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Whiskey in the Jar
March 14, 2007 8:02 AM   Subscribe

In preparation for St. Patrick's Day: Name the best Irish drinking songs, including the best versions. And go ahead and throw the Pogues in, because I know you can't help yourself -- what's their best song about drinking?
posted by Astro Zombie to Media & Arts (56 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
Denis Leary's Irish Drinking Song:

They come over here
And they take all our land
They chop off our heads
And they boil them in oil
Our children are leaving
And we have no heads
We drink and we sing
And we drink and we die
posted by Lucinda at 8:09 AM on March 14, 2007


And the band played on,
While the helicopters whirred.
Drunk on the lawn
In a nuclear dawn
My senses finally blurred
-- Moxy Fruvous's Drinking Song
posted by jozxyqk at 8:11 AM on March 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


We'll drink, and drink, and drink, and drink, and drink, and drink and fight! Hey!
We'll drink, and drink, and drink, and drink, and drink, and drink and fight! Hey!
And if I see a pretty girl, I'll sleep with her tonight!
We'll drink, and drink, and drink, and drink, and drink, and drink and fight!
--Flogging Molly - Irish Drinking Song (Drink And Fight)
posted by cog_nate at 8:21 AM on March 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


As I was going over the far famed Kerry mountains
I met with captain Farrell and his money he was counting.
I first produced my pistol, and then produced my rapier.
Said stand and deliver, for I am a bold deceiver,

musha ring dumma do damma da
whack for the daddy 'ol
whack for the daddy 'ol
there's whiskey in the jar

I counted out his money, and it made a pretty penny.
I put it in my pocket and I took it home to Jenny.
She said and she swore, that she never would deceive me,
but the devil take the women, for they never can be easy

I went into my chamber, all for to take a slumber,
I dreamt of gold and jewels and for sure it was no wonder.
But Jenny took my charges and she filled them up with water,
Then sent for captain Farrel to be ready for the slaughter.

It was early in the morning, as I rose up for travel,
The guards were all around me and likewise captain Farrel.
I first produced my pistol, for she stole away my rapier,
But I couldn't shoot the water so a prisoner I was taken.

If anyone can aid me, it's my brother in the army,
If I can find his station down in Cork or in Killarney.
And if he'll come and save me, we'll go roving near Kilkenny,
And I swear he'll treat me better than me darling sportling Jenny

Now some men take delight in the drinking and the roving,
But others take delight in the gambling and the smoking.
But I take delight in the juice of the barley,
And courting pretty fair maids in the morning bright and early
posted by psmealey at 8:42 AM on March 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


kc0dxh posted the lyrics to Finnegan's Wake a while back -- one of my favorites.
posted by ontic at 8:44 AM on March 14, 2007


First one I thought of... most famous version by the Dubliners but also done by The Pogues I think:

I've been a wild rover for many a year
And I spent all my money on whiskey and beer,
And now I'm returning with gold in great store
And I never will play the wild rover no more.

chorus: And it's no, nay, never,
No nay never no more,
Will I play the wild rover
No never no more.

I went to an ale-house I used to frequent
And I told the landlady my money was spent.
I asked her for credit, she answered me "nay
Such a custom as yours I could have any day."

chorus

I took from my pocket ten sovereigns bright
And the landlady's eyes opened wide with delight.
She said "I have whiskey and wines of the best
And the words that I spoke sure were only in jest."

chorus

I'll go home to my parents, confess what I've done
And I'll ask them to pardon their prodigal son.
And if they caress (forgive) me as ofttimes before
Sure I never will play the wild rover no more.

chorus
posted by twistedonion at 8:45 AM on March 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sickbed of Cuchulainn
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:46 AM on March 14, 2007


In Ireland, people don't really sing "drinking songs" on St. Paddy's day.

Just sayin' :)
posted by ReiToei at 8:49 AM on March 14, 2007


"The crack was 90 in the Isle of Man" by Paddy Reilly.
posted by fire&wings at 8:50 AM on March 14, 2007


Not really a song about drink, but a great song to sing when you are drunk is Dirty Old Town by the Pogues

I met my love by the gas works wall
Dreamed a dream by the old canal
Kissed a girl by the factory wall
Dirty old town
Dirty old town
Clouds a drifting across the moon
Cats a prowling on their beat
Spring's a girl in the street at night
Dirty old town
Dirty old town
Heard a siren from the docks
Saw a train set the night on fire
Smelled the spring on the smoky wind
Dirty old town
Dirty old town
I'm going to make me a good sharp axe
Shining steel tempered in the fire
Will chop you down like an old dead tree
Dirty old town
Dirty old town

(though maybe that's just because I'm from a dirty old canal town and it fitted down at our local)

Actually, fuck it, I can't decide - what song by the Pogues isn't a good drinking song?!? (Fiesta is another one I love)
posted by twistedonion at 8:54 AM on March 14, 2007


I also love the Wild Rover -- ah, my first Irish Drinking Song:

I've played the wild rover for many a year
And I spent all my money on whiskey and beer,
And now I'm returning with gold in great store
And I never will play the wild rover no more.

chorus: And it's no, nay, never,
No nay never no more,
Will I play the wild rover
No never no more.

I went to an ale-house I used to frequent
And I told the landlady my money was spent.
I asked her for credit, she answered me "nay
Such a custom as yours I could have any day."

chorus

I took from my pocket ten sovereigns bright
And the landlady's eyes opened wide with delight.
She said "I have whiskey and wines of the best
And the words that I spoke sure were only in jest."

chorus

I'll go home to my parents, confess what I've done
And I'll ask them to pardon their prodigal son.
And if they caress (forgive) me as ofttimes before
Sure I never will play the wild rover no more.

chorus
posted by ontic at 8:56 AM on March 14, 2007


Pogues song? Take your pick. My personal favourite Pogues song with drinking heavily involved is Streams of Whiskey.

Because I'm going, I am going
Any which way the wind may be blowing
I'm going, I'm going
Where streams of whiskey are flowing

posted by gaspode at 8:57 AM on March 14, 2007


Definitely Thin Lizzy's version of "Whiskey In The Jar," the Dropkick Murphy's "Irish Drinking Song,*" (and their version of "Dirty water" recorded live in South Boston on St Paddy's day. Most. rabid. Audience. Response. Ever. "Spicy McHaggis Jig" by them is perfect too). Also the Clancy Brothers' "Whiskey Your the Devil."

*that's who Flogging Molly stole it from.
posted by jonmc at 9:03 AM on March 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


The Pogues' Boat Train:
I met with napper tandy
And I shook him by the hand
He said hold me up for chrissake
For I can hardly stand
The most disgraceful journey
On which I’ve ever been
The last time that I travelled on
The boat train

I had a couple of drinks in town
A few more at the port
I puked up on the gangway
But some kind folks helped me board
They helped me to a table
Poured whiskey down my throat
They sat me at a table
And I lost my watch and coat

First we drank some whiskey
Then we drank some gin
Then we drank tequila
I think that’s what did me in
Then we drank some brandy
And the women had a dance
The steward then announced
That we could play the game of chance

We crowded round the table
With our money in our hands
I ended up on the other side
Without a penny in my pants
I woke up in the toilet
When we got to holyhead
The doors were all a-banging
And I wished that I was dead

Then we went through customs
A couple of credited thugs
First they looked for [bombs] and joints
Then they looked for drugs
Stuck a flashlight up my ass
Told us where there’s jobs
Said fuck off now paddy
So I headed for [the s]moke
On the boat train

(or then we went through customs
With a couple of crazy thugs
First they looked for [bombs] and joints
Then they looked for drugs
Stuck a flashlight up my ass
Told some irish jokes
Said fuck off now, paddy
So I headed for [the s]moke
On the boat train )

We got on board the train
And then we had a drink or two
Started playing poker
But the booze ran out at crewe
Some people started sleeping
Others looked for duty free
Some bastard started singing
The little cottage by the lee
He then sang paper roses
Boolavogue eileen aru
Somebody started slagging off
The pakis and the jews

First I found some whiskey
Then I found some gin
I sat down in the corner
And I read the daily news
First I drank the whiskey
Then I drank the gin
I tried to make the toilet
And I broke my fuckin shin
Next thing that I knew
I was in london in the rain
Staggering up the platform
Off the boat train
posted by kimota at 9:12 AM on March 14, 2007


Not exactly Irish but 'Home For a Rest' by Spirit of the West is a great drinking song.

You'll have to excuse me, I'm not at my best
I've been gone for a week, I've been drunk since I left
These so-called vacations will soon be my death
I'm so sick from the drink, I need home for a rest


Here's a crappy wikipedia link about the song.
posted by Totally Zanzibarin' Ya at 9:16 AM on March 14, 2007


Dear Old Donegal.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:18 AM on March 14, 2007


Oh the night that Paddy Murphy died, is a night I'll never forget
Some of the boys got loaded drunk, and they ain't got sober yet;
As long as a bottle was passed around every man was feelin' gay
O'Leary came with the bagpipes, some music for to play

Chorus:
That's how they showed their respect for Paddy Murphy
That's how they showed their honour and their pride;
They said it was a sin and shame and they winked at one another
And every drink in the place was full the night Pat Murphy died

As Mrs. Murphy sat in the corner pouring out her grief
Kelly and his gang came tearing down the street
They went into an empty room and a bottle of whiskey stole
They put the bottle with the corpse to keep that whiskey cold

Chorus

About two o'clock in the morning after empty'ing the jug
Doyle rolls up the ice box lid to see poor Paddy's mug
We stopped the clock so Mrs. Murphy couldn't tell the time
And at a quarter after two we argued it was nine

Chorus

They stopped the hearse on George Street outside Sundance Saloon
They all went in at half past eight and staggered out at noon
They went up to the graveyard, so holy and sublime
Found out when they got there, they'd left the corpse behind!

Chorus

Oh the night that Paddy Murphy died, is a night I'll never forget
Some of the boys got loaded drunk and they ain't been sober yet;
As long as a bottle was passed around every man was feelin' gay
O'Leary came with the bagpipes, some music for to play

Chorus
posted by French Fry at 9:23 AM on March 14, 2007


Thanks, jonmc. I thought that the Flogging Molly version wasn't the original, but wasn't sure.
posted by cog_nate at 9:30 AM on March 14, 2007


I don't know if "Clancy Lowered the Boom" is actually about drinking or if it's just about an extremely temperamental fellow. However, I'd venture that no St Patrick's Day mixtape is complete without it. My sisters and I adored that song as little girls.
posted by crinklebat at 9:31 AM on March 14, 2007


Seven drunken nights - I'm partial to the Tossers's version (Chicago area band) especially live.
posted by true at 9:36 AM on March 14, 2007


Crúiscín Lán1

Let the farmer praise his ground and the huntsman praise his hound
The shepherd his sweet shady grove
I'm more blessed than they, spend each happy night and day
With my smiling little crúiscín lán, lán, lán
With my smiling little crúiscín lán, lán, lán

Grá mo chroí mo chrúiscín, sláinte geal mo mhuirnín
Grá mo chroí mo chrúiscín, lán, lán, lán
Grá mo chroí mo chrúiscín, sláinte geal mo mhuirnín
Is cuma liom do chúilín dubh nó bán.
2

Immortal and divine, sweet Bacchus, god of wine
Create me by adoption of your son
In hopes that you'll comply that my glass will ne'er run dry
Nor my smiling little crúiscín lán, lán, lán
Nor my smiling little crúiscín lán, lán, lán

Grá mo chroí mo chrúiscín, sláinte geal mo mhuirnín
Grá mo chroí mo chrúiscín, lán, lán, lán
Grá mo chroí mo chrúiscín, sláinte geal mo mhuirnín
Is cuma liom do chúilín dubh nó bán.


There's my cailín deas3, she's a kind, true-hearted lass
She's as modest, she's as gentle as a swan
Her smile is so divine, I could quaff it up with wine
Her sweet lips should be my crúiscín lán, lán, lán
Her sweet lips should be my crúiscín lán, lán, lán

Grá mo chroí mo chrúiscín, sláinte geal mo mhuirnín
Grá mo chroí mo chrúiscín, lán, lán, lán
Grá mo chroí mo chrúiscín, sláinte geal mo mhuirnín
Is cuma liom do chúilín dubh nó bán.


And when grim death appears in a few unpleasant years
And says that my glass it has drawn
I'll say 'Begone, you knave, for great Bacchus gave me leave
To fill another crúiscín lán, lán, lán
To fill another crúiscín lán, lán, lán.

Grá mo chroí mo chrúiscín, sláinte geal mo mhuirnín
Grá mo chroí mo chrúiscín, lán, lán, lán
Grá mo chroí mo chrúiscín, sláinte geal mo mhuirnín
Is cuma liom do chúilín dubh nó bán.


Then fill your glasses high, let them part with lips not dry
For the lark now proclaims it is dawn
And since we can't remain, may we shortly meet again
To fill another crúiscín lán, lán, lán
To fill another crúiscín lán, lán, lán

Grá mo chroí mo chrúiscín, sláinte geal mo mhuirnín
Grá mo chroí mo chrúiscín, lán, lán, lán
Grá mo chroí mo chrúiscín, sláinte geal mo mhuirnín
Is cuma liom do chúilín dubh nó bán.



1 - The Little Full Jug
2 - Love of my heart, my little jug, bright health my darling
Love of my heart, my little jug, full, full, full
Love of my heart, my little jug, bright health my darling
It's all the same to me if your hair is black or white.
3 - pretty girl
posted by breezeway at 9:39 AM on March 14, 2007


*that's who Flogging Molly stole it from.
posted by jonmc


Thanks, jonmc. I thought that the Flogging Molly version wasn't the original, but wasn't sure.
posted by cog_nate


Jonmc is wrong.

Though I like flogging molly's version better. I'll take dkm when I'm feeling 14 and wanna break something.
posted by justgary at 9:41 AM on March 14, 2007


Seems tough to have such a list without including The Drunken Sailor. Not exactly Irish, but close enough in my book.

What do you do with a drunken sailor,
What do you do with a drunken sailor,
What do you do with a drunken sailor,
Earl-eye in the morning!

Chorus:
Way hay and up she rises
Way hay and up she rises
Way hay and up she rises
Earl-eye in the morning

Shave his belly with a rusty razor,
Shave his belly with a rusty razor,
Shave his belly with a rusty razor,
Earl-eye in the morning!

Chorus

Put him in the hold with the Captain's daughter,
Put him in the hold with the Captain's daughter,
Put him in the hold with the Captain's daughter,
Earl-eye in the morning!
posted by kc0dxh at 9:44 AM on March 14, 2007


Old Black Rum by Great Big Sea:

I drank sixteen doubles for the price of one
Trying to find the courage to talk to one
I asked her for a dance
Not a second glance
My night had just begun

Well I drink to the father and the holy ghost
I'm kneeling at the alter of my nightly post
So I'll raise a glass, not the first nor last
Come join me in this toast



[Chorus:]

Because the old black rum's got a hold on me
Like a dog wrapped round my leg
And the old black rum's got a hold on me
Will I live for another day?
Hey, Will I live for another day?

Well the queen of George street just went walking on by
Walking on by with some guy who don't care
That she stood in line
Since half past nine
And spent three hours on her hair (On her hair!)



Well her friend is looking at me with an evil grin
I think the bloody racket might soon begin
I must have said some thing
To the George street queen
The boys are joining in!

[Chorus]

So I drank all of my money
And I slept out in the rain
Everyday is different but the nights they're all the same
You never see the sun on the old black rum
But I know I'm gonna do it again!

[Chorus 2x]
posted by kc0dxh at 9:45 AM on March 14, 2007


Seven Drunken Nights (traditional):

As I went home on Monday night as drunk as drunk could be
I saw a horse outside the door where my old horse should be
Well, I called me wife and I said to her: Will you kindly tell to me
Who owns that horse outside the door where my old horse should be?

Ah, you're drunk, you're drunk you silly old fool,
So drunk you can not see
That's a lovely sow that me mother sent to me
Well, it's many a day I've travelled a hundred miles or more
But a saddle on a sow sure I never saw before

And as I went home on Tuesday night as drunk as drunk could be
I saw a coat behind the door where my old coat should be
Well, I called me wife and I said to her: Will you kindly tell to me
Who owns that coat behind the door where my old coat should be

Ah, you're drunk, you're drunk you silly old fool,
So drunk you can not see
That's a wool blanket that me mother sent to me
Well, it's many a day I've travelled a hundred miles or more
But buttons in a blanket sure I never saw before

And as I went home on Wednesday night as drunk as drunk could be
I saw a pipe up on the chair where my old pipe should be
Well, I called me wife and I said to her: Will you kindly tell to me
Who owns that pipe up on the chair where my old pipe should be

Ah, you're drunk, you're drunk you silly old fool,
So drunk you can not see
That's a lovely tin whistle that me mother sent to me
Well, it's many a day I've travelled a hundred miles or more
But tobacco in a tin whistle sure I never saw before

And as I went home on Thursday night as drunk as drunk could be
I saw two boots beneath the bed where my old boots should be
Well, I called me wife and I said to her: Will you kindly tell to me
Who owns them boots beneath the bed where my old boots should be

Ah, you're drunk, you're drunk you silly old fool,
So drunk you can not see
They're two lovely Geranium pots me mother sent to me
Well, it's many a day I've travelled a hundred miles or more
But laces in Geranium pots I never saw before

And as I went home on Friday night as drunk as drunk could be
I saw a head upon the bed where my old head should be
Well, I called me wife and I said to her: Will you kindly tell to me
Who owns that head upon the bed where my old head should be

Ah, you're drunk, you're drunk you silly old fool,
So drunk you can not see
That's a baby boy that me mother sent to me
Well, it's many a day I've travelled a hundred miles or more
But a baby boy with his whiskers on sure I never saw before

And as I went home on Saturday night as drunk as drunk could be
I saw two hands upon her breasts where my old hands should be
Well, I called me wife and I said to her: Will you kindly tell to me
Who owns them hands upon your breasts where my old hands should be

Ah, you're drunk, you're drunk you silly old fool,
So drunk you can not see
That's a lovely night gown that me mother sent to me
Well, it's many a day I've travelled a hundred miles or more
But fingers in a night gown sure I never saw before

As I went home on Sunday night as drunk as drunk could be
I lad sneaking out the back, a quarter after three.
Well, I called me wife and I said to her: Will you kindly tell to me
Who was that lad sneaking out the back a quarter after three?

Ah, you're drunk, you're drunk you silly old fool,
So drunk you can not see
That was just the tax man that the Queen she sent to me.
Well, it's many a day I've travelled a hundred miles or more
But an Englishman who can last till three I've never seen before
posted by kc0dxh at 9:46 AM on March 14, 2007


It's short, but there's always The Scotsman:

Well a Scotsman clad in kilt left a bar on evening fair
And one could tell by how we walked that he drunk more than his share
He fumbled round until he could no longer keep his feet
Then he stumbled off into the grass to sleep beside the street
Ring ding diddle diddle I de oh ring di diddly I oh
He stumbled off into the grass to sleep beside the street

About that time two young and lovely girls just happend by
And one says to the other with a twinkle in her eye
See yon sleeping Scotsman so strong and handsome built
I wonder if it's true what they don't wear beneath the kilt
Ring ding diddle diddle I de oh ring di diddly I oh
I wonder if it's true what they don't wear beneath the kilt

They crept up on that sleeping Scotsman quiet as could be
Lifted up his kilt about an inch so they could see
And there behold, for them to see, beneath his Scottish skirt
Was nothing more than God had graced him with upon his birth
Ring ding diddle diddle I de oh ring di diddly I oh
Was nothing more than God had graced him with upon his birth

They marveled for a moment, then one said we must be gone
Let's leave a present for our friend, before we move along
As a gift they left a blue silk ribbon, tied into a bow
Around the bonnie star, the Scots kilt did lift and show
Ring ding diddle diddle I de oh ring di diddly I oh
Around the bonnie star, the Scots kilt did lift and show

Now the Scotsman woke to nature's call and stumbled towards a tree
Behind a bush, he lift his kilt and gawks at what he sees
And in a startled voice he says to what's before his eyes.
O lad I don't know where you been but I see you won first prize
Ring ding diddle diddle I de oh ring di diddly I oh
O lad I don't know where you been but I see you won first prize
posted by kc0dxh at 9:52 AM on March 14, 2007


Oh hell, just buy the Pogues greatest hits. Personally, I suggest "Body of an American."
posted by Heminator at 9:53 AM on March 14, 2007


I second the Pogues' Sick Bed of Cuchulainn, particularly this part:

You remember that foul evening when you heard the banshees howl
There was lousy drunken bastards singing "Billy In The Bowl"
They took you up to midnight mass and left you in the lurch
So you dropped a button in the plate and spewed up in the church

Just saw them in Boston and it was fun screaming that along with everyone else.
posted by jdl at 9:55 AM on March 14, 2007


Also, "Drunken Lazy Bastard," by the Mahones.
posted by jonmc at 9:55 AM on March 14, 2007


Peter Street by Irish Descendants

Oh you landsmen and you seamen come listen to my song
It's of a trick was played on me it won't detain you long
I came from sea the other day a lass I chanced to meet
She kindly asked me to a dance, was up on Peter street

"Oh no", says I, me fair maid, though I can dance quite well
Tonight I'm bound for Wicoloes town, 'tis where my people dwell
You'd better come with me she said the distance is not far
And finding her so frend-ily I jumped into her car

Well as the dance was over, straight to the bed did go
Was little did I ever think she'd pull my over-throw
Robbed my gold watch, and thirty pounds, a pack of fags, and fled
And left me there stark naked alone upon the bed

Now when I awoke at morning it was nothing did I spy
But a woman's shirt and apron upon the bed did lie
I rubbed my hands, I tore my hair, I cried, "what shall I do"
Ahh tonight I'm bound for Wicoloes town no more will I see you

Just as the streets were lonesome at the hour of four o'clock
I put on the shirt and apron, and marched down to the dock
The crew they saw me coming these words to me did say
My dear old chap you've struck a snap since you've been gone away

Are those the latest fasions the ladies wear on shore
Where is the shop you bought 'em at and is there anymore
The captin on the quarter deck looked at me with a frown
Saying, "Jack I'd buy a better suit than that for thirty pounds"

I would sir, if I could sir, if I only got the chance
But I met a girl on Peter street and she asked me to a dance
She danced my whole destruction, I got robbed from head to feet
And I'll take an oath, no more I'll go, to a dance on peter street

Oh you landsmen and you seamen a warning take by me
Be sure to choose good company when you go out on spree
Be sure to choose good company or you'll find yourself like me
With a womans shirt and apron for to fit you out to sea
posted by kc0dxh at 9:57 AM on March 14, 2007


Fixed link from justgary:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buck-O-Nine

and thanks for pointing that out, by the way. I was gonna do it, but you beat me to it. Incidentally, Kelly's Pub, in that song, is in san diego near the airport.
posted by toomanyplugs at 9:59 AM on March 14, 2007


Thanks, wasn't even aware I screwed it up.
posted by justgary at 10:00 AM on March 14, 2007


Mull River Shuffle by The Rankin Family:

Here comes Mister MacNeil
The fine shape that he is in
There is no telling which way he'll feel
After his twister around the beinn

Raisin' the jar an raisin' hell
There's plenty of stories that
they will tell
Some are born of true detail
Some are purely fiction

Look up yonder it's old MacPhee
He's having a few he can hardly see
Wrapped his buggy around a tree
Someone call the Mounties

Raisin't the jar and raisin' hell
There's plenty of stories that
they will tell
Some are born of true detail
Some are purely fiction
There they stand by the door
Selling bush by the score
Asking you to buy some more
Along the shores of 'Cocomagh

Raisin' the jar and raisin' hell
There's plenty of stories that
they will tell
Some are born of true detail
Some are purely fiction

I'll go home, I'll go home
Full of the devil and full of the rum
I'll go home, I'll go home
We'll all go home in the morning
posted by kc0dxh at 10:00 AM on March 14, 2007


I always liked Sally MacLennane by, of course, the Pogues.

I'm sad to say I must be on my way
So buy me beer and whiskey 'cause I'm going far away (far away)
I'd like to think of me returning when I can
To the greatest little boozer and to Sally MacLennane

posted by nomad73 at 10:04 AM on March 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


If you want weepy drunk rather than boisterous drunk, I get bleary every time for the Pogues' version of "I'm a Man You Don't Meet Every Day."

Oh my name is Jock Stewart
I'm a canny gun man
And a roving young fellow I've been
So be easy and free
when you're drinking with me
I'm a man you don't meet every day

I have acres of land
I have men at command
I have always a shilling to spare
So be easy and free
when you're drinking with me
I'm a man you don't meet every day

So come fill up your glasses
of brandy and wine
Whatever it costs I will pay
So be easy and free
when you're drinking with me
I'm a man you don't meet every day

Well I took out my dog
and him I did shoot
All down in the county Kildare
So be easy and free
when you're drinking with me
I'm a man you don't meet every day
posted by sonofslim at 10:05 AM on March 14, 2007


I nth "Sick Bed of Cuchullain" as the best Pogue's song about alcohol.

"Humours of Whiskey" is traditional.

"Who can tell the true physic to all that's pathetic
And pitch to the divil, cramp, colic and spleen
You'll know it I think if you take a big drink
With your mouth to the brink of a jug of poteen

So stick to the cratur' the best thing in nature
For sinking your sorrows and raising your joys
Oh what botheration, no dose in the nation
Can give consolation like poteen me boys."

(Poteen being, essentially, moonshine.)

I think the best-known recorded version is Silly Wizard's. They're Scottish, rather than Irish, incidentally.
In Ireland, people don't really sing "drinking songs" on St. Paddy's day.
This is both true and, I think, ireelevent to the question!
posted by craichead at 10:08 AM on March 14, 2007


A lot of fun to sing, especially when it goes faster and faster. (amazon link for the Clancy's version)

The Rattlin' Bog

Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.
Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.

Now in that bog there was a tree,
A rare tree and a rattlin' tree,
And the tree in the bog,
And the bog down in the valley-o.

Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.
Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.

Now on that tree there was a branch,
A rare branch and a rattlin' branch,
And the branch on the tree,
And the tree in the bog,
And the bog down in the valley-o.

Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.
Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.

Now on that branch there was a limb,
A rare limb and a rattlin' limb,
And the limb on the branch,
And the branch on the tree,
And the tree in the bog,
And the bog down in the valley-o.

Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.
Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.

Now on that limb there was a nest,
A rare nest and a rattlin' nest,
And the nest on the limb,
And the limb on the branch,
And the branch on the tree,
And the tree in the bog,
And the bog down in the valley-o.

Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.
Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.

Now in that nest there was a bird,
A rare bird and a rattlin' bird,
And the bird in the nest,
And the nest on the limb,
And the limb on the branch,
And the branch on the tree,
And the tree in the bog,
And the bog down in the valley-o.

Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.
Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.

Now on that bird there was a feather,
A rare feather and a rattlin' feather,
And the feather on the bird,
And the bird in the nest,
And the nest on the limb,
And the limb on the branch,
And the branch on the tree,
And the tree in the bog,
And the bog down in the valley-o.

Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.
Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.

Now on that feather there was a flea,
A rare flea and a rattlin' flea,
And the flea on the feather,
And the feather on the bird,
And the bird in the nest,
And the nest on the limb,
And the limb on the branch,
And the branch on the tree,
And the tree in the bog,
And the bog down in the valley-o.

Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.
Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 10:13 AM on March 14, 2007


Okay, I'll bite.

I can't believe nobody has suggested this yet:

The Fields of Athenry

By a lonely prison wall, I heard a young girl calling
"Michael, they have taken you away
For you stole Trevelyan's corn
So the young might see the morn'
Now a prison ship lies waiting in the bay"

Low lie the fields of Athenry
Where once we watched the small free birds fly
Our love was on the wing
We had dreams and songs to sing
It's so lonely 'round the fields of Athenry

By a lonely prison wall, I heard a young man calling
"Nothing matters, Mary, when you're free
Against the famine and the crown
I rebelled, they cut me down
Now you must raise our child with dignity"

By a lonely harbour wall, she watched the last star falling
As the prison ship sailed out against the sky
For she'll live in hope and pray for her love in Botany Bay
It's so lonely 'round the fields of Athenry
posted by ReiToei at 10:20 AM on March 14, 2007


How about "Beer, Beer, Beer?" Not sure who did the original, but the Pogues cover it:

A long time ago, way back in history,
when all there was to drink was nothin but cups of tea.
Along came a man by the name of Charlie Mops,
and he invented a wonderful drink and he made it out of hops.

He might have been an admiral a sultan or a king,
and to his praises we shall always sing.
Look what he has done for us he's filled us up with cheer!
Lord bless Charlie Mops, the man who invented beer beer beer
tiddly beer beer beer.

I also love Funky Ceili, by Black 47 this time of year. However, nothing tops The Irish Rover.
posted by emd3737 at 10:22 AM on March 14, 2007


I really love Johnny McEldoo by the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem.
posted by frecklefaerie at 10:25 AM on March 14, 2007


Also, The Body of an American by The Pogues.

(As sung in the Irish bar in The Wire)

The cadillac stood by the house
And the yanks they were within
And the tinker boys they hissed advice
'Hot-wire her with a pin'
We turned and shook as we had a look
In the room where the dead men lay
So big Jim Dwyer made his last trip
To the home where his father's laid

Fifteen minutes later
We had our first taste of whiskey
There was uncles giving lectures
On ancient Irish history
The men all started telling jokes
And the women they got frisky
At five o'clock in the evening
Every bastard there was piskey

Fare thee well going away
There's nothing left to say
Farewell to New York City boys
To Boston and PA
He took them out
With a well-aimed clout
He was often heard to say
I'm a free born man of the USA

He fought the champ in Pittsburgh
And he slashed him to the ground
He took on Tiny Tartanella
And it only went one round
He never had no time for reds
For drink or dice or whores
And he never threw a fight
Unless the fight was right
So they sent him to the war

Fare the well gone away
There's nothing left to say
With a slainte Joe and Erin go
My love's in Amerikay
The calling of the rosary
Spanish winde from far away
I'm a free born man of the USA

This morning on the harbour
When I said goodbye to you
I remember how I swore
That I'd come back to you one day
And as the sunset came to meet
The evening on the hill
I told you I'd always love
I always did and I always will

Fare thee well gone away
There's nothing left to say
'cept to say adieu
To your eyes as blue
As the water in the bay
And to big Jim Dwyer
The man of wire
Who was often heard to say
I'm a free born man of the USA
posted by ReiToei at 10:27 AM on March 14, 2007


As an American of Irish descent, I always loved the Pogues' "Thousands Are Sailing".


The island it is silent now
But the ghosts still haunt the waves
And the torch lights up a famished man
Who fortune could not save

Did you work upon the railroad
Did you rid the streets of crime
Were your dollars from the white house
Were they from the five and dime

Did the old songs taunt or cheer you
And did they still make you cry
Did you count the months and years
Or did your teardrops quickly dry

Ah, no, says he, 'twas not to be
On a coffin ship I came here
And I never even got so far
That they could change my name

Thousands are sailing
Across the western ocean
To a land of opportunity
That some of them will never see
Fortune prevailing
Across the western ocean
Their bellies full
Their spirits free
They'll break the chains of poverty
And they'll dance

In Manhattan's desert twilight
In the death of afternoon
We stepped hand in hand on Broadway
Like the first man on the moon

And "The Blackbird" broke the silence
As you whistled it so sweet
And in Brendan Behan's footsteps
I danced up and down the street

Then we said goodnight to Broadway
Giving it our best regards
Tipped our hats to Mister Cohan
Dear old Times Square's favorite bard

Then we raised a glass to JFK
And a dozen more besides
When I got back to my empty room
I suppose I must have cried

Thousands are sailing
Again across the ocean
Where the hand of opportunity
Draws tickets in a lottery
Postcards we're mailing
Of sky-blue skies and oceans
From rooms the daylight never sees
Where lights don't glow on Christmas trees
But we dance to the music
And we dance

Thousands are sailing
Across the western ocean
Where the hand of opportunity
Draws tickets in a lottery
Where e'er we go, we celebrate
The land that makes us refugees
From fear of Priests with empty plates
From guilt and weeping effigies
And we dance
posted by padraigin at 10:28 AM on March 14, 2007


Glad there's some Newfoundland music in there (one of the few jurisdictions where St. Patrick's Day is a public holiday!). One of my favorites (I know it from Great Big Sea, but apparently it's of Scottish traditional origin), is "I'm a Rover":

Chorus:
I'm a a rover and seldom sober
I'm a rover, o' high degree;
And when I'm drinking, I'm always thinking
How to gain my love's company.

Though the nicht be dark as dungeon
No' a star to be seen above,
I will be guided without a stumble
Into the airms o' my ain true love.

He steppit up to her bedroom window,
Kneelin' gently upon a stone;
He rappit at her bedroom-window
"Darlin' dear, do you lie alone?"

She raised her heid on her snaw-white pillow
Wi' her arms aboot her breast,
"Wha' is that at my bedroom window
Disturbin' me at my lang night's rest?"

"It's only me, your ain true lover,
Open the door and let me in.
For I hae come on a lang journey,
And I'm near drenched to the skin."

She opened the door wi' the greatest pleasure,
She opened the door and let him in,
They baith shook hands and embraced each other
Until the mornin' they lay as one.

The cocks were crawin', the birds were whistlin'
The burns they ran free abune the brae;
"Remember, lass, I'm a ploughman laddie
And the fairmer I must obey."

"Noo, my lass, I must gang and leave thee
And though the hills they are high above,
I will climb thrm wi' greater pleasure
Since I been in the airms o' my love.
posted by goingonit at 11:59 AM on March 14, 2007


THe (mostly) Irish-language "Nil na La" ("It's not morning yet") is a great drinking song, if you're not averse to furrin languages. Sample:

Buailim suas, buailim síos
Buailim cleamhan ar bhean a leanna
Cuirim giní óir ar an mbord
Is bím ag ól anseo go maidin


I go up and I go down
I go and try my luck with the bar-girl
Throw a gold guinea down onto the table
And drink my fill until the morning.
posted by bokane at 12:00 PM on March 14, 2007


The best of the drinking songs have all been sung by the Clancy Brothers.

Moonshiner
I'm a rambler I'm a gambler
I'm a long ways from home.
And if you don't like me well leave me alone.
I'll eat when I'm hungry and I'll drink when I'm dry,
And if moonshine don't kill me I'll live till I die.


Whiskey yer the Devil
Whiskey yer the devil
Yer leading me astray
O'er the hills and mountains
Into Americ-kay
Yer sweeter, stronger, decenter
Yer spunkier than Tay
Whiskey yer my darling
Drunk or sober


Water is Alright in Tay
You can keep you wine and keep your tea!
My curse on him that brings me coffee!
I'll drink porter, if I may.
It makes me feel content and happy.
Porter quaffed down with a laugh.
The gentry have their aching livers.
Water is all right in tea


and my personal favorite: The Pub with no Beer
It's lonesome away from your kindred and all
By the camp fire at night where the wild dingos call
But there's nothing so lonesome so morbid or drear
Than to stand in a bar of a pub with no beer


ps. From personal experience, if you teach your children these songs, say on long car trips, you should not be surprised when they volunteer to teach them to their 2nd grade class and their teacher is rather miffed! Thanks Dad!
posted by rosebengal at 12:35 PM on March 14, 2007


What, no Nancy Whiskey?

As I went down through Glasgow city
Just to see what I might spy
What should I see but Nancy Whiskey
A playful twinkle in her eye

Whiskey, Whiskey, Nancy Whiskey
Whiskey, Whiskey, Nancy Ohh

I bought her, I drank her, I had another
Ran out of money, so I did steal
She ran me ragged, Nancy Whiskey
For seven years, a rollin' wheel

Whiskey, Whiskey, Nancy Whiskey
Whiskey, Whiskey, Nancy Ohh

The more I held her, the more I loved her
Nancy had her spell on me
All I knew was lovely Nancy
The things I needed I could not see

Whiskey, Whiskey, Nancy Whiskey
Whiskey, Whiskey, Nancy Ohh

As I awoke to slake my thirst
As I tried crawling from my bed
I fell down flat, I could not stagger
Nancy had me by the legs

Whiskey, Whiskey, Nancy Whiskey
Whiskey, Whiskey, Nancy Ohh

Come on landlandy, what's the owing
Tell me what there is to pay
Fifteen shillings that's the reckoning
Now pay me quickly and go away

Whiskey, Whiskey, Nancy Whiskey
Whiskey, Whiskey, Nancy Ohh
Whiskey, Whiskey, Nancy Whiskey
Whiskey, Whiskey, Nancy Ohh
posted by platinum at 12:55 PM on March 14, 2007


I'm a fan of Black 47's "40 Shades of Blue" (tune can be found on YouTube):

Oh it's midnight on the Bowery and your feet are soakin' wet
And you've drank your last brass farthin'
You'd sell your soul for a cigarette
And the sounds from CBGB's are comfortin' to you
Then you think of the green fields of Ireland
And you feel 40 shades of blue

Ah you're back on the drink since September
And your head feels like a sieve
And you know that you're goin' from bad to worse
But you just don't give a shit
And the hymns from the Sally Army sound heavenly and true
Then you think of your friends and your family
And you feel 40 shades of blue

Ah you've got a great future behind you
But you're goin' nowhere fast
Just up and down the Bowery from Canal Street to old St Marks
And you wonder what she's up to now
Did she really find somebody new
Ah how the hell could she just walk out like that
On your 40 shades of blue

And you wonder how it came to this
Was it always in the cards
Coz workin' is for idiots
And you love the smell of bars
And the letters that you sent back home
Were full of all the things you'd done
But they don't say you're down there on Bleecker Street
With your hand out on the bum

Now the dawn's comin' up on the Bowery
And you're heartsick and soakin' wet
With your tongue hangin' out for some Irish Rose
You'd sell your soul for a cigarette
"And someday I'm gonna give up this drinkin'
But then maybe someday I'll win the lottery too
Then I'll go back home to old Wexford Town
And paint her 40 shades of blue"
posted by WCityMike at 1:16 PM on March 14, 2007


I posted this in the other thread, too. The Unicorn is my favorite song, and when you're drinking, it's fun to do motions along with the verses. Green alligators (flap your arms like an alligator's mouth) and long-necked geese (put your hands at your neck and push up), humpty backed camels (bend over and push your back out) and chimpanzees (walk around like an ape)...you get the idea.


A long time ago, when the Earth was green
There was more kinds of animals than you've ever seen
They'd run around free while the Earth was being born
And the loveliest of all was the unicorn

There was green alligators and long-necked geese
Some humpty backed camels and some chimpanzees
Some cats and rats and elephants, but sure as you're born
The loveliest of all was the unicorn

The Lord seen some sinning and it gave Him pain
And He says, "Stand back, I'm going to make it rain"
He says, "Hey Noah, I'll tell you what to do
Build me a floating zoo,
and take some of those...

Green alligators and long-necked geese
Some humpty backed camels and some chimpanzees
Some cats and rats and elephants, but sure as you're born
Don't you forget My unicorns

Old Noah was there to answer the call
He finished up making the ark just as the rain started to fall
He marched the animals two by two
And he called out as they came through
Hey Lord,

I've got green alligators and long-necked geese
Some humpty backed camels and some chimpanzees
Some cats and rats and elephants, but Lord, I'm so forlorn
I just can't find no unicorns"

And Noah looked out through the driving rain
Them unicorns were hiding, playing silly games
Kicking and splashing while the rain was falling
Oh, them silly unicorns

There was green alligators and long-necked geese
Some humpty backed camels and some chimpanzees
Noah cried, "Close the door because the rain is falling
And we just can't wait for no unicorns"

The ark started moving, it drifted with the tide
The unicorns looked up from the rocks and they cried
And the waters came down and sort of floated them away
That's why you never see unicorns to this very day

You'll see green alligators and long-necked geese
Some humpty backed camels and some chimpanzees
Some cats and rats and elephants, but sure as you're born
You're never gonna see no unicorns

[New Lyrics]
Now you might think this is the ending to the song,
But I'll have to tell you friends that in fact you're wrong
You see, Unicorns are magical, so when the rain started pouring,
They grew themselves some wings and they took to soaring.

You'll see green alligators and long-necked geese
Some humpty backed camels and some chimpanzees
But if you're looking for the unicorns, don't be forlorn,
The second star to the right and straight on until morning.
posted by MeetMegan at 2:37 PM on March 14, 2007


And for the morning after, a song I remember only the chorus of, from a folk music record my parents used to play (and I once made my mother hysterical with laughter by singing this at the top of my lungs in the supermarket. I was little enough to be in the child's seat in the shopping cart.):

Corn whiskey, corn whiskey, I loved you pretty well
You killed all my kinfolk and sent them to hell
You killed all my kinfold on rotgut and rye
And I bet you'll send me when I'm ready to die...
posted by jokeefe at 4:51 PM on March 14, 2007


^^

kinfolk
posted by jokeefe at 4:52 PM on March 14, 2007


IMHO, you can't go past Finnegan's Wake. Rollicking good fun.

Tim Finnegan lived in Watling Street,
A gentleman Irishman -- mighty odd --
He'd a beautiful brogue so rich and sweet,
To rise in the world he carried a hod
See he'd a sort of a tipplin' way,
With a love for the liquor poor Tim was born
To help him on with his work each day
He'd a drop of the craythur every morn!

(chorus)
Whack fol-de-dah now dance to your partner,
Welt the floor, your trotters shake!
Wasn't it the truth I told you?
Lots of fun at Finnegan's Wake!


One morning Tim was rather full,
His head felt heavy, which made him shake;
He fell from the ladder and broke his skull,
So they carried him home his corpse to wake.
They rolled him up in a nice clean sheet,
And laid him out upon the bed,
With a bottle of whiskey at his feet,
And a gallon of porter at his head!

(chorus)

His friends assembled at the wake,
And Mrs Finnegan called for lunch.
First they brought in tea and cakes,
Then pipes, tobacco, and whiskey punch.
The Biddy O'Brien began to cry,
"Such a nice, clean corpse did you ever see?
Tim mavourneen, why did you die?"
"Will ye hold your gob!" says Billy Magee

(chorus)

Then Peggy O'Connor took up the job,
"Biddy," she says, "You're wrong, I'm sure."
But Biddy then gave her a belt in the gob,
That left her sprawling on the floor!
Each side in war did soon engage:
'Twas woman to woman and man to man
Shillelagh Law was all the rage --
And a row and a ruction soon began!

(chorus)

Then Mickey Maloney raised his head,
When a bottle of whiskey flew at him.
It missed him, falling on the bed,
The whiskey scattered over Tim!
Tim revives! See how he rises!
Timothy rising from the bed!
Crying, "Whirl your whiskey around like blazes!
Glory to god, do you think I'm dead?!"

(chorus)
posted by robcorr at 10:06 PM on March 14, 2007


Just in time for the wearin' of the (monde)green, "Sweet-Head O'Lighan."
posted by rob511 at 10:16 PM on March 14, 2007


Da Vinci's Notebook- Another Irish Drinking song. Pretty damn hilarious. Not so traditional. :)

link to lyrics
posted by Glitter Ninja at 8:30 AM on March 15, 2007


oooh, oooh, I got one. Yay for a cappella:

Da Vinci's Notebook: Another Irish Drinking Song (real audio file)

The chorus goes something like this:

Now everybody’s died
So until our tears are dried
We’ll drink and drink and drink and drink
And then we’ll drink some more
We’ll dance and sing and fight
Until the early morning light
Then we’ll throw up, pass out, wake up
And then go drinking once again
posted by yggdrasil at 10:57 AM on March 15, 2007


damnit, how the hell did I not see Glitter Ninja? Must have used secret ninja skills to sneak past me. Preview Shmeview.
posted by yggdrasil at 11:03 AM on March 15, 2007


Ok, to make up for the repeat post:

Gaelic Storm, from their album Tree:

Johnny Tarr

Lemme tell you a little story
about a man named Johnny Tarr.
He was a hard drinking son of a preacher,
he was always at the bar.
Lager from the tap
or shots of Paddy from the shelf.
He could open his throttle
and throw back a bottle
as quick as the devil himself.
Johnny Tarr!

Word got around
that Johnny Tarr was no pretender.
From Clare to here
they'd lock up the beer
when Johnny went on a bender.
Down at Dickey Mack's,
the Rising Sun,
or at the Swan
if he was drinking at seven
by ten to eleven
well all the booze would be gone!
Johnny Tarr!

Chorus:
Even if you saw it yourself, you wouldn't believe it.
And I wouldn't trust a person like me, if I were you.
I wasn't there.
I swear I have an alibi.
I heard it from a man who knows a fellow who says it's true!

It was nine in the morning
on a cold rainy night.
Johnny rolled into the Castle Bar,
looking to get tight.
He had money in his pocket,
he had whiskey in his eye.
He said, "Get up off your asses
and set up the glasses.
I'm drinking this place dry!"
Now all the serious boozers,
they were soon broken hearted
when Johnny finished off six
and he was only getting started.
Guzzling down the pints,
knockin' em back like candy.
He was lookin' alright
to be drinkin' all night,
then Nora brought out the Brandy!
Johnny Tarr!

Chorus

Johnny drank the whole damn bottle,
had another pint or two.
When it made no impression
he started his session
with Murphy's Millenium Brew.
He was waiting for his pint
when his face turned green
Jesus, Johnny fell down after only fifteen!
You could have heard a pin drop,
then the crowd let out a ROAR!
It took five Cork women to lift Johnny off the floor!
The doctor looked him over and said,
"you better call the hearse,
but it's not what you're thinkin'.
It wasn't the drinkin'!
This man died of thirst!!"
posted by yggdrasil at 11:14 AM on March 15, 2007


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