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Why is Whisky In The Jar...

DigiTrad:
GILGARRY MOUNTAIN (There's whiskey in the jar)
WHISKEY, YOU'RE THE DIVIL


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Whiskey In The Jar (166)
meaning - musha ring dumma do dumma da (103)
(origins) Origins: Musha ringum duram da... (115)
Firearms query from 'Whiskey in the Jar' (72)
Whiskey in the Jar by the young fellow (2)
Whiskey in the Jar - Irish? Appalachian? (60)
Lyr Req: Whisky in the Jar parody (10)
Whiskey in the Jar (36)
Lyr Req: Whisky in Jar, Jug of Punch (23)
Lyr Req: Scriptures on the wall (2)
Lyr Req: Tequila in the jar (8)
Lyr Req: Bold Lovell (6)
Lord, There's alot of Whiskey in the jar (19)
Whiskey in the Jar (12)
Tune Req: Whisky in the Jar (4)
Gilgarry Mountain a/k/a Whiskey in the Jar (14)
Lyr Req: Whiskey in the Jar (2) (closed)


Clinton Hammond2 19 Dec 99 - 07:32 AM
Kat 19 Dec 99 - 07:48 AM
Willie-O 19 Dec 99 - 07:52 AM
jeffp 19 Dec 99 - 07:58 AM
wildlone 19 Dec 99 - 09:00 AM
Liam's Brother 19 Dec 99 - 10:35 AM
Micca 19 Dec 99 - 11:32 AM
kendall 19 Dec 99 - 12:27 PM
Mary G 19 Dec 99 - 01:35 PM
19 Dec 99 - 09:14 PM
Hagbardr 20 Dec 99 - 12:17 AM
Brendy 20 Dec 99 - 12:30 AM
Clinton Hammond2 20 Dec 99 - 01:23 AM
Blackcat2 20 Dec 99 - 10:53 AM
Liam's Brother 20 Dec 99 - 12:15 PM
Liam's Brother 20 Dec 99 - 12:24 PM
Marymac90 20 Dec 99 - 12:33 PM
InOBU 20 Dec 99 - 01:21 PM
MMario 20 Dec 99 - 01:26 PM
Liam's Brother 20 Dec 99 - 01:59 PM
Bert 20 Dec 99 - 02:02 PM
JTT 20 Dec 99 - 04:00 PM
Blackcat2 20 Dec 99 - 05:02 PM
Liam's Brother 20 Dec 99 - 05:26 PM
Clinton Hammond2 20 Dec 99 - 06:23 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 20 Dec 99 - 06:34 PM
Brendy 21 Dec 99 - 02:53 AM
InOBU 21 Dec 99 - 08:50 AM
alison 21 Dec 99 - 09:06 AM
alison 21 Dec 99 - 09:08 AM
Liam's Brother 21 Dec 99 - 10:13 PM
Clinton Hammond2 22 Dec 99 - 04:48 AM
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Subject: Why is Whisky In The Jar...
From: Clinton Hammond2
Date: 19 Dec 99 - 07:32 AM

... Called Whiskey (oops) In The Jar?

I have to admit, this has been bugging me for some time now... It's gotta be my favorite cheese-ass Irish pub tune... But what's with the name?

And how many different versions have you other players got tucked away in the back of yer songbooks?

;-)


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Subject: RE: Why is Whisky In The Jar...
From: Kat
Date: 19 Dec 99 - 07:48 AM

Perhaps it is a reference to what we call 'home brew'. The only poteen (?) I ever saw was in a quart jar. Likewise the 'home brew' here in the states. It was put in pint and quart jars. The only time it was bottled was to be 'boot-legged', that is sold to other people. The first time I heard the song I thought of the poteen in the quart jar that a friend brought as a welcoming gift. True 'fire water'. (Nasty taste!)

Blessings Kat


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Subject: RE: Why is Whisky In The Jar...
From: Willie-O
Date: 19 Dec 99 - 07:52 AM

the best white lightning has no taste at all, in my limited experience. About three-quarters of an inch of it in a half-pint mason jar, and hooo-eeee!! right after that the room started spinning and I sank into the sofa for several hours.

Bill


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Subject: RE: Why is Whisky In The Jar...
From: jeffp
Date: 19 Dec 99 - 07:58 AM

I suspect that when parties, wakes, etc. were held in homes, the typical family would run out of glasses and press jars into service. I suspect that the average home would have a good supply of jars for putting up food for storage. This purely speculation, so take it for what it's worth.


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Subject: RE: Why is Whisky In The Jar...
From: wildlone
Date: 19 Dec 99 - 09:00 AM

Never ever put a glass of poteen close to the fire,if you do you will find out the true meaning of fire water!


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Subject: RE: Why is Whisky In The Jar...
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 19 Dec 99 - 10:35 AM

It is very common usage in Ireland to refer to a glass (of drink) as a "jar" as in "Give us another jar, will you!"

All the best,
Dan


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Subject: RE: Why is Whisky In The Jar...
From: Micca
Date: 19 Dec 99 - 11:32 AM

You know how Brendan Behan described Poteen" Its like swallowing a torchlight procession" or "Its like drinking barbed wire" The best i ever tasted was made by ex-pat. Irish friends of a friend in Hayes, Middlesex, England and was breathtaking.


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Subject: RE: Why is Whisky In The Jar...
From: kendall
Date: 19 Dec 99 - 12:27 PM

as Stan Rogers wrote..and every jar that hit the bar we swore we would remain...


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Subject: RE: Why is Whisky In The Jar...
From: Mary G
Date: 19 Dec 99 - 01:35 PM

If you like Whiskey in the Jar as a song, you'll probably love Tequila in the Jar, by Bob Kotta...as I was going over the Mountains of Morales....and I met the Federales..it is really clever and I like it besides...which is unusual for me because I intellectually appreciate clever songs but don't especially want to hear most of them more than once...


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Subject: RE: Why is Whisky In The Jar...
From:
Date: 19 Dec 99 - 09:14 PM

The best stuff is still in the keg.


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Subject: RE: Why is Whisky In The Jar...
From: Hagbardr
Date: 20 Dec 99 - 12:17 AM

I occasionally soak peaches or cherries in bourbon (or vodka or brandy), put them in an airtight jar and let sit for a few weeks to a few months. That's when I have whiskey in the jar.


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Subject: RE: Why is Whisky In The Jar...
From: Brendy
Date: 20 Dec 99 - 12:30 AM

"Whisky" is Scotch Whisky, "Whiskey" is Irish whiskey.
And "the jar" is as Liams bror' refers. Example "Would you like an oul' jar there?".
Apropos Poitín:
During the mid seventies, I was a fiery little teenager, whose whole passion was (is) Irish and things Irish.
I used to be seen in Donegal at every available school holiday and weekend, playing in Hudaí Béag's or Leos in Gaoith Domháir and Rann na Feírste in sessions along with Noel Duggan, his brother Pádraig, and other familiar faces like Maíread Mooney and Frankie Kennedy. (God, those WERE the days).
Anyway, I was staying in an out building of Bríd Duggan's house, a crash place where the Clannad could go and sleep if returning late from a gig etc.
There was poitín produced one night. Many nights in fact, but I digress. The session in question sort of ended around 9 in the morning when some wag suggested that we should carry this conversation on in the back room of a nearby hostelry
As I said, the poitín had had a severe run for it's money, and by the time we got to the pub, the first thing I wanted was a pint, or five, of water. I think it was Ciarán Brennan who quickly interceded.
"Not water, man, shandy. Never drink water after poitín.".
Of course, rebel against authourity as I am, I chose the water while all around me they stood and laughed.
I think my last memory was of going through a tunnel, with a faint light in front of me, just before the back of my head hit the floor. I came to on the sofa in the corner about a half an our later.
"Ah there's the sprog. Fancy a glass of water Breandán?".

Of course it all depends on the poitín.
HC. Breandán.


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Subject: RE: Why is Whisky In The Jar...
From: Clinton Hammond2
Date: 20 Dec 99 - 01:23 AM

All very interesting folks.. but it gives me no insight as to why this title for this song... Or is it just another line of nonsence for the chorus?

Any of you folks out there who dabble in song history have any clue?


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Subject: RE: Why is Whisky In The Jar...
From: Blackcat2
Date: 20 Dec 99 - 10:53 AM

Whiskey in the jar is the translation for musha ring of a durram a dah.


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Subject: RE: Why is Whisky In The Jar...
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 20 Dec 99 - 12:15 PM

Some of life's mysteries do not have explanations. The explanation of the Holy Trinity is usually attributed to St. Patrick. He is said to have likened the dilemna of "3 Persons - 1 God" to the shamrock which, of course, has 1 stem and 3 leaves. (I hope I'm not being politically incorrect here by mentioning Religion. Please forgive me, it must be "The Spirit of the Holidays" breaking out in me.)

Anway, just to dabble a bit, there are a few things going on in "Whiskey in the Jar," I believe. First, you have a ballad (story song) that celebrates the Munster raparees (bandits). Second, you have a drinking song. I'm inclined to think that what you call nonsense comes from the lilting (or mouth music) tradition. Actual words are inserted at the last line of the chorus because it is a drinking song. You, yourself, refer to it as an Irish pub song. In this context, "There's whiskey in the jar," means that there is whiskey available or drink up! Singing drink up in a drinking song makes sense to me.

I'm going back to wrapping presents... here come "the holidays."

All the best,
Dan Milner


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Subject: RE: Why is Whisky In The Jar...
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 20 Dec 99 - 12:24 PM

P.S. There is a special Millenium Lotto here in NY. If I hit, I invite Clinton and Brendy (who seems to have considerable experience and wisdom) for a weekend in Tipperary-Limerick-Cork-Kerry. Then we'll see if we can get a solution to this mystery. Perhaps St. Patrick himself can be of assistance...

No wonder that the Irishmen they are so free and frisky
It was St. Patrick taught them that as well as drinking whiskey.

'Twas he that brewed the best of malt and knew about distillin'
For his mother kept a shebeen shop in the town of Enniskillen.

All the best,
Dan


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Subject: RE: Why is Whisky In The Jar...
From: Marymac90
Date: 20 Dec 99 - 12:33 PM

Why not?

Mary Mccaffrey


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Subject: RE: Why is Whisky In The Jar...
From: InOBU
Date: 20 Dec 99 - 01:21 PM

WELL, sorry not to add more light on the song, but to do as most others have done, and add a little light to getting Lit on poteen... A friend of mine, the stroke oarsman in my currach crew and I - had a wee argument over being the designated driver one night in Kerry, while on a currach racing tour. It was an arguement which one of us, and not me, seems to have held onto as a grudge to this very day, however, we also had a dissagreement on who made the best poteen in Ireland, I knew where to get a wee bottle in Kerry, and we picked up another in Connemara, and finally we were up in Port Neu Donnegal, and had the great taste off. Kerry won hands down, follwed by Donnegal a very close second, sorry my friends in Galway, but well, anyway, after sampling the samples, my stroke oars man, with great solemnity and humility pulled the car keys out of his breast pocket and tossed them to me. I picked them up, and thought about life - death - and poteen, and tossed them to my wife, who does not drink - or drive for that matter, so we walked back to the diggs in the cold and wet, stopping for an instant by a famous haunted house, the Nook - to dare each other to peek in the window and see what was to be seen, but the poteen did neither provide the courage or the ghosts that night.
Slante gra
Larry


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Subject: RE: Why is Whisky In The Jar...
From: MMario
Date: 20 Dec 99 - 01:26 PM

sorry Dan, you can't win that lottery, 'cuz I'm gonna....

MMario


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Subject: RE: Why is Whisky In The Jar...
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 20 Dec 99 - 01:59 PM

Ok, Larry. You just talked your way onto the trip. You can come too... but you're not doing any driving.

All the best,
Dan


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Subject: RE: Why is Whisky In The Jar...
From: Bert
Date: 20 Dec 99 - 02:02 PM

Actually it doesn't do you any good in the jar.

I told this story once before but I'm invoking old fogey privelages here and telling it again because it's appropriate and we have some newer friends here.

When I was about thirteen we had an Irish lodger. Well he started as a lodger who needed a room for a couple of weeks but he stayed as part of the family for two years.
On day he walked into the kitchen, which was also our living room, stirring something in a teacup. Mum says to him "What's that Pat?". Pat replies "'tis poteen Mam". So Mum turns to Dad and says "Bert, what's poteen". Dad says "It's an illicit Irish drink".
Pat takes a spoonful and offers it to Mum, "Sure, taste it Mam, 'tis as sweet as honey". So Mum opens her mouth like a little bird and Pat feeds her a spoonful of raw Epsom Salts.


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Subject: RE: Why is Whisky In The Jar...
From: JTT
Date: 20 Dec 99 - 04:00 PM

Whiskey was sold in stone jars until the early 20th century. So saying "whiskey in the jar" was saying "whiskey in the bottle". Incidentally whatever language whiskey in the jar translates into ring dum a doo rum da, it's not Irish.


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Subject: RE: Why is Whisky In The Jar...
From: Blackcat2
Date: 20 Dec 99 - 05:02 PM

never said it was Irish - it's probably Tuvan or Tagalog or N.A.S.A. code (the last seems to be making less & less sense these days, bless their hearts).


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Subject: RE: Why is Whisky In The Jar...
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 20 Dec 99 - 05:26 PM

Until recently you would only see those stone jars in museums or antique stores. Nowadays, you can find them hanging from the rafters and sitting on (usually glued to) shelves in every Irish-up pub around the globe. Tullamore Dew sells some whiskey in stone jars today... or did until very recently.

All the best,
Dan


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Subject: RE: Why is Whisky In The Jar...
From: Clinton Hammond2
Date: 20 Dec 99 - 06:23 PM

Mmmmm... Tully!!

O.K. Liam... I'm gonna hold ya to that deal!! have you got a weekend in mind? 'Cause I got more that a few gigs up and coming and I'll have to make plans to have them covered...

Oh ya... a lot of expereince?? I donno about that, but I sure have opinions a'plenty!! ;-)

Len Wallace... local folk terrorist, has the theory that the Mush a ring rumma do rumma da junk is actually forgotten gaelic, or may have been at one point.. not a bad theory...

But I'm still looking for the answer... I know that 'a jar" is a glass of booze... What I was getting at more is that the title of the song has nothing at all to do with the song itself... I'm inclined to believe that it's just a load of bollocks... like a comedian praising the local team to get cheap applause, all this "Whiskey In The Jar" crud...

So how about different versions folks? The DB has what, 3... I have a few differnt lyrics I picked up from some drunk artist in a pub in Sault Ste Marie...

If ya want, email 'em to ma and I'll put 'em all together with the changes highlighted and email 'em back to ya....

Take Ye Care Eh!


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Subject: RE: Why is Whisky In The Jar...
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 20 Dec 99 - 06:34 PM

JAR's were cheaper than bottles, more readily available and a lot easier to drink from than jugs, barrels, and bottles. Type of Re-use Recycle philosophy


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Subject: RE: Why is Whisky In The Jar...
From: Brendy
Date: 21 Dec 99 - 02:53 AM

Mush a ring etc. IS a rythmic sound made in many folk songs, with different variations. Don't get too hung up on it. It's a cross between your 'mouth music' and your repetitive refrain, designed go get everyone in the company to sing along at a specified time.
However if you told that to the guy who wrote the song he would probably have said......What?
The effect of 'Musha ri....' is untranslatable, you really just had to have been there.
Check out Lillebjørn Nilsen's Norwegian translation. I'll try and find it on the web sometime later and try to direct you to a MP3 or something. The history of the song - A girl rings the cops on her boyfriend, who gets hanged, while she keeps the money.
Typical.
Breandán, who has seen it all before.


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Subject: RE: Why is Whisky In The Jar...
From: InOBU
Date: 21 Dec 99 - 08:50 AM

Lovel was a ridin up the cork and Kerry mountains
two merchants, two murchants, their money they were counting
He drew out his pistols and he never gave them warning
but hes robbed them of their money and hes bad them a good morning

chorus
o the devils in the women, so they say
how the devil can a fellow let them be>

He gone into a public house and counted out his money
He called to the landlady to send him pritty Polly
and while they was talkin, and thinking on no matter
she pulled out his pistols and she filled them up with water

While lovel and his lady were a taking their sweet pleasure
In come the troopers saying lovel you must leave her
its a long time you ve been on that road down to the gallows
so come along now lovel boy and be a decent fellow

Love drew his pistols but they wouldnt shoot the water
they beat him and they barbered him, they gave to him no quater
and Plooy she cried out, if I known that they was coming
I have fought them like a tiger, Lovel, though I am a woman

Now I have two brothers and they re both in the marines
one of ems at chatem and the others gone to sea
and they re both rich and lively lads, and champions at folly
but I wish that they persuaded me not to lie with Polly

As Lovel was a climbing up that old gallows ladder
he called out so bravely for his highway captains feather
sas I ve allways been a lively lad, and I ve never murdered any
so i think it bloody hard to swing for liftin a bit of money
Lovel
Larry


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Subject: RE: Why is Whisky In The Jar...
From: alison
Date: 21 Dec 99 - 09:06 AM

Here's an earlier thread with some variations and interpretations..... Whiskey in the jar

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Why is Whisky In The Jar...
From: alison
Date: 21 Dec 99 - 09:08 AM

and another on the meaning of musha ring.........

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Why is Whisky In The Jar...
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 21 Dec 99 - 10:13 PM

Ok, Clinton. You want whiskey in the jar... look here.

All the best,
Dan


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Subject: RE: Why is Whisky In The Jar...
From: Clinton Hammond2
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 04:48 AM

LOL!! neat... the local has 4 or 5 or those things kicking around... and I think one of them is even full.... I seem to recall that it's gonna be cracked open for the Y2 Keilidh... ;-)

and alison... thanks fer digging up the old threads... Still doesn't really answer my question, but it was some interesting reading...


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