With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, here’s a hilarious song performed by the Dubliners called “The Sick Note.” To keep the pretense of professionalism, I can connect this to academia too. In past semesters, I’ve told students that if they were late with their work, they needed an excuse as good as this one. A few have tried.


Dear Sir, I write this note to you to tell you of me plight
and at the time of writing, I am not a pretty sight. 
Me body is all black and blue, me face a deathly gray,
and I write this note to say why Paddy’s not at work today. 

While working on the fourteenth floor some bricks I had to clear.
Now, to throw them down from such a height was not a good idea.
The foreman wasn’t very pleased, he being an awkward sod,
he said I’d have to cart them down the ladders in me hod. 

Now, clearing all these bricks by hand it was so very slow,
so I hoisted up a barrel and secured the rope below.
But in me haste to do the job I was too blind to see
that a barrel full of building bricks was heavier than me. 

So when I untied the rope the barrel fell like lead,
and clinging tightly to the rope I started up instead.
Well, I shot up like a rocket till to my dismay I found
that halfway up I met the bloody barrel coming down. 

Well, the barrel broke me shoulder as to the ground it sped,
and when I reached the top I banged the pully with me head.
Well, I clung on tight through numbed shock from this almighty blow
and the barrel spilled out half the bricks fourteen floors below. 

Now, when these bricks had fallen from the barrel to the floor,
I then outweighed the barrel and so started down once more.
Still clinging tightly to the rope, I sped towards the ground,
and I landed on the broken bricks that were all scattered ’round. 

Well, I lay there groaning on the ground, I thought I’d passed the worst,
when the barrel hit the pully-wheel and then the bottom burst.
Well, a shower of bricks rained down on me, I hadn’t got a hope
as I lay there moaning on the ground, I let go of the bloody rope. 

The barrel then being heavier, it started down once more,
and landed right across me, as I lay upon the floor.
Well, it broke three ribs and my left arm and I can only say
that I hope you’ll understand why Paddy’s not at work today. 

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