Love and Whiskey

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LOVE AND WHISKEY. AKA – "Love and Whisky." AKA and see "Bob and Joan," "Fill the Bumper Fair," "Stoneybatter (1)." Irish, Air (3/4 or 3/2 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. O'Farrell (c. 1808) lists the tune as Irish. The "Love and Whiskey" title for the melody (long popular under the titles "Bob and Joan," "Bobbing Joan," and variants) comes from an 18th century Irish song in Wife of Two Husbands, a ballad opera in five acts performed in Ireland, Great Britain, and on the New York stage (the dialogue is "intersperced with songs, choruses, music and dances). The air is also used for the Irish "Courting in the Kitchen". The tune was a popular vehicle for many songs in the English-speaking world, over a great span of time. See Digital Tradition's entry for more [1].


"Love and Whiskey" is sung in Act iii of Wife of Two Husbands, by James Cobb (1756–1818). The character Sergeant Armagh, introduced "to make bulls, talk violent loyalty, and sing about love and whisky" puts forth:

It was exactly my case—and let me tell you—love and whisky are mightily alike. Love's charming to the taste, and so is whisky: It warms a man's heart, and turns his head—and so does whisky—And love makes one do mighty foolish things—so does whisky—Then when love gets out of your head, you forswear it bitterly—and when the whisky gets out of your head, you forswear that too—and then—why, then you take another dose, whether of love or whisky, 'tis all the same thing.

Love and whisky both
Rejoice an honest fellow:
Unripe joys of life,
Love and whisky mellow.
Both the head and the heart
Set in palpitation;
From both I've often found
A mighty sweet sensation.
Love and whisky's joys,
Let us gaily twist 'em;
In the thread of life,
Faith we can't resist 'em!


Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Crosby (Irish Musical Repository), 1808; p. 178–180. O'Farrell (Pocket Companion, vol. 3), c. 1808; pp. 2–3. Wilson (A Companion to the Ballroom), 1816; p. 28.

Recorded sources:




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