary left the lantern in the shed
And when the cow kicked it over,
She winked her eye and said
It'll be a hot time, in the old town, tonight!
FIRE, FIRE, FIRE!

One night ago,
When we were all in bed,
Old Mrs. Leary left the lantern in the shed
And when the cow kicked it over,
She winked her eye and said
It'll be a hot time, in the old town, tonight!
FIRE, FIRE, FIRE!

Photos & Illustrations

Mrs. O'Leary's Cow - Mama Lisa's House of English Nursery Rhymes, Comment Image

Mrs. O'Leary's Cow - Mama Lisa's House of English Nursery Rhymes 1

Thanks and Acknowledgements

The 1st illustration was a lithograph done by LVH Crosby in 1871 shortly after the Great Chicago Fire. The 2nd and 3rd photo and illustration are from "Chicago" by William H. Johnson (1933).

Advertisement
Lyrics & Recordings Needed!

Email us a traditional song or rhyme from your country.

More info.

Mama Lisa Facebook Badge
Mama Lisa Twitter Badge
Mama Lisa Pinterest Badge

Help Support Mama Lisa's World
with just
$1.99

Find us on Google+

If you feel any comment below is inappropriate, please email us. Thanks!


Help Support Mama Lisa's World
with just
$1.99