What does Whiskey in the Jar mean?

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Metallica: Whiskey in the Jar Meaning


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Song Released: 1999

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Whiskey in the Jar Lyrics

As I was goin' over
The Cork and Kerry mountains
I saw Captain Farrell
And his money he was countin'
I first produced my pistol
And then produced my rapier
I said "stand and deliver
Or the devil he may take you"

I took all of his...

  1. anonymous
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    Oct 3rd report

    Just wanted to add the “ball and chain” lyric metaphor in the Metallica version.. Friggin rock and roll! Interpreted either way.. Best part of the track!

  2. anonymous
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    Jul 14th report

    Sung in old Irish
    "Me shu'a run.
    Damn I do,
    Damn,I die."
    Translated to American English:
    "I should have run.
    For the Damn that I do,
    Damn, now I die."
    The Whack was the sound of the hangman's gallows.

  3. thearmer
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    Aug 17th 2021 report

    Not girlfriend - Molly was a hooker that our Man fell in love with, but she sold him out for the money.... she's a hooker :)

    Dude ends up in prison, having lost it all.

    Metallica one skips a verse and changes the ending as in the metallica one there's no sabotage of our mans pistols! In fact he shoots captain farrell dead!

  4. anonymous
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    Jul 18th 2021 report

    It's about a man who robs someone for drinking money and then gets ratted out by his girlfriend, who told the man he robbed where he was, then after the protagonist kills the man he robbed, his girlfriend rats him out again(or he was caught) and he then goes to prison.

  5. anonymous
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    Jun 10th 2017 report

    Never trust anybody.

  6. astorian
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    Nov 11th 2012 report

    Epictetus has almost everything just right- "Whiskey in the Jar" Was a very old Irish folk song about a highwayman (bandit), who robs an English captain. He takes his money home, where his treacherous girlfriend betrays him. While he's sleeping, the girl steals his rapier, disables his gun by pouring water into the bullet chambers, then notifies the captain where the robber is.

    The next morning, the captain and some soldiers arrest the unarmed highwayman. In some versions, the songs ends with the highwayman in prison, while in other versions, he escapes, and is desperately seeking his brother, who's a soldier (but he doesn't know exactly where his brother is stationed).

    Metallica's version is a bit different because it follows the example of the Irish heavy metal band Thin Lizzy. Remember, this song appeared on an album of cover versions of Metallica's favorite songs (Phil Lynnott and Thin Lizzy were a big influence on Metallica). Thin Lizzy had done a hard rock version of "Whiskey in the Jar," and changed the lyrics a bit to make the highwayman a little cooler and more heroic. Metallica used Thin Lizzy's revised lyrics.

  7. anonymous
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    Apr 17th 2011 report

    About a guy in prison and making homemade moonshine that was often done in prisons in the earlier times.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  8. Epictetus
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    Nov 1st 2009 report


    This is an old Irish folk song, slightly altered by Metallica to make the protagonist more "macho".

    In the original, the captain does not get both barrels as Molly has dampened the powder in his pistols.

    A highway, and love and a woman's betrayal...timeless but easy.

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