Whisky in the Jar (The Irish Robber A) [Laws L13A]/The Irish Robber B (McCollister) [Laws L13B]
DESCRIPTION: The robber finds a victim on the road, whom he relieves of his valuables. He returns to his sweetheart's home and goes to sleep. He is awakened by the law. He reaches for his pistol, but the girl has rendered it useless. He is taken (and hanged/escapes)
EARLIEST DATE: 1855 (broadside, Murray Mu23-y1:137)
KEYWORDS: robbery prison love trial punishment execution death gallows-confession outlaw
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland) US(Ap,MW,NE,SE) Canada(Mar,Newf) Ireland Australia
REFERENCES (19 citations):
Laws L13, "Whisky in the Jar (The Irish Robber A) [Laws L13A]/The Irish Robber B (McCollister) [Laws L13B]"
Meredith/Anderson-FolkSongsOfAustralia, p. 51, "Whiskey in the Jar" (1 text, 1 tune)
Warner-TraditionalAmericanFolkSongsFromAnneAndFrankWarnerColl 51, "Gilgarrah Mountain" (1 text, 1 tune)
Warner-FolkSongsAndBalladsOfTheEasternSeaboard, pp. 26-27, "Gilgarry Mountain" (1 text, 1 tune)
Flanders/Brown-VermontFolkSongsAndBallads, pp. 139-140, "McCollister" (1 text, 1 tune)
Flanders/Ballard/Brown/Barry-NewGreenMountainSongster, pp. 245-247, "Lovel, the Robber" (1 text, 1 tune)
Leach-FolkBalladsSongsOfLowerLabradorCoast 117, "There's Whiskey in the Jar" (1 text, 1 tune)
Creighton-SongsAndBalladsFromNovaScotia 88, "Whiskey in the Jar" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-FolkSongsOfNorthAmerica 6, "Whisky in the Jar" (1 text, 1 tune)
Henry/Huntingdon/Herrmann-SamHenrysSongsOfThePeople H792, p. 122, "Whiskey in the Jar" (1 text, 1 tune)
OLochlainn-IrishStreetBallads 12, "There's Whiskey in the Jar" (1 text, 1 tune)
OCroinin/Cronin-TheSongsOfElizabethCronin 194, "Whisky in the Jar" (2 texts)
Ord-BothySongsAndBallads, pp. 368-369, "There's Whiskey in the Jar" (1 text)
MacColl/Seeger-TravellersSongsFromEnglandAndScotland 90, "Whiskey in the Jar" (1 text, 1 tune)
Wolf-AmericanSongSheets, #2320, p. 156, "There's Whiskey in the Jar" (2 references)
Darling-NewAmericanSongster, pp. 107-108, "Captain Devin" (1 text)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 201, "Whiskey In The Jar" (1 text)
NorthCarolinaFolkloreJournal, Frank L. Warner [nephew of Frank M. Warner], "Songs My Uncle Taught Me" Vol. XI, No. 1 (Jul 1963), pp. 25-26, "Gilgarry Mountain" (1 text)
DT 326, GILGARRY KILGARMT*
Roud #533 and 534
Seamus Ennis, "Whiskey in the Jar" (on Lomax42, LomaxCD1742)
Lena Bourne Fish, "Gilgarrah Mountain" [excerpt] (on USWarnerColl01)
Warde Ford, "McAllister" (AFS 4196 B2, 4196 B3; in AMMEM/Cowell)
Bodleian, Johnson Ballads 612A , "Whiskey in the Jar," E.M.A. Hodges (London), 1846-1854; Harding B 11(980), "Sporting Hero" or "Whiskey in the Bar," J. Cadman (Manchester), 1850-1855; also Firth c.17(314)[some words illegible], "The Sporting Hero", Harding B 15(372a), Harding B 11(4152), 2806 b.10(109), "Whiskey in the Jar"
LOCSinging, as113620, "There's Whiskey in the Jar," J. Andrews (New York), 1853-1859; also sb40503b, "There's Whiskey in the Jar"
Murray, Mu23-y1:137, "Whiskey in the Jar," Poet's Box (Glasgow), 1855
NLScotland, L.C.Fol.70(123b), "There's Whisky in the Jar," Poet's Box (Glasgow), 1871
We'll Fight for Uncle Sam ("I am a modern hairo: my name is Paddy Kearney") (Wolf-AmericanSongSheets, p. 172)
NOTES [350 words]: In the Australian version, Colonel Pepper or his equivalent becomes Sir Frederick Pottinger, a local policeman laughed at for his inability to capture Ben Hall. For background on Pottinger, see the notes to "Ben Hall." - RBW
Paul Stamler comments on the "McCollister" texts of this song, "I think this deserves splitting, as although it's related to 'Whisky in the Jar,' it is missing the betrayal theme -- at least in this version."
Paul goes on to provide this description of the Warde Ford version: "McCollister [McAllister] sees two merchants and robs them. As he's walking up to the gallows, he says, "I have robbed many but I never killed any/And I think it is a shame to be hanged for stealing money."
However, the versions cited by Laws *do* include the betrayal; it appears that the characteristic of the "B" texts is rather the hanging, plus perhaps the robber's name. But it is almost impossible to distinguish short versions of the songs, so we continue to lump them. - PJS, RBW
In addition, Murray, Mu23-y1:131, "The Sporting Hero," Poet's Box (Glasgow), 1852, states "Along with this song, and in the same style, the Poet['s Box] has that splendid song, called 'Whiskey in the Jar.' Generally those who buy the one, buys the other, you see." "The Sporting Hero" is another version of "Whiskey in the Jar" with a new ending: [The singer meets] Molly and shoot[s] her dead, forgive[s] her because "though Molly has deceived me, yet I thought it not her intention, Though she has proved faithless to me, a sporting hero, I have left her far sleeping far behind, and I have nothing more to fear, O." He ends by recommending himself to girls who "want a fancy man."
In broadside Bodleian, Firth c.17(314), "The Sporting Hero" ("I am a sporting hero, that never yet was daunted"), J. Bentley (Bradford), n.d. Molly is not murdered and the self-advertisement at the end goes on for more verses.
Broadside LOCSinging as113620: J. Andrews dating per Studying Nineteenth-Century Popular Song by Paul Charosh in American Music, Winter 1997, Vol 15.4, Table 1, available at FindArticles site. - BS
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