Tim McGuire
Leon Rosselson
Little Tim MacGuire loved to play with fire
Always hated water, never used to wash
Loved the smell of burning, of bonfires burning
Loved to play all day with his little tinder box

He chased the sparks as they flew into the evening
Hailed the flash of lightning and the burning sun
When I'm a man then I'll become a fireman
Then I can light a fire for everyone

When he was four they dressed him in a uniform
Sent him to a school with iron railings all around
Hated the school and the rules and the railings
Took his little tinder box and burnt it to the ground

Oh how he laughed and danced in the firelight
Oh how he laughed as the flames leapt to the sky
When I'm a man I'm going to be a fireman
Keep a bonfire burning until the day I die

When MacGuire grew older they made him wear a bowler
Set him to work in an office in the town
Hated the pens and the pins and the papers
Had just one ambition, to burn the office down

Little Tim MacGuire loved to play with fire
Loved the blaze of roses and the golden grain
Loved the leaves of autumn, the red leaves of autumn
Loved a slender girl with a smile like a flame

The judge said at his trial, Your behaviour has been vile
You're a menace to society though you may think you're big
You have to go to prison - and then, what a commotion
For smoke and fire were pouring from the judge's wig

Oh how he laughed and danced in the courtroom
We took him down, we locked him in the darkness of the cell
Never saw the sun or heard the songbirds calling
Saw the prison bars and heard the prison bell

Then early one morning just as the day was dawning
A great wheel of fire spun skywards from the jail
The iron bars melted, the stone walls crumbled
No one in the prison lived to tell the tale

No one ever found Tim MacGuire's little tinder box
No one ever found a trace of Tim MacGuire
Perhaps he's up in heaven setting light to angels' haloes
Perhaps he's down in hell dancing round the fire