Thin Lizzy – Whiskey In the Jar

This is an old traditional Irish song that was spruced up by Thin Lizzy. What set Thin Lizzy apart from other rock groups was Phil Lynott’s writing, bass playing, and singing. On this song, the guitar solo sounds fantastic.

Whiskey in the Jar peaked at #6 in the UK charts in 1973.

Although a massive first hit for Thin Lizzy, this was actually 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.

 

From Songfacts.

Traditionally an Irish folk song, this was 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 by 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. >>

Whiskey In The Jar

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 cannon ball 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.

Author: badfinger20

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

14 thoughts on “Thin Lizzy – Whiskey In the Jar”

  1. Hmmm….Don’t know this one and I really like Thin Lizzy. I don’t know a lot of their deeper cuts but I love their AOR hits–Cowboy Song, The Boys are Back in Town and Jailbreak. The dueling guitar work of Gary Moore and the other guitarist(S) is amazing and Phil Lynott could pound the bass. He was a great songwriter too. I like the Lynott and Moore album–can’t remember the name of it…Late 80s I think…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This didn’t hit over here as much…in the UK it was their breakthrough I believe.
      They had dual guitar sound that they made popular. Lynott’s songwriting was wonderful…and the way he sang them. They were not just another hard rock band…something different with them.

      Off Topic… I finished The Sopranos… just wonderful. Well written characters and stories… The one that drove me insane was AJ…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. AJ started getting on my nerves the last two seasons, though I sympathized with his depression. The characters I didn’t like–they were too reprehensible–were 1. Olivia 2. Ritchie Aprile 3. Ralph Cifaretto 5. Artie Bucco
        Adrianna got on my nerves–like AJ–but I didn’t dislike her.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ralph Cifaretto has a special place in hell for him… I agree with your choices.
        Bobby and Adriana’s death hit me the worse. I thought Bobby was going to make it …but no…and writers made sure he was stained before he got hit.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Quite good… I don’t know I’ve ever heard that one before. There’s probably a lot more to them than many of us would think from hearing “Boys are Back in Town” (which I like but is over played) and “Jailbreak” (never a fave personally). Thanks for sharing it

    Liked by 1 person

  3. New song for me. Great sound, especially the guitars. That daddy-o reminds me of a Scottish group, Old Blind Dogs, that I first saw in concert at our local Irish music festival. I’ve been a fan of theirs ever since. They perform Scottish but also Celtic. I’m attaching the song where they sing it. It’s called Kincardine Lads. Let me know what you think:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the lead singers voice…Yes I hear the Daddy-O… It’s very catchy…I just listened to it twice….It kinda reminds me of this song…when done traditionally.

      Liked by 1 person

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