THE BURGLAR'S SERENADE
 
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I am a bold bad burglar, it is a taking trade,
And parties I call on at night
I like to serenade,
For I can't crack ribs with certainty
If the folk are not asleep,
So I softly sing a lullaby
As around the house I creep,
And so you know I whisper low
As through the window-frame I go -

Chorus: Sleep on, gently sleep on,
While I softly creep on,
Dream until the break of day.
Oh may the angels mind 'em!
While I take things as I find 'em,
You can wake up when I'm far away.


On starry nights the troubadour will go his love to see,
I find my bull's-eye quite enough
The moon's too strong for me.
I am standing 'neath thy casement love,
Yes, upon the old dust-bin,
But you need not rise to open it
Little Jeremy'll let me in,
Hush! in the street, the policeman's feet,
Just like my heart, are on the beat.

Chorus: Sleep on, gently sleep on,
While I softly creep on,
Dream until the break of day.
Yes rest 'neath the cherub's wings, dear,
While I softly take your things, dear
You can wake up when I'm far away.


I never serenade for love, like moon-struck negro coons,
I sing for business purposes
Although I go for spoons.
See the morn is softly stealing, love,
So am I, well that is rum
For I have a curious feeling love,
Just to take things as they come,
And so you see, Jemmy and me
Sing softly in a skeleton key.

Chorus: Sleep on, gently sleep on,
While I softly creep on,
Dream until the break of day,
Dream of the golden gate, love,
While I shift the silver plate, love,
You can wake up when I'm far away.


The watch-dog's bark is silent, dear,
He will not wake you, sweet,
I've interviewed him privately
And left him doubtful meat.
I will ask no tress of hair, sweet love,
Though I long to pick a lock,
But you see I'm rather pressed for time
So I'll take this marble clock.
And so you know I whisper low
As down the stairs I softly go.

Chorus: Sleep on, gently sleep on,
While I softly creep on,
Dream until the break of day,
May spirits guard thy slumber,
While I lift the larder lumber,
You can wake up when I'm far away


Extra verse

I once unlocked a bedroom door,
With a bit of copper wire,
And saw a baby in a cot
With curtains all on fire.
So I quickly put the blazes out
And the young 'un stopped his prattle,
For I do not want to crack his crib!
So he never rang his rattle.
But I smiled up bright, and knocked me quite
I couldn't take a thing that night.

Chorus: Sleep on, gently sleep on,
While I softly creep on,
Dream until the break of day,
So kiddie close your peepers,
Ta-ta all you blessed sleepers,
You can wake up when I'm far away.
 
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Words and Music by Edward Kent - 1895
Performed by Fred W. Stephens
 
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