Monday 7 November 2022

"There's Whiskey In The Giro".

 I have been a Thin Lizzy fan most of my life and saw them on the Renegade tour at Manchester Apollo when I was just 17 in 1981.  I'm 59 next month and I still love them.

I was also lucky enough to see Gary Moore at the Milton Keynes Bowl in 1986 supporting Marillion.  I have also seen founding Lizzy member Eric Bell play twice in West Cork.

Probably their most famous song is the folk ballad 'Whiskey In The Jar'.  It was composed in the 17th century and tells the story of a Highway Man or Footpad holding up a British Captain and spending all his money or ill gained takings  in the rub a dub dub, he loves his girlfriend Molly and she betrays his trust.  It's set in the Cork and Kerry mountains and we often sing the song when going along the tunnels Road to Kenmare.

An old Rocker friend use to sing: "There's Whiskey In the Giro".  Meaning you get a drink from your green government dole cheque once a fortnight.   Back in the days when so many of us had no employment.  The Thatcher years were truly awful.  At least the music was good back then.

Apparently Eric Bell and the Lizzy lads were in a pub and he started playing the ballad on his guitar and their record producer or manager asked them: ""What's that?"  He liked it and they recorded the song and it was number one in Ireland for 16 weeks  and it made the top then in the UK.

Are there any Midge Ure fans out there? Midge had recent replaced Gary Moore and he gets a mention at the beginning of the track.


14 comments:

  1. I like the blog post title. Very amusing.
    Thin Lizzy were a great band. My best friend at school had a crush on Phil Lynott back then.

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  2. Glad you liked the blog post title Rachel. Phil only lived to the age of 36. He was a Manchester United fan born in Birmingham and was a dynamic front man vocalist and bassist. Thanks Rachel.

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    1. Sorry JayCee. I have made two silly mistakes this morning putting comments on blogs. So much for cheap Lidl reading glasses. I need to go to Spec Savers. Sorry again.

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    2. πŸ₯ΈπŸ€“πŸ˜

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  3. Great music!! I'd never heard this version. Toe tapping Irish at its best

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  4. Glad you liked the 17th century Folk song reworked and made into a twentieth century Heavy Rock ballad Linda. I chose this track because it was recorded live in Cork.

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  5. Really is me this time Dave. I am a Thin Lizzie fan too, as you know. And you also know I saw them at Newcastle Poly in the 1970s. They played in a side room not the main hall. They were great.

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  6. Hi Rachel. When I was writing this post I was thinking that you probably saw them when you lived in Newcastle. Great band and they used Irish folk songs, history and folklore to write their songs. They were indeed great. Thanks.

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  7. The Poly had some great nights. I also saw John Renbourn and Bert Jansch in the same side room. Later Ralph McTell, and many others.

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  8. Sounds like great times and great bands Rachel. You should write a few posts about those gigs.

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  9. A great old song re-imagined. I wonder what the original 17th century creator of the song would have made of the Thin Lizzy version? It would have probably blown his mind.

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  10. It would have blown his mind. Rather like the Internet to our generation.

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