Friday, 13 February 2009

O! Whiskey My Darlin' - Robert Huddleston song

I'm a bit of a fan of (possibly obsessed with?) Moneyrea Ulster-Scots poet Robert Huddleston and I was having a look at his song, O! Whiskey My Darlin' trying to find a tune that would go with it. Jackie Boyce, in his Songs Of The County Down (Ballyhay Books 2004) does not list a tune, but says, "When I first read over this song I came up with an air almost immediately". When the song was published in 1844, the author gave his choice of tune as Ye Jolly Old Cock Would You Give Me Your Daughter but, as yet, I haven't been able to trace this. Then it struck me ... one of the tunes I've learned to play on the fiddle is Come O'er The Stream, Charlie (aka McLean's Welcome) by James Hogg, The Ettrick Shepherd and this goes perfectly, but I'm open to tune suggestions if anybody else can come up with something better. Now there's a challenge!


O, whiskey my darlin', thou care-killin' carlin,
How aft I have kissed thee for weeks at a time;
And aye whan I'm drinkin', thou easest my thinkin'
And now I'm come back for tae taste thee again.

O! a toss o' my head for a' their laid denties,
Gie me but the nappie tae kittle my joy;
An' tho' poortith shall stare me, it darna come near me,
A fig for sad sorrow, I'll live till I die.

Frae this tae the mornin' jade care I'll gie scornin',
An' lieve on the juice o' the blanter sae dear;
Ye winds that loud chatter, I carna your clatter,
Your frosty snell breath now me canna come near.


Yon silly aul' base ane, on verge o' perdition
Wi' deadly excesses, debauchery, an' crime;
Shall I grudge him his dishes, his trashtrie, an' wishes?
No, never such baseness - no, never be mine.


Gie me the Cork caver, wi' mountain dew flavour,
The poteen tae drink, an' my lassie alang;
Tho' warls care may wreck me, it ne'er can heartbrack me,
Sae lang as the usquebaugh stifles my rang.


O! whiskey, stick tae me, thou frien' o' my grannie,
Tho' weel I may like ye, I tak' it o' kin';
My aul' uncle Tammie, the twin o' my mammie,
Besides my aul' daddie, he drunk himsel' blin'.


Away antie Nelly, an' let us be jolly,
Ye ken yon big-wamed jug that's far aboon a';
An' fetch us a quart in before we gae partin',
And roun' by the ingle we'll joyful hurra.


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