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Old English sea shanty, date unknown.

Brief Subjective Analysis(tm): Whisky (alternately whiskey), contesting with rum in the seafaring days of yore, got immortalized in sail songs more than once. "Johnny" in the title, "John" in the chorus, refer to the general nickname for a sailor, a la "Hey you".


Whisky is the life of man
Always was since the world began

Chorus: Sing between every other couplet, or whenever needed

Whisky-oh, Johnny-oh
John rise her up from down below
Whisky, whisky, whisky-oh
Up-a-loft this yard must go
John rise her up from down below

Whisky here, whisky there
Whisky almost everywhere

Whisky up and whisky down
Whisky all around the town

Whisky killed me poor old dad
Whisky drove me mother mad

My wife and I do not agree
She puts whisky in her tea1

I had a girl and her name was Lize
She puts whisky in her pies

Oh whisky straight, and whisky strong
Give me some whisky and I'll sing you a song

If whisky comes too near my nose
I tip it up and down she goes

Some likes whisky, some likes beer
I wished I had a barrel here

Whisky made me pawn me clothes
Whisky gave me a broken nose

Oh -- the mate likes whisky, the skipper likes rum
The sailors like both but me can't get none

Whisky is the life of man
Whisky from that old tin can

I thought I heard the first mate say
I treats me crew in a decent way

If whisky was a river and I could swim
I'd say here goes and dive right in

If whisky was a river and I was a duck
I'd dive to the bottom and never come up

I wished I knew where whisky grew
I'd eat the leaves and the branches too

Pass that whisky all around
And a rundlet full for the shanty man



1. Whisky in tea was quite common, usually at sea a luxury reserved for the cap'n. It's still tasty!

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