Skip Navigation
 

Old Mother Leary (or "There'll be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight")

(or "Mrs. O'Leary's Cow")

Written by unknown | Copyright unknown

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
In the old town, tonight."

Spoken: 
"FIRE, FIRE, FIRE!"


Expanded version, most familiar in Chicago:

5 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!

4 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!

3 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!

2 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

1 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!

Note — other "rounds" can be concluded with

  • Water, Water, Water!
  • Jump, Lady, Jump!
  • Save my Child, Save my Child!