Whiskey In The Jar – The Tale

Songs with a story. This song makes me think of pirates on a ship… With the whole pistol and rapier thing. Theres a whole wikipedia article on it (of course, isn’t there one for everything??) This was likely popularized by Metallicas version but apparently its an old Irish folk song.



The Dubliners version, which is often sung in Irish traditional music sessions around the world, begins:

As I was goin’ over the far famed Kerry mountains,
I met with Captain Farrell, and his money he was counting.
I first produced me pistol and I then produced me rapier,
Saying: “Stand and deliver, for you are a bold deceiver!”.
Musha rin du-rum do du-rum da, Whack for my daddy-o,
Whack for my daddy-o, There’s whiskey in the jar.[2]

And the story stolen straight from Wikipedia:


“Whiskey in the Jar” is the tale of a highwayman or footpad who, after robbing a military or government official, is betrayed by a woman; whether she is his wife or sweetheart is not made clear. Various versions of the song take place in KerryKilmogannyCorkSligo Town, and other locales throughout Ireland. It is also sometimes placed in the American South, in various places among the Ozarks or Appalachians, possibly due to Irish settlement in these places. Names in the song change, and the official can be a Captain or a Colonel, called Farrell or Pepper among other names. The protagonist’s wife or lover is sometimes called Molly, Jenny, or Ginny among various other names.

Its a kinda sad tale, read through the lyrics. All songs have a story behind them, some tell you a story, some are just created because there WAS a back story. This may be a more adult themed blog due to those lyrics but I enjoy the history and the story captured in these original folk songs. They often preserve language, and ways of life that you’d otherwise forget about.

The lyrics are here: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/d/dubliners/whiskey_in_the_jar.html

As I was a goin’ over the far famed Kerry mountains
I met with captain Farrell and his money he was counting
I first produced my pistol and I then produced my rapier
Saying “Stand and deliver” for he were a bold deceiver

Mush-a ring dum-a do dum-a da
Whack for my daddy-o. Whack for my daddy-o
There’s whiskey in the jar

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


I went up to my chamber, all for to take a slumber
I dreamt of gold and jewels and for sure ‘t was no wonder
But Jenny drew me charges and she filled them up with water
Then sent for captain Farrell to be ready for the slaughter


‘t was early in the morning, just before I rose to travel
Up comes a band of footmen and likewise captain Farrell
I first produced me pistol for she stole away me rapier
I couldn’t shoot the water, so a prisoner I was taken


Now there’s some take delight in the carriages a rolling
and others take delight in the hurling and the bowling
but I take delight in the juice of the barley
and courting pretty fair maids in the morning bright and early


If anyone can aid me ‘t is my brother in the army
If I can find his station in Cork or in Killarney
And if he’ll go with me, we’ll go rovin’ through Killkenny
And I’m sure he’ll treat me better than my own a-sporting Jenny


More lyrics: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/d/dubliners/#share

This post has already been read 1699 times!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.