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|Metallica”s version of “Whiskey in the Jar” from Garage Inc.|
Famous Iris song, “Whiskey in the Jar” has an untraceable origin, that is, the primary song writer and and year of its release is unknown. Nevertheless, it has become quite popular over years due to extensive cover versions made by some reputable bands, namely Metallica.Instead of attempting to retrace its history, I”ll just focus on the work of Metallica, who”s version is based on the cover of Thin Lizzy. It”s fair to say that it was Metallica who popularized the song to a point where it”s interesting enough for me to analyze. :-)If you look into the lyrics of the songs, it”s consists of references to places, persons and events. Analyzing the historical significance of each of these aspects is, I believe, unnecessary since there”s no definitive link to their origins. Furthermore, not fully knowing such aspects isn”t an impediment for understanding the meaning of the song, which I will analyze right now.Lyrical meaning of “Whiskey in the Jar:” Song is written from the first person”s point of view, and there”s no indication who that might be. It”s definitely a middle-aged man as we”ll soon see. For ease of analysis, I”ll call this person Axl Rose, no relation to the idiot who brought down G”N”R ( yes, I completely randomly chose than name out of a 1000 givens on a website ).The first verse, as it”s often the case in many songs, introduces the setting and main characters to the listener. In this song, the main characters are Axl and Captain Farrell, and scene is set in Cork and Kerry mountains. As Axl was wondering in the mountains, he saw Captain Farrell counting his money. Though there was clear explanation as to how Farrell got this money, I think he was counting berried-money from years ago. Once Axl saw this, he devised a plan to attack Farrell and steal fortunes. So he “produced” a pistol, meaning adding a bullet into his gun ( Is that how it”s done? All you gun lovers from US, please let me know. ), and got his rapier ready as a backup, because if he misfires the only bullet, there wouldn”t be enough time to reload it by hand. He was successful in stealing cash from Farrell, probably without much of a fight.Second verse tells more information about Axl. He lives with his sweetheart Molly. He was”t greedy as he didn”t self-consume all of Farrell”s cash; he brought all of it to Molly. How sweet? Molly was very dedicated to Axl, but she wasn”t impressed with Axl”s robbery so she left him. Axl took this personally, and thought she ditched him.
In his mind, what Axl was probably thinking was that Molly would be happy to see the money, and that he could please her with whatever she wants to buy and live a happy life until the rest of time. Axl, after losing his sweetheart, got really depressed. So, like any other depressed man, he got drunk – as stated in the third verse. He went to Molly home to make peace, but guess who showed up? CAPTAIN FERRELL! Now, being drunk and depressed, Axl wasn”t thinking straight. You could see that Molly was also screaming, just what ladies do when things get out of control. What interesting to note is that when Axl first encountered Ferrell, there was no altercation because he was somber. It”s not the case now; he was dunk up to this throat and his lady was screaming behind. So Axl grabbed his gun and shot Ferrell without thinking too much about the consequences. Final verse concludes the epic, but short-lived, adventure of Axl. Stealing money and murdering Ferrell meant the end of the line for him as he”s going to be spending the rest of his life in prison. Fast-forward to 1900s: Axl is serving his life-imprisonment. He just can”t get Molly out of his head. One day he wrote a song entitled “Sweet Child O” Mine” in memory of his sweetheart. Fast-forward to early 1980: Axl William Rose was jailed for being an asshole. It turned out he was sentenced in the same jail-cell where Axl severed his life imprisonment. A.W. Rose, however, managed to get hold of Axl”s song that was written about Molly. Once A.W. Rose got out of prison, he formed a rock band and “wrote” “Sweet Child O” Mine,” but in reality, it was all plagiarized from Axl. Lyrics: