MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Moonshine Song
George Hatfield NFLD 2 Tape 1A Track 3
Tors Cove Audio:

Come all ye moonshine drinkers come listen to my song
About those bold informers who lately came along
Their jealousy could not agree they put our moonshine down

They put our moonshine down my boys without much more delay
They might fool us on moonshine but they won't trick us on beer
You'll go down to your neighbour’s house and a glass you’ll pass around
Bad luck to those informers who put our moonshine down

It being on a Monday morning as you may plainly see
As soon as Mickey got the news he came right down to me
He came right down to me my boys and he put me on the stand
Saying Patsy there's a big kick-up about your moonshine can

Next day l got a summons and l was forced to go
To travel down those lonesome lanes up to my knees in snow
To travel down those lonesome lanes it was against my will
And walk up to the yardarm bar before a crowd of men

What did you make this moonshine of the judge to me did say
Of fishcakes and molasses it is the proper way
Of fishcakes and molasses it is the cutest plan
And the next misfortune fell on me l had to lose my can

I had to give it up my boys without much more delay
When down came Mr. Parsons the can to take away
To hear those pies a-rattling t’would grieve your heart full sore
And to see the can go in the sack it would grieve you ten times more

Good luck to our old magistrate may the lord look down on him
And when he leave this world behind going on the other end
It's there he'll meet St. Peter and the gates he will unlock
Saying walk right in good magistrate make one amongst our flock

Oh now my song it's to an end and l hope l told no lies
And if you want to know my name my name it is Pat Ryan
My name it is Pat Ryan my boys from Pouch Cove l belong
And when the moonshine comes again l will make it twice as strong


Sources: Reader, 1968:34; "The Moonshine Can" is found in Peacock, 1965: 75 and Blondahl, 1964: 39; Roud #9949.

From the Memorial University Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA) Song Index and Song Annotation Collection: Broderick, Martina Mary MUNFLA 72-238; Clarke, Geraldine MUNFLA 76-304

History: Newfoundland moniker song.

Text: Informers report Pat's illegal whiskey still to the Mounties. He is called to court. His still is dumped in the bay. At a neighbor's house a toast is drunk to the health to all but the informers.

Tune: This text is set to a major melody in common time.   The form is ABBA with the conventional higher range for the 'b' phrases.

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