Thursday, September 24, 2009

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Stick to the Cratur

It's no secret I'm fond of the cratur. The what? You might recognize it as the creature, short for one of the good creatures of the Lord. Still not ringing any bells? Oh, ok. Whiskey. Irish whiskey and specifically poitin, the homemade liquor still made in the west of Ireland, despite the common notion in both Dublin and Belfast that the stuff is no longer made.

Unless your ears are tuned to Irish dialects, cratur is an odd word. Here with just such a say-what? Irish accent is singer Tom Lenihan from 1967. The lyrics as posted on YouTube are not quite what he's singing, so I corrected them below. I think.

Let your quacks and newspapers be quotin’ their capers
About curing the vapors, the scratch, and the gout.
With their powders and potions, their serums and lotions
Upholding their notions, they're mighty put out.

We don’t know the true physic of all things prophetic
And pitch to the divil, cramp, colic, and spleen.
You'll find it I think if you take a big drink
With your mouth to the brink of a jug of poteen.

Then stick to the cratur the best thing in nature
For sinking your sorrows and raising your joys.
Oh what moderation or dose in the nation
Can give consolation like whiskey, me boys?

Come guess me this riddle, what beats pipe and fiddles
What's stronger than mustard and milder than cream?
What best wets your whistle, what's clearer than crystal,
Sweeter than honey and stronger than steam?

What will make the dumb talk, what will make the lame walk?
What’s the elixir of life and philosopher's stone?
And what helped Mr. Brunel to dig the Thames Tunnel
Sure, wasn't it whiskey from ould Inishowen?

Then stick to the cratur the best thing in nature
For sinking your sorrows and raising your joys.
Oh lord, I’d not wonder, if lightning and thunder
Weren't made from the plunder of whiskey, me boys.



Jon - DrinkPlanner said...

One of my favorite Irish songs, though I know it as "Stick to the Craythur". The version I have has a few extra verses than the one you posted here, and has two guys singing the chorus for a nice harmony. You can stream the whole song from rhapsody, and if you'd like I'd be happy to send you the mp3 of it. Enjoy!

Matthew Rowley said...

Jon ~

Thanks for the link. I've heard the song with a several alternate verses, but I hadn't heard that take before. I'm putting away bottles of both corn and rye this morning: sure, a drop of the craythur will follow this evening...