Digital Tradition Mirror

Bottle o' the Best

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Pennywhistle notation and Dulcimer tab for this song is also available

Bottle o' the Best
(Jack Foley; tune trad.)

When your time o' work is done, and ye've earned yersel' some fun
In the pub ye start tae sup, ye're drinkin', clinkin' every cup
And the pint pots ye're preusin', and ye're boozin' till ye're
And ye're losin' a' yer senses tae the drink.
   But when a' these folks sae prim are swiggin' swill up tae the
   Nips o' gin and numbered Pimms wi' sugar rubbed aroon the rim
   Let them drink until they drop, for the sly, besotted Scot
   He'll be breakin' oot a bottle o' the best.

Aye, tae hell wi' a' the rest, give me a bottle o' the best
The amber bead I'll down wi' speed; it's no bad taste or waste,
     just greed
And a whisky still I'll kill, I'll drink my fill and if I spill a
You know I will, I'll lick it off the floor.
   I'll not touch Teachers, Grants nor Haig, gie me Bowmore or
   Glenfarclas in a glass, well ye can throw the top away
   For there's no use tae pretend that ye'll need the top again
   When ye've broken oot a bottle o' the best.

And the English like their ale warm and flat, straight oot the
     the pail
They aye slitter wi' their bitter; it would slaughter Jack the
And they sip their cider rough, they huff and puff and sniff and
And as if that's no' enough, they start tae sing.
   When Jones' Ale Was new, or John Barleycorn's fine brew
   Fathom the Bowl, the Barley Mow, Bring us a Barrel, just a few
   But their songs are far surpassed by the tinkle in the glass
   When you've broken oot a bottle of the best.

And the Irish, wi' their Pride o' Erin, think they can deride
Oor golden watter wi' their patter when they're oot upon the
Sixteen hundred pints o' stout, a drinkin' bout wi' oot a doubt
And if they've no' got the gout they start tae dance.
   Father O'Flynn and Larry O'Gaff, Biddy the Bowlwife, for a
   The Young May Moon, the Garry Owen, the Blackbird drives them
   But their jigs have no appeal tae a Scot who likes tae reel
   When he's broken oot a bottle o' the best.

Aye, a bottle o' the best, that's what it is, nae idle jest
Nae Mickey Finn, nae rotgut gin, nae bathtub wine that tastes
     like Vim
Have no fear, it's not like beer; malt whisky's strong and bright
     and clear
And it's also bloody dear, but what the hell.
   And it belts ye in the belly like a heavyweight Lochgelly
   A glow begins tae grow six in a row turns ye tae jelly
   Then ye dream, perchance tae sleep, but ye fall down in a heap
   For ye've broken out a bottle of the best.

batter: spree
Lochgelly: a thick leather strup used until recently by Scottish
  teachers to enforce disdipline.

Copyright Jack Foley
Recorded by Ed Miller, Border Background

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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