Kill or Cure
DESCRIPTION: The singer, "a roving Irish boy," marries Kitty O'Shaughnessy. She gets sick. He makes a bargain with the doctor: "kill or cure for twenty pounds." She dies. The doctor wants his money but he didn't cure her, won't admit he killed her, and doesn't collect
EARLIEST DATE: before 1863 (broadside, Bodleian Firth c.14(191))
KEYWORDS: bargaining death humorous wife doctor money
REFERENCES (1 citation):
O'Conor, p. 40, "Kill or Cure" (1 text)
Bodleian, Firth c.14(191), "Kill or Cure" or "Katty O'Shaughnessy", H. Such (London), 1849-1862; also Firth b.25(160), "Katty O'Shaughnessy" or "Kill or Cure"; Harding B 11(1988), "Kill or Cure"
cf. "The Son of a Seven" (theme)
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography
The Ballad Index Copyright 2017 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.