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!
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