Thin Lizzy – “Whiskey in a Jar”

This is such a fun song, and the opening guitar riffs by Eric Bell are wild!
“Whiskey In a Jar” was traditionally an Irish folk song, covered by The Dubliners in 1967 before Thin Lizzy rocked it up in 1972 for their breakthrough hit.

The song tells the story of a bandit in southwest Ireland who robs an English Army Officer to keep his girlfriend Molly happy after she promises to love him forever. She then betrays him and the young man is taken to jail.

Metallica recorded a popular cover of this song on their 1998 Garage, Inc. album – an outlier for them as they rarely mention girls in their songs. Other notable versions are The Pogues, The Dubliners, U2, Pulp, and Smokie. The lyrics of this song can vary from version to version, but most covers use the Thin Lizzy lyrics.

Although a massive first hit for Thin Lizzy, this was meant to be the B-side. The band recorded “Black Boys On The Corner” as the A-side and put the old traditional Irish song “Whiskey In The Jar” on the B-side because they didn’t have anything else. It was the record company that decided to make “Whiskey in the Jar” the A-side.

https://youtu.be/-M2jSzLBzK4

Song Lyrics –

As I was goin’ over the Cork and Kerry mountains

I saw Captain Farrell and his money he was countin’

I first produced my pistol and then produced my rapier

I said stand o’er and deliver or the devil he may take ya

Musha ring dumb a do dumb a da

Whack for my daddy-o

Whack for my daddy-o

There’s whiskey in the jar-o

I took all of his money and it was a pretty penny

I took all of his money and I brought it home to Molly

She swore that she’d love me, never would she leave me

But the devil take that woman for you know she tricked me easy

Musha ring dumb a do dumb a da

Whack for my daddy-o

Whack for my daddy-o

There’s whiskey in the jar-o

Being drunk and weary I went to Molly’s chamber

Takin’ my money with me and I never knew the danger

For about six or maybe seven in walked Captain Farrell

I jumped up, fired off my pistols and I shot him with both barrels

Musha ring dumb a do dumb a da

Whack for my daddy-o

Whack for my daddy-o

There’s whiskey in the jar-o

Now some men like the fishin’ and some men like the fowlin’

And some men like ta hear a cannonball a roarin’

Me? I like sleepin’ specially in my Molly’s chamber

But here I am in prison, here I am with a ball and chain, yeah

Musha ring dumb a do dumb a da

Whack for my daddy-o

Whack for my daddy-o

There’s whiskey in the jar-o

And I got drunk on whiskey-o

And I love, I love, I love, I love, I love, I love my Molly-o
Writer/s: Traditional, Brian Michael Downey, Eric Bell, Philip & Parris Lynott
Credit:songfacts, YouTube.com & Yahoo.com/images

4 thoughts on “Thin Lizzy – “Whiskey in a Jar”

      1. Yes he is…I love the sound he gets…and guess what? I didn’t catch up with you yet. The mother n law is coming over in a few days and Jen is cleaning like a mad woman and now the house is a wreck…moving things to clean other things….she has kept me busy.

        1. Yes, indeed. He can make that guitar scream! You two have your hands full right now, and I hope you all enjoy your mother-in-law to the fullest.
          I have been busy myself helping care for my mother on the weekends. She is 91 and had surgery back in September, so after being released from the hospital, my sister and brother-in-law thought it would be good if she stayed with them. It has worked out great since they have a house with rooms large enough for her to get around in her wheelchair and doorways wide enough that she can get through. I drive out on the weekends to relieve my sister and help out with Mom. We will catch up…I am still trying to get more set up on this blog in what little spare time I have right now, but I am confident that it will come together soon. Take care.