Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday morning music

Miss D. and I are experimenting with making our own Van Der Hum, a South African brandy-based liqueur of which we're fond.  Sadly, there's no longer a US importer of the stuff, so once our last bottle has been consumed, we'll be without it . . . unless we can find an alternative.  Fortunately, it's been home-made for generations in South Africa, and there are several recipes online and in print, so we're giving it a try.  I'll let you know how it works out once we've got past the first, experimental batch, and we're closer to the real thing.

Be that as it may, I got to thinking about the number of songs out there concerning whisky (with or without an 'e'), brandy, and other "waters of life", as spirits have often been described.  I don't think it's possible to tally all of the songs.  The number must measure well into three figures, if not four!  However, I've had fun looking.  This week, I thought I'd tackle whisk(e)y.  I may tackle different spirits in weeks and months to come.  Let me know in Comments if you have a favorite you'd like to see (or hear).

Many whiskeys contain barley as one of their ingredients, so I thought we'd begin with a traditional ballad, performed by English rock group Traffic as the title track of their 1970 album 'John Barleycorn Must Die'.

From now on, the pace picks up.  Let's hear the O'Reillys and the Paddyhats perform 'Barrels of Whiskey', from their album 'Seven Hearts:  One Soul'.

In a more folksy vein, here's the Irish Rovers with 'The Rare Old Mountain Dew'.

Crossing the Atlantic for the American version of uisce beatha, here's Willie Nelson and Toby Keith in a live performance of the title track from the album 'Beer for my horses'.

In a lighter-hearted vein, here's Irish group Patrick Street with the tongue-in-cheek song 'Humors of the King of Ballyhooley' from their 1993 album 'Irish Times'.  It's about a distiller of illicit whiskey, and how he found the love of his life.  I'd never heard of an illegal whiskey still being used as an incentive to marriage, but I'm sure it's happened!

And finally, here's a live, rollicking, foot-stomping, folk rock rendition of the traditional Irish ballad 'Whiskey In The Jar' by the Killdares.  I've cut out the long, slow violin introduction to concentrate on the song itself - click over to the YouTube version for the full track.

That's a rattling good collection of songs about at least one 'spirit of the age' (just about any age, I guess!).  I'll see if I can find equally good ones about other spirits for future consumption (you should pardon the expression).



Jim said...

A couple more tunes from this side of the pond.
First is White Lightning, written by the Big Bopper and made famous by George Jones.

Then there's Good Old Mountain Dew. It's been recorded a number of times by a number of folks, but I think of Grandpa Jones when I hear this one.

Fun stuff.

Anonymous said...

James Conway is talented man who specializes in Irish music on the harmonica, but is quite a bit more flexible than that.

Here's his cover of a Bo Carter song, for instance.

lpdbw said...

Previous comment was me, and the Bo Carter song is on topic.

Chris Nelson said...

County music is full of such songs and honky-tonks. And Texas is full of breweries and distilleries to encourage more songs. :)

If you are running short of bourbon, I can send local product your way!

Old NFO said...

Why am I salivating for a wee dram of the Irish now??? :-)

libertyman said...

Try this link for Van Der Hum -- it says a minimum of a $100.00 order, but it looks reasonable at $21.00 bottle:

Bob said...

The original version of "Old Mountain Dew" was by Bascom Lamar Lunsford, who wrote the song:

A couple of other drinking songs Chug-a-Lug, by the late, great Roger Miller:

And finally, "Talkin' Thunderbird Blues" by the late, great Townes Van Zandt:

Mogrith said...

Folk music I grew up with. still have this vinyl disk

Corn Whisky.

Lots of good tuns on that album

The Overgrown Hobbit said...

The Limeliters have a good "Whiskey in the Jar" as well. Some of my favourites include:

Heylan Gar
Here's to Britta when she bakes / She puts whiskey in her cakes

Whiskey You're M'Darlin'
If I had a cow which gave such milk / I'd dress her up in the finest silk / I'd feed her up on oats and hay. I'd milk her 20 times a day!

Have Some Madeira M'dear