Mar 172017

 

Damn the Irish for fouling our pristine land. Great waves of them washed up after the potato famine of the 1840s, the most destitute national group ever to arrive on American shores. They couldn’t have been less desirable, a gaggle of morally depraved peasants with little education and equally meager resources.

And to make matters worse, they were Papists! Ignorant and superstitious, these mongrels took their orders from a foreign religious power and were bent on degrading and corrupting the moral purity of these great and Protestant United States. They dragged the culture of our homeland into the stinking troughs where they themselves wallowed by birth and breeding. They fled a wretched land and brought the wretchedness with them.

Mar 172010

Did you think we would forget what day it is? For shame! Of course we know. It’s the day when everyone is entitled to be Irish from sun-up until blackout.

We thought about what we might do to celebrate the day (besides getting shit-faced as soon as possible). And then it dawned on us that we had already prepared the perfect St. Patrick’s Day commemoration.We just ran it on this site about two months too soon.

So we decided to just run the fucking thing again, because it is indeed perfect. And because even if you’ve been reading our blather for the last two months, you’ve probably already forgotten the earlier post. You are, after all, metalheads.

And so, to start again. My favorite Metallica song isn’t one that would come to mind for most people. It’s an Irish folk song that’s been around for about 400 years called “Whiskey in the Jar.” It tells the story of a highwayman who robs a military or government official and is then betrayed by his wife (or lover — not clear which) and goes to prison for his trouble. And ain’t that the luck o’ the fuckin’ Irish for ye?

Metallica’s version of the song retains the traditional lyrics and the basic melody, but puts Metallica’s heavy, hard-driving force behind it — and James Hetfield‘s vocals are outstanding.

The song is so catchy and has been around for so long that lots of people have recorded it. A couple years ago I tracked down different versions of the song as kind of a musical experiment, to trace the evolution of music over time, and more specifically to see how different musical genres have made this old song their own. It was a very cool experience, and one worth sharing on this drunken day.

So, after the jump, you can see the lyrics; they vary a bit, and we’re giving you the version Metallica used. And then, moving forward in time, you can stream performances of “Whiskey in the Jar” by this group of legendary bands: Irish folk band The Dubliners (circa 1967), Irish rockers Thin Lizzy (1973), Irish punk band The Pogues (playing with the Dubliners) (1990), and finally Metallica (1998). Hope you’ll get really wasted and give it a try.

And to repeat our appeal from the earlier post: It’s time for a fucking death metal band to record this song!

Jan 122010

Yesterday I had some fun at James Hetfield’s expense. I put up some still photos here from the movie trailer for Clash of the Titans with captions showing the kinds of metal bands that came to mind as I saw them. For one of them, the unflattering thought that popped into my head was “James Hetfield in about 5 more years.” I’m not sure why, but that’s really the first thing that came to mind.

It’s not that I’ve never liked Metallica. They just don’t do much for me any more, and haven’t for a while. But many of their older songs are undeniably awesome.

My favorite Metallica song isn’t one that would come to mind for most people. It’s an Irish folk song that’s been around for about 400 years called “Whiskey in the Jar.” It tells the story of a highwayman who robs a military or government official and is then betrayed by his wife (or lover — not clear which). Metallica’s version of the song retains the traditional lyrics and the basic melody, but puts Metallica’s heavy, hard-driving force behind it — and Hetfield’s vocals are outstanding.

The song is so catchy and has been around for so long that lots of people have recorded it. A couple years ago I tracked down different versions of the song as kind of a musical experiment, to trace the evolution of music over time, and more specifically to see how different musical genres have made this old song their own. It was a very cool experience.

I haven’t thought about this in a long time, not until I started feeling mildly guilty about poking fun at James Hetfield yesterday. And then I thought, maybe you would also find something interesting in the musical evolution of “Whiskey in the Jar,” at least partly because it’s such a fucking great song and partly because some fucking great bands have recorded it.

So, after the jump, you can see the lyrics; they vary a bit, and I’m giving you the version Metallica used. And then, moving forward in time, you can stream performances of “Whiskey in the Jar” by this group of legendary bands: Irish folk band The Dubliners (circa 1967), Irish rockers Thin Lizzy (1973), Irish punk band The Pogues (playing with the Dubliners) (1990), and finally Metallica (1998). Hope you’ll give it a try. (Time for a death metal band to record this song!)

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