02 March 2007

"Whiskey in the Jar"

It's time for Friday poetry again. I'm not sure if songs really count as poetry, but they do have meter and (usually) some sort of rhyme scheme. And of course, as Professor Harold Hill said, singing is nothing more than sustained talking - right?

There's a old, traditional Irish folk song called "Whiskey in the Jar." Like other old, traditional folk songs, there are about as many variations on it as there are people singing it. This guy's, for instance, or this guy's, or this guy's, or this guy's (scroll down a bit; it's in the lefthand column). And if for some reason you're not familiar with the tune, you can find a MIDI file here.

And then came the early '60s, and two wonderful people - Tommy Smothers and his little brother Dickie - who gave us this version:

As I was goin' forth to the North Pole so merry
I met a St. Bernard, he was short and squat and hairy.
So I drew forth this stick and was gettin' set to heave 'er
Sayin', "Fetch and deliver, for you are a born retriever!"

Chorus: Mush-a-ringum-durum dar
Whack fol the daddy-o
Whack fol the daddy-o
There's whiskey in the jar.

Up around his neck, there was hung a keg of whiskey,
Now and then Old Rover took a snort and got so very frisky.
As he chased the stick he would do a tricky waddle,
Though he really wasn't tricky, he was pie-eyed from the bottle.

Chorus

I threw the stick so far, it was kinda hard to trace it.
Ol' Rover said, "Bow, wow!", and was gettin' set to chase it.
But a car came driving by and he changed his mind and sought it,
Though I knew he couldn't drive one, not even if he caught it.

Chorus

Well, that's about the end of my song and poor Ol' Rover.
He caught it in a fan-belt, and his rovin' days are over.
That poor retriever lies b'neath the ground so cold and chilly
And I have to fetch the stick myself. Boy! Do I look silly!

Chorus

1 comment:

Mega Munch said...

Mmmm...whiskey.