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Origins: Corn Whiskey/Moonshine

DigiTrad:
I'M A RAMBLER, I'M A GAMBLER c
JACK O'DIAMONDS
RYE WHISKEY
RYE WHISKEY (2)


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DADGBE 11 Aug 07 - 05:46 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Aug 07 - 07:55 PM
DADGBE 12 Aug 07 - 01:55 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 13 Aug 07 - 07:06 AM
deadfrett 13 Aug 07 - 08:10 AM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 13 Aug 07 - 11:29 AM
Bob the Postman 13 Aug 07 - 07:02 PM
DADGBE 13 Aug 07 - 07:47 PM
Pinetop Slim 14 Aug 07 - 03:39 PM
Allan C. 14 Aug 07 - 05:29 PM
GUEST 12 Aug 10 - 02:12 PM
GUEST,MJ 09 Dec 10 - 08:49 PM
GUEST 12 Jun 11 - 03:25 AM
BanjoRay 12 Jun 11 - 07:03 AM
GUEST,BobCox2 29 Jun 13 - 03:18 AM
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Subject: Origins: Corn Whiskey/Moonshine
From: DADGBE
Date: 11 Aug 07 - 05:46 PM

Hi Friends,

I'm looking for a version of a moonshine song with the following words:

Well, I've been a moonshiner now these 17 long years,
Spent all my money on whiskey and beer,
Now I'll go to some holler and set up my still,
And I'll sell you a gallon for a $2 bill.

Chorus:
Corn whiskey, corn whiskey, I like you pretty well.
You've killed all my kinfolks and sent them to hell.
You sent all my kinfolks on rot gut and rye,
And I guess you'll send me when I'm ready to die.

I'll go to some grocery and drink with my friends,
Where the women can't follow and see what I spend.
God bless those pretty women, how I wish they were mine.
Their breath tastes as sweet as the good old moonshine.

Chorus

Well, it's red meat when I'm hungry and moonshine when I'm dry,
Greenback when I'm hard up and religion when I die.
The whole world's a bottle and life's but a dram.
When the bottle gets empty, it ain't worth one damn.

Chorus

The melody was similar to The Waggoner's Lad. Anybody recognize this?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Corn Whiskey/Moonshine
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Aug 07 - 07:55 PM

I seem to recall that this already was brought up in a previous thread on moonshine, the moonshiner.
The first verse is in The Moonshiner, in the DT.

Also see thread 44572: Moonshiner

Who the particular singer or source was who put it together in the version you have, I dunno. The thread may give you a lead.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Corn Whiskey/Moonshine
From: DADGBE
Date: 12 Aug 07 - 01:55 PM

Thanks Q,

I already checked out that thread but didn't get an answer.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Corn Whiskey/Moonshine
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 13 Aug 07 - 07:06 AM

For some reason the best thread on this song, both the Irish version and what appears to be the American original, didn't come up among those listed at the top of this message. Here's the thread:

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=95516

Lots more info there.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Origins: Corn Whiskey/Moonshine
From: deadfrett
Date: 13 Aug 07 - 08:10 AM

This could be a "Rye Whiskey" variant.Some of the verses are shared.
We play a fiddle tune called "Drunken Hiccups". Dave


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Subject: RE: Origins: Corn Whiskey/Moonshine
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 13 Aug 07 - 11:29 AM

I remember performing this song, or a close variant, as far back as 1957. I learned it from a fellow habitue' of a coffee house in Fresno, California. It seemed an obvious American variant of the more widely known "Moonshiner" done by the Clancy Brothers, among others. As I recall the melody, it may have evoked the "Wagoner's Lad," but was really quite different - a little simpler line. It had a little more melancholy sense about it than the Irish song. It was played with major chords, but almost had a strange minor feel. It may have come out of the collection of Alan Lomax in some form.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Corn Whiskey/Moonshine
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 13 Aug 07 - 07:02 PM

Here's the blickie for the thread cited above by Bob Coltman:

thread.cfm?threadid=95516


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Subject: RE: Origins: Corn Whiskey/Moonshine
From: DADGBE
Date: 13 Aug 07 - 07:47 PM

Thank you all for your contributions... and Hi Bob Coltman; Ray Frank here.

Is it possible that this version was done by a 60s singer a la Judy Collins or the like?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Corn Whiskey/Moonshine
From: Pinetop Slim
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 03:39 PM

Jean Ritchie (kytrad) has a version in one of her books and could probably give some background.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Corn Whiskey/Moonshine
From: Allan C.
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 05:29 PM

These are the same lyrics as were used by The Limelighters in "Corn Whiskey" on the Our Men in San Francisco album. I very much like their version.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Corn Whiskey/Moonshine
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Aug 10 - 02:12 PM

I learned this tune in 1963 from my then-wife, and we played it in 6/8 time in the key of Dmi. I don't know where she learned it, but she had a Missouri uncle who played banjo, so that's a possibility. I recently re-keyed this song to Emi. Your lyrics (above) are more complete than what I remember ... thanks.

             A                D                F#m                Em
Well, I've been a moonshiner these seventeen long years

A                D             F#m             Em
Spent all my money on whiskey and beer

            G               A             F#m          E (major)
Now I'll go to some holler and set up my still

            A             D               F#m          Em
And I'll sell you a gallon for a two-dollar bill


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Subject: RE: Origins: Corn Whiskey/Moonshine
From: GUEST,MJ
Date: 09 Dec 10 - 08:49 PM

The Lime Lighters sang this song on an album in early 1960s. Tex Ritter sang a song Rye Whiskey on a 45 single in 1948 very similar to Corn Whiskey.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Corn Whiskey/Moonshine
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jun 11 - 03:25 AM

Leon Rudd - Corn whiskey


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Subject: RE: Origins: Corn Whiskey/Moonshine
From: BanjoRay
Date: 12 Jun 11 - 07:03 AM

The New Lost City Ramblers did a version of this on their superb album "Songs Of Moonshine & Prohibition" back around 1960.

Ray


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Subject: RE: Origins: Corn Whiskey/Moonshine
From: GUEST,BobCox2
Date: 29 Jun 13 - 03:18 AM

Limelighter did this in the 1960s


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